Insider's Guide to San Francisco

Pacific Coast Highway Travel's book review of Insider's Guide to San Francisco guidebook by Jill Loeffler, publisher of the San Francisco Tourism Tips website.

Insider's Guide to San Francisco book coverInsider's Guide to San Francisco

Some of the best guidebooks these days, like this new Insider's Guide to San Francisco, are not being published by the traditional publishers you might expect – the Rough Guides and Lonely Planets – but by individual entrepreneurs taking full advantage of the changing world of publishing and doing it themselves.

One such is Jill Loeffler, who runs the very helpful and informative website, SF Tourism Tips. If you want to know what's happening in San Francisco and get the occasional bargain offer, then head to the home page right away and sign up for the newsletter. 

Now Jill has turned her hand to producing a guide to the city where she has lived since 2003, after several visits there persuaded her it was the place she wanted to live. She's turned her twelve years of exploring the city first into her website (which she started in 2009 and has worked on full-time since 2012) and now into this excellent guidebook – one of the most through San Francisco guides we've ever seen.

It's an ebook that weighs in at 320 pages and as it sells for less than $4 at the time of writing, it's a terrific bargain whether you're visiting San Francisco or live there already. Even residents will find stuff they didn't know about, we're sure.

Insider's Guide to San Francisco sample contentsInsider's Guide to San Francisco Sample Contents

The Layout

The guide is very like the website – simply designed and laid out, and easy on the eye. It's filled with color photos, and the red headings are easy to pick out on the page. The writing style is relaxed and informative, like a mix of a friend sowing you round the city and a tour guide giving you interesting and sometimes unusual facts about the place.

Insider's Guide to San Francisco Table of ContentsInsider's Guide to San Francisco Table of Contents

The Contents

Take a look at part of the Table of Contents above and you'll see just how much is packed into the book. It's helpful because the author focuses on the best – Five Best Beer Festivals, Five Best Music Events, Five Best Pet-Friendly Hotels, and so on.

All the main attractions are covered, of course, like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, and if you want to know the city's Five Best Free Attractions then they're here too. The author even suggests what you might want to give by way of a donation to some of them.

The book is also packed with practical information – opening times, how to get there, admission prices. It's all bang up-to-date for 2016, and although it's now a few years old we'd still recommend getting it, at the bargain price. Five Best Places for Clam Chowder? That has to be worth $4 alone!

The Verdict

The only things missing from this guide are maps, so you'll need to buy a good city map or pick up free tourist maps when you arrive. Otherwise it's the most comprehensive city guide we've ever seen, and it will definitely be on our iPad and Kindle next time we visit the city by the bay. And if you're headed that way, don't hesitate to buy this guide. 

Insiders_Guide_San_Francisco_Book_Review_cover.JPG


You can buy the Insider's Guide to San Francisco on Amazon.



Other San Francisco pages

  • A perfect day in San Francisco would include Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, and the California Academy of Sciences.

    Perfect Day in San Francisco

    A perfect day in San Francisco would include Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, and the California Academy of Sciences.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel’s advice on the best time to visit San Francisco, covering the weather and climate from month to month and season by season.

    Best Time to Visit San Francisco

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel’s advice on the best time to visit San Francisco, covering the weather and climate from month to month and season by season.

  • Pacific Coast Highway dishes the dirt on Alcatraz's famous inmates, like the infamous Al Capone and the well-known Birdman, who never kept birds at Alcatraz!

    Alcatraz Famous Inmates

    Pacific Coast Highway dishes the dirt on Alcatraz's famous inmates, like the infamous Al Capone and the well-known Birdman, who never kept birds at Alcatraz!

  • San Francisco sightseeing tours can be by helicopter, bike, walking, eating in Chinatown, touring the gay area or trips to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

    San Francisco Sightseeing Tours

    San Francisco sightseeing tours can be by helicopter, bike, walking, eating in Chinatown, touring the gay area or trips to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

  • The best museums in San Francisco include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum and Exploratorium.

    Best Museums in San Francisco

    The best museums in San Francisco include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum and Exploratorium.

  • Information about San Francisco, including what to see, where to stay, where to eat, and links to sources of information including the official visitor website.

