If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re either on your way to San Francisco for your next travel healthcare assignment, you’ve just arrived, or you’ve completed your traveler profile and you’re browsing Fusion Marketplace for jobs in the bay area. Our goal here at Fusion Marketplace is to ensure an easy transition to your next assignment giving you all the tools and resources that you need to be successful. We know that your success is our success and with that we aim to bring you a complete guide of San Francisco so that you can do what you’ve been hired to do: Take care of patients and most importantly - have fun on your days off.
San Francisco is a compact city, 7x7 miles, with a population of greater than 800,000 residents. There are 36 recognizable neighborhoods in San Francisco, giving you numerous places to live and explore. Most importantly, there are 38 hospitals alone in the city of San Francisco and that doesn’t include the hospitals located nearby in the greater bay area.
When should you take an assignment in San Francisco?
Located in Northern California, San Francisco's climate varies and is much milder than sunny Southern California. Lows don't usually dip below 40s and highs don't usually topple 80. The rainy months are from December to February, and the dry months from June to August. You should also note that the warmest months are typically from August to October, and the colder months December and January. If you're interested in working in San Francisco the best time to take an assignment is based on what type of weather you prefer.
Where should you live in San Francisco?
As mentioned above, there are 36 recognized neighborhoods in the city of San Francisco alone, meaning you have endless options when it comes to housing. To decide on the best living choice for you, you first need to answer a few questions. Are you bringing a car to San Francisco? If not, is the goal to walk to work or take public/private transportation? Is the hospital that you're working at in the city or outside of the city? Do you want to live in the city or would you rather commute in?
Once you've answered these questions, you're ready to pick an area to live in. Please note, for safety reasons, the only neighborhood not advisable to live in is the Tenderloin.
The most popular neighborhoods to choose from in the city
Below you'll find a list of the most popular neighborhoods in San Francisco and a general idea of what the neighborhood is well-known for. Remember, when you search for housing, consider if there is parking available or nearby, how far you'll have to walk/drive to the hospital, and generally what you want to live around.
Located in the heart of San Francisco, the self-proclaimed gay district of San Francisco (and one of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States), The Castro is the perfect place to live if you're looking for fun bars, restaurants, and a lively party scene.
Located in the northeastern part of San Francisco, Chinatown is perfect if you want to immerse yourself in Chinese culture. Plus the neighborhood is close to famous San Francisco landmarks like the ferry building, Coit Tower, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The Fillmore District is located in central San Francisco sandwiched between The Painted Ladies and Japantown. Buzzing with designer boutiques, trendy bars and restaurants, and Cottage Row Historic District, a street of Victorian Homes from the 1870s.
Haight-Ashbury is the hip, "cool", and artistic neighborhood of San Francisco. It's where several musicians like The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix have called home. And it's a great place to live because of all of the parks within walking distance - Golden Gate Park, Alamo Square, and Mission Dolores Park are all nearby.
In the heart of San Francisco, Hayes Valley is an incredible location for boutique shopping, great bars, and some of the best restaurants in the city.
One of the more posh areas in San Francisco, if you can find a place to live in "Pac" Heights, you're in luck. Like most neighborhoods in San Francisco there are tons of boutique shops, restaurants, and bars to visit in Pac Heights.
Mission District is a hit or miss. There are some areas that aren't the safest (16th St and South Van Ness), but overall the Mission is not only safe but one of the best areas in San Francisco for restaurants and nightlife.
Nob Hill is in the northern part of San Francisco, and like Pacific Heights, it's also a pretty posh area to live. In Nob Hill you can find the famous Gothic Cathedral - Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Cable Car Museum, and some of San Francisco's more swanky hotels.
North Beach is a buzzy Italian neighborhood in northern San Francisco (right on the water near Pier 39). This is a fun and lively area to live in, close to the water, close to where the ferries take off for Alcatraz, and relatively safe.
Also known as South of Market San Francisco is located on the east side of the city near the Ferry Building, houses the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and is near the Giants baseball stadium.
If you want to live outside the Bay Area
City life isn't for everyone and you may decide that you want to live outside of the city and commute in to work. This might save you a little bit of money, you'll probably have more housing options to choose from, and you won't be in the busy and crowded city of San Francisco. Below are some popular options for places to live that are within a 25-mile radius of San Francisco.
- Daly City, CA - 9.5-miles south of SF
- Mill Valley, CA - 14-miles north of SF
- Oakland, CA - 12-miles east of SF
- Pacifica, CA - 16-miles south of SF
- San Mateo, CA - 20-miles south of SF
- San Rafael, CA - 18-miles north of SF
Where to find housing
Fusion Marketplace has teamed up with Furnished Finder to bring you the best options when choosing housing. Now, when you search for a job on Fusion Marketplace, you can easily search for housing options for the city you're traveling to. Getting set up for your assignment has never been easier!
