Best Areas to Stay in San Francisco for Lunar New Year
Whether you celebrate Chinese New Year or Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, San Francisco is the perfect place to welcome the Year of the Tiger. Our city is home to some of the largest Chinese- and Vietnamese-American communities in the nation, which means there's no shortage of ways for you to experience the traditions, celebrations, and food associated with this holiday.
If you're looking to stay in the city for Lunar New Year, you'll want to book your room in advance. Here are some of the neighborhoods with great hotel options that are close to all the excitement that unfolds in Chinatown.
Where to Stay For Great Shopping: Union Square
Ring in the new year with a little treat for yourself. After all, the Year of the Tiger is all about generosity! Union Square is home to massive department stores, luxury retail, and San Francisco originals. The hotels are equally decadent, from the towering Westin St. Francis to the chic Clift Royal Sonesta. None are far from Chinatown, and some are even along the parade route!
Where to Stay for Getting Around: Embarcadero
If you want to be able to zip from one celebration to another, you'll want to stay in a hotel along the Embarcadero. These properties are all just a few steps from Muni buses and light rail, historic streetcars, and BART, any of which can get you around San Francisco and beyond.
Where to Stay for Culture: SoMA
If all the pageantry of Lunar New Year inspires you to keep expanding your cultural horizons, you should stay in SoMa. This neighborhood is home to institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the African Diaspora, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. It's also easy to hop on Muni or BART and take a short ride over to Civic Center's Asian Art Museum.
Where to Stay for A View: Nob Hill
West of Chinatown and a few hundred feet up are the gorgeous hotels of Nob Hill. These historic establishments offer you some of the most refined lodgings in the city, as well as panoramic views from the Golden Gate to the East Bay. Plus, they're all along the California Street cable car line, offering you a fun and thoroughly San Francisco way to head to Chinatown for the celebrations.
Where to Stay with Kids: Fisherman's Wharf
There are plenty of attractions that kids of all ages will love along Fisherman's Wharf, which means you should certainly consider extending your stay beyond your Lunar New Year celebrations. The neighborhood isn't far from Chinatown and is well served by public transit.
Photo by Louis Raphael