    San Francisco

    Information about San Francisco, including what to see, where to stay, where to eat, and links to sources of information including the official visitor website.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel brings you the best romantic hotels in San Francisco, many with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and in the heart of the city.

    Best Romantic Hotels in San Francisco

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel brings you the best romantic hotels in San Francisco, many with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and in the heart of the city.

  • San Francisco has some of the best Chinatown restaurants in the USA, and its Chinese restaurants provide superb dining. Here are our top eating places.

    San Francisco Best Chinatown Restaurants

    San Francisco has some of the best Chinatown restaurants in the USA, and its Chinese restaurants provide superb dining. Here are our top eating places.

  • Touring Alcatraz, the former island prison, is one of the best things to do in San Francisco and attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year.

    Touring Alcatraz

    Touring Alcatraz, the former island prison, is one of the best things to do in San Francisco and attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year.

  • Cheap flights to San Francisco with Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, SkyWest, JetBlue and other airlines from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle.

    Cheap Flights to San Francisco

    Cheap flights to San Francisco with Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, SkyWest, JetBlue and other airlines from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle.

  • San Francisco Airport hotels include a Grand Hyatt, La Quinta, Westin, Marriott, Super 8 and bayfront hotels ranging from budget to 5-star luxury.

    San Francisco Airport Hotels

    San Francisco Airport hotels include a Grand Hyatt, La Quinta, Westin, Marriott, Super 8 and bayfront hotels ranging from budget to 5-star luxury.

  • The Pacific Coast Highway Travel guide to the best golf courses in San Francisco for all budgets and skill levels, including courses close to the city center.

    Best Golf Courses in San Francisco

    The Pacific Coast Highway Travel guide to the best golf courses in San Francisco for all budgets and skill levels, including courses close to the city center.

  • Before you go it helps to know what to eat in San Francisco and so here's our list of ten San Francisco dishes and drinks that you have to try.

    Ten San Francisco Dishes and Drinks

    Before you go it helps to know what to eat in San Francisco and so here's our list of ten San Francisco dishes and drinks that you have to try.

  • Take a San Francisco Music Tour with Magic Bus, a trip through the musical past to Haight-Ashbury, the City Lights Bookstore and the Summer of Love.

    San Francisco Music Tour on the Magic Bus to Haight-Ashbury

    Take a San Francisco Music Tour with Magic Bus, a trip through the musical past to Haight-Ashbury, the City Lights Bookstore and the Summer of Love.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks ten reasons to visit San Francisco's Chinatown ranging from food and fortune cookies to historic landmarks and shopping.

    Ten Reasons to Visit San Francisco's Chinatown

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks ten reasons to visit San Francisco's Chinatown ranging from food and fortune cookies to historic landmarks and shopping.

  • 101 free San Francisco attractions and things to do are in the Kindle guide, 101 Free Things to Do in San Francisco, in the Travel Free eGuidebooks series.

    Free San Francisco Kindle Guide to Free Attractions

    101 free San Francisco attractions and things to do are in the Kindle guide, 101 Free Things to Do in San Francisco, in the Travel Free eGuidebooks series.

  • The Best Nightlife in San Francisco could be at the California Academy of Sciences where once a week it becomes a temporary nightclub.

    Best Nightlife in San Francisco at the California Academy of Sciences

    The Best Nightlife in San Francisco could be at the California Academy of Sciences where once a week it becomes a temporary nightclub.

  • A selection of the best Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway Travel website, for travel and photographic inspiration.

    Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge

    A selection of the best Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway Travel website, for travel and photographic inspiration.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel's advice on visiting Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and seeing its museums, gardens, lakes, buildings, and even bison!

    Visiting Golden Gate Park

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's advice on visiting Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and seeing its museums, gardens, lakes, buildings, and even bison!

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel lists the ten best things to do in San Francisco, including Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman's Wharf.

    Ten Best Things to Do in San Francisco

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel lists the ten best things to do in San Francisco, including Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman's Wharf.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel's guide to visiting the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco including how to get there and free walking tours of the bridge.

    Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's guide to visiting the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco including how to get there and free walking tours of the bridge.



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