Should You Bring a Car to San Francisco?
One of the greatest things about the city of San Francisco is that it is unnecessary to bring a car. You can walk almost everywhere, electric bikes are easy to find on the streets, ride shares are plentiful, and there is even public transportation to get you from point A to point B. So while you can bring a car to San Francisco, it isn't a requirement.
If you do bring a car, make sure to find housing that you can easily park your car, and if you plan to drive to work don't forget to factor in the price of parking at the hospital.
If you opt out of bringing a car to San Francisco, there are plenty of ways to get around the city. As mentioned earlier, you can walk (the only area that it is not advisable to walk around is the Tenderloin neighborhood). You can bike (make sure to download the Lime app before arriving to the city). Or you can take the bus around the city (download the Transit app to see the best options for getting from point A to point B in San Francisco). Uber and Lyft also operate in San Francisco and are widely available.
Where to stay if you're traveling with an RV
While there aren't any RV parks in the city of San Francisco, there are some pretty great options close by. If you're coming to the city for an assignment with an RV, here are some parks to look into, all within a 25-mile radius of San Francisco:
- Coyote Point Recreation Area - San Mateo, CA; 18-miles from SF (please note, this RV park is closed for construction until July 2022)
- Marin RV Park - Larkspur, CA; 16-miles from SF
- Pillar Point RV Park - Half Moon Bay, CA; 25-miles from SF
- San Francisco RV Resort - Pacifica, CA; 15-miles from SF
Cost of living in San Francisco
Depending on what source you're getting your information from, San Francisco ranks as the top 1 or 2 (interchangeable with NYC) most expensive cities to live in in the United States. According to Rocket Mortgage, the cost of square foot is $1,100 making San Francisco the most expensive place to to buy a home.
But don't let that deter you! While renting is expensive in San Francisco and the cost of living is high, travel healthcare contracts do pay well in the Bay Area and with the option to compare pay packages on Fusion Marketplace you can ensure that you're getting a fair deal. But, if cost of living is something that you're worried about there are options to bring housing prices down. You could live outside of the city and commute in or consider living with roommates.
How to spend your time in San Francisco
The greatest part about being a traveling healthcare professional is getting to explore different cities across the United States. And San Francisco has no shortage of things to do. Here you'll find a comprehensive list of things to see and do in the city on your days off of work.
- Alcatraz - A former prison located on an island north of San Francisco
- Ferry Building - A food and drink marketplace with vendors selling artisan goods
- GoCar Tours - Rent GoCars and learn about the history of San Francisco along the way
- Golden Gate Bridge - One of the most recognized bridges in the world that connects San Francisco with Marin County
- Golden Gate Park - Golden Gate Park is over 1,000 acres and the third most visited park in the US with tons of attractions scattered throughout the grounds
- Ina Coolbrith Park - Go for incredible views of downtown San Francisco
- Lombard Street - A steep street with eight hairpin turns... one of the most photographed streets in the world
- Mission Dolores Park - A spacious park with views of downtown over the horizon
- PIER 39 - An outdoor shopping center with kid activities and an area to see sea lions
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - A modern and contemporary art museum dedicated solely to 20th-century art
- Sausalito - A quick day trip away, Sausalito is located in Marin County right across Golden Gate Bridge
- The Painted Ladies - In Alamo Square, the Painted Ladies are a row of Victorian style homes all painted different colors
- The Walt Disney Family Museum - In the Presidio near Golden Gate Bridge, the Walt Disney Family Museum is dedicated to all things Walt Disney
- Twin Peaks - A quick and easy "hike" that allows you views over San Francisco
Bars and restaurants
- Amelie - Wine bar
- Birba - Wine bar
- Burma Superstar - Burmese restaurant, ideal for takeout
- China Live - Chinese marketplace
- Flores - Mexican
- Foreign Cinema - Californian, ideal for brunch
- House of Prime Rib - Old school English-style
- Isa Restaurant - French
- Mamanoko - Japanese
- Nopa - New American
- Padrecito - Mexican
- Rich Table - New American
- Smuggler's Cove - Tiki bar
Our goal at Fusion Marketplace is to ensure an easy transition into the traveling healthcare world. We hope that if you're thinking about taking an assignment in the Bay Area, or are headed to the Bay Area that you feel prepared. As always, a recruiter is only one call away to help answer any questions you may have and get you ready to submit to your next assignment.