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San Francisco #1 for Best U.S. Vacations and Best Summer Vacations

San Francisco has been named #1 for both Best U.S. Vacations and Best Summer Vacations in U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever Best Vacations rankings.


Washington DC – May 2, 2011 – San Francisco has been named #1 for both Best U.S. Vacations and Best Summer Vacations in U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever Best Vacations rankings, available online at  San Francisco also ranked high on lists of World’s Best Places to Visit (#4), Best Family Summer Vacations (#8) and Best Honeymoon Destinations (#19).  U.S. News created the Best Vacations rankings to compare the most popular travel spots against one another for the benefit of prospective travelers.

The U.S. News Best Vacations rankings identify the best vacations based on an unbiased methodology. Two factors are combined to determine how each destination ranks. First is how strongly a collection of published travel writers recommend the destination. Second is how strongly U.S. News Travel website users (consumers) recommend the destination.

In total, 49 U.S. and 35 European destinations have been analyzed, but only a select few are identified as the best (our Best Vacations award winners).  The winners, including San Francisco, are destinations with a record of outstanding traveler satisfaction.

“It’s exciting to score so high in U.S. News’ very first travel awards,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association.  “I’m especially happy that our many attractions and activities for families were recognized.   Millions of visitors enjoy places like the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium and Aquarium of the Bay every year.  Icons like the Golden Gate Bridge and the cable cars are perfect for visitors of every age and from anywhere in the world.”

“Each destination is unique and worth visiting,” said Chad Smolinski, Vice President of Rankings and Reviews at U.S. News & World Report. “These rankings help vacation planners find the best vacation spots for whatever type of vacation they have in mind.”

For the full list of vacation rankings visit

For general information on hotel packages and reservations; events; activities and transportation in San Francisco, visit For lodging reservations, call 800-637-5196 within North America or 415-391-2000 or 415-392-0328 (TTY/TTD) elsewhere.

The San Francisco Visitors Planning Guide is available at the Visitor Information Center, 900 Market St., at the corner of Powell and Market streets, lower level, Hallidie Plaza.  A virtual edition of the guide is also available online: A visitor’s kit may also be ordered online at, by phone at 415-391-2000 or 415-392-0328 (TTY/TTD), by written request to the San Francisco Visitor Information Center, 900 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102, or via email to  Domestic and international shipping charges apply.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop links with more than 31 international points on 30 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with more than 71 cities in the U.S. on 18 domestic airlines. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit SFO was voted “North America’s Best Airport” by passengers for its outstanding customer service and amenities.

American Express® is the official credit card partner for the San Francisco Travel Association.

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Note to editors: To access and download images from the San Francisco Travel Association online photo gallery, click on the link

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Laurie Armstrong
Director, Media Relations – US & Canada