lynne & kevin

Travel to San Francisco

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco
- Mark Twain

Although forever credited with this very accurate statement about our weather, Mark Twain never actually uttered this quote.  But all descriptions of San Francisco in the summer months must begin with a warning about the weather.  The locals make a sport of poking fun at the tourists who arrive in Northern California during the summer months having packed only shorts and t-shirts.

San Francisco is considered a Mediterranean climate, with wet winters, dry summers, and a generally temperate temperature range (50's to 70's).  The hill-and-valley topography of the area and the ocean influence lead to some pretty impressive changes in the weather -- both from day to day and from city block to city block.  The Bay Area is made up of multiple microclimates, each with its own diverse temperature range and weather.

The weather is often the most varied during the summer when the hot inland valley temperatures pull in the cold ocean fog -- the fog flows through the gaps in the hills and settles in the valleys.  One of my earliest memories of San Francisco was standing on a bright sunny street corner and seeing a literal wall of fog march down the street.  We will often experience a 40 degree temperature difference as we drive from the valley to the beach in only 30 miles.

June is often cool and foggy in San Francisco, especially in the ocean side areas like Golden Gate Park (where the de Young Museum is located).  The average June temperature in the city is 61 F and 84% humidity, so you can likely expect a nice sunny day followed by a cold and foggy evening.  The best advice we can provide is to come prepared for almost anything.


San Francisco has many lodging options -- over 300 business, historical, tourist, and even seedy places to spend the night.  The prices in the city, like any popular tourist destination, are often very high.  We've attempted to do your homework for you and have arranged an unbelievable deal for rooms at Le Meridien, a 4-star hotel centrally located in the Financial District.  Please read the Contact/FAQ page of the website for more hotel details.

If you're looking for a different experience, you are of course welcome to stay anywhere you would like in the city. We can provide feedback or experience for many of the well-known options. We also recommend using Trip Advisor to learn more about the many choices available.


There are three primary airports in the Bay Area (San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco), but with the event taking place in the city our recommendation is to fly in and out of San Francisco (SFO). 

Fares for air travel have been very erratic for the past few months, and I expect they'll continue to fluctuate widely.  The latest searches we've done for travel to SFO in June 2009 include fares from $230 (Milwaukee), $360 (Minneapolis), $390 (West Palm Beach), and $400 (Boston).  We fully expect these fares to go up and down over the next few months -- if you need advice or assistance, please let us know.  There are many online tools for optimizing ticket purchase timing.

The airport is located 15 miles south of downtown along the peninsula, and there are a multitude of options to get from the airport to the city.

Driving a car in San Francisco can be both fun and scary -- it all depends on your taste for adventure.  Although a relatively small city, the 43 hills (many are very steep) and multitude of one-way streets make for an exhilarating drive.  Not to mention the fun of dodging lost tourists and bell-ringing cable cars.

Oh, and did we mention that almost all hotels in the city charge $50 to park overnight?

Although you may want to rent a car to more easily sightsee in the area, we have attempted to provide many transportation options for the week -- you should be able to get around the city easily even without a car.  You can ride the cable cars, street trolleys, trains, buses, taxis, tour buses, and even rental scooters.  See the Links & Maps page for more details.

SFO to/from the Hotel:

  • BART (one of the region's commuter trains) will take you to or from the airport for about $5, leaving every 15/20 minutes.  The closest BART station to the hotel is the Embarcadero Station, a walk of approximately five (level) blocks.
  • Door-to-door shuttles are available from the airport baggage area and will cost about $15/person each way. Reservations are generally recommended.
  • Taxi's will cost you $35-$45 one way from the airport (assuming good traffic).
  • Rent a car and drive yourself into town.
  • The airport website has an excellent tool that details all of the transportation options and their respective prices.

Hotel to/from de Young:

  • We will be providing a shuttle bus to transfer people between the hotel and the de Young throughout Saturday evening.
  • Taxi's are always an option in the city, but we've heard about mixed results when driving from Golden Gate Park.  You will need to call for a return trip as they do not generally drive through the park.
  • There is a nice underground parking garage to service the museums, so you can always drive yourself.

With all that said, San Francisco is a very walkable city. Don't let the hills scare you from exploring on foot, especially if you can jump on a cable car or bus to bring you back.