Most visitors walk the streets of San Francisco admiring the Victorian homes splashed with the area’s characteristically colorful paint and expansive bay windows and often fantasize about living in one if only for a moment. Luckily, bed and breakfasts offer that precise opportunity! Several bed and breakfasts are scattered throughout the city hidden in what look like houses but are actually little inns waiting for visitors to come and enjoy a cup of tea in the parlor. While some are decorated to embrace the city’s bygone Victorian-era culture, others pay homage to the city’s hippie or even military history. Whichever one of these five B&Bs you choose, be prepared that you may never want to leave.
The Red Victorian is perhaps San Francisco’s quirkiest bed and breakfast. Located in the city’s famed Haight-Ashbury district, the B&B has likely not changed since the Summer of Love. Rooms are given names such as the Flower Child Room and the Sunshine Room and await guests with décor that represents the theme of the room name. The B&B also doubles as a living peace museum, offering travelers and locals alike a place to gather to discuss ways to create a peaceful world. Sami Sunchild, founder and artist-in-residence, sells her various paintings, several of which feature peace signs — naturally.
Photo via their official FB page.
One of the oldest original hospitality structures in San Francisco, The Monte Cristo Inn has a long-standing history in guest management. It was originally built in 1875 as a bordello and saloon, and during the 1920s, it served as a speakeasy. Today, it brings a European essence to the heart of San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. Each room is decorated with Persian rugs and antique wooden furniture while also including more modern amenities such as Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Unlike some bed and breakfasts, each room features an ensuite bathroom that guarantees privacy for guests.
Located in a circa-1892 Victorian house, The Chateau Tivoli could be on the San Francisco architecture tour, with its vibrant hues of red and blue and beautiful bay windows. The charming bed and breakfast once served as a private residence and has since been restored. However, guests will feel as if they’ve stepped back in time. The building is furnished with Victorian antiques such as hand-carved wooden furniture, crystal chandeliers, period wallpapers and oriental rugs that reflect its history. As such, wine and cheese as well as tea, of course, are served in the double parlor.
Inn at the Presidio resides in Pershing Hall, which was built in 1903 and served as a home for unmarried officers stationed at the Presidio. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, Pershing Hall was transformed in 2011 into the park’s first lodge. Its interior design is decorated with historic photographs and contemporary regional art as well as historic memorabilia that the Presidio Trust used in the historic rehabilitation. For instance, a wall of antique trumpets line one of the walls at the inn’s entrance. While historic, the property still has a very contemporary feel with fresh whites, navy and black hues throughout.
Like several buildings in San Francisco, passersby would not instantly recognize the Parsonage as a bed and breakfast. It blends into its Hayes Valley neighborhood as a typical San Francisco Victorian painted in purple and gold. Its five spacious bedrooms, however, house visitors from all over the world. Guests can relax and socialize in the two parlors or the library in the afternoons or evenings, while a multi-course breakfast is served in the dining room every morning. Plus, guests can unwind with the complementary brandy and chocolates served each night.