Where to Stay in San Francisco: SOMA
Welcome to SOMA, also known as the South of Market Area. It was once a light industrial and warehouse district, as well as a high-tech hub during the dot-com boom of the 1990s. Today, it's one of the coolest neighborhoods in San Francisco. SOMA is packed with happening bars, boutique shopping, alternative culture, museums, art galleries, and tasty restaurants. It also has great parks and is conveniently located next to lots of public transportation. And you can't forget about the architectural sights. Can it get any better? According to users of Booking.com, it can't.
The neighborhood spans from Market Street south to Townsend Street, and west from the Embarcadero to Eleventh Street. That's a huge area. You can literally find anything under the sun here. That's precisely why it's a great place for visitors to stay.
Editor's Note: SoMa has many hotels and some of them, like the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA, are in multiple categories below. Don't be surprised if some show up twice!
The Best Place to Stay If You Love Green Space: Near Yerba Buena Gardens
Whether you want to practice yoga in the morning or toss a Frisbee at lunchtime, Yerba Buena Gardens is a great spot to choose. If there is any place that can give you relaxation and excitement at the same time, it's Yerba Buena Gardens. From the landscaped lawns to the serene and flowering gardens, it's simply gorgeous here. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is also at the park. The hotel offerings are just as splendid.
The Best Place to Stay If You're a Museum Goer: Near San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The hotels around this celebrated museum try to be as artistic, but it's difficult because this museum is an absolute gem. Let works by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Salvador Dali wow you, then check out the unique glass bridge. Once you finish your visit, you'll probably go back to the hotel and try to create your masterpiece. Perhaps someday it will make it into this museum.
The Best Place to Stay If You're a Sports Lover: Near Oracle Park
Boasting a classic design and plenty of entertainment inside the park, attending a Giants game at Oracle Park is a great experience and The Yard located across McCovey Cove offers more diversions. Eat, sing, and root for the home team. And when it's time to call it a night, tons of hotels are waiting to accommodate you nearby. If you want to be as close to the action as possible, stay at the Hotel Via, which is located right across the street from Oracle Park.
The Best Place to Stay If You're a Foodie: Near Folsom Street
You can find awesome food on any section of this long, curving street. From the incredible coffee at BrainWash Café to the dim spicy calamari at Cha-Am Thai Restaurant to the chicken and lamb at Chaat Café, the options here are endless and diverse. Even better, great hotels line the street.
The Best Place to Stay If You're a Night Owl: Near 21st Amendment Brewery
You know what the 21st Amendment did, right? So, while you're in SOMA, come celebrate with a drink (or two or three). This brewery is regularly popping with great conversation and is a great place to immerse yourself in the Bay Area beer culture. If you still want more after your visit here, try other cool drinking holes in the area, like Thirsty Bear (where you can also get tasty tapas). When it comes time to snooze, a short walk or taxi ride should get you right back to your lodging.
The Best Place to Stay If You're a Shopper: Near Second and Third Streets
If you're coming to San Francisco to get your shop on, staying in SOMA is a great idea--specifically on or around Second and Third Streets. For a good read, make your way to the Alexander Book Company. The 303 Second Street Plaza also has a lot of things you may need, along with a neat fountain. South Park, San Francisco's first planned development, offers some chic boutiques, too.
Living It up in SOMA
From the Museum of the African Diaspora and the Alice Street Community Gardens to the Folsom Street Fair or May's How Wierd Street Faire, SOMA is simply an amazing place to visit. You can sightsee, eat, drink, hear live music and be merry. That's all you want in a vacation, right? Look for hotels in and around the attractions mentioned here, and you'll be in great shape. Get started early, because the best hotels go fast. You can book a San Francisco hotel here.
Photo by Louis Raphael