San Francisco: A guide to short-term rentals

San Francisco sparkles: from the beautiful hilltops, down along the bustling waterfront, to its world famous Golden Gate Bridge. Kasa's short-term rentals get you close to all of it.

Kasa's short-term rentals in San Francisco

Our centrally-located short-term rentals and hotel rooms make all of San Francisco's treasures accessible--without paying the city's typically steep rates.

Discover San Francisco

After booking your short-term rental in San Francisco, here's everything you need to know for your trip.

San Francisco is a sprawling city, covering almost 50 square miles, and even at that size, is still the second most densely populated city in the United States, only behind New York. It is located about a third of the way down California’s coast, on the San Francisco Peninsula, which separates the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Its surrounding cities and suburbs—including Berkeley, and Oakland across the Bay, Marin County to the north, and San Jose to the south—collectively make up the San Francisco Bay Area, also just called the “Bay Area” for short.

Originally founded by Spanish colonists in 1776, the small, largely uninhabitable town of San Francisco came briefly under Mexican control, and at the end of the Mexican-American war in 1848, was officially established as part of the U.S. In 1849, the California Gold Rush marked the beginning of San Francisco’s first real wave of citizens, expanding the population 20-fold in just one year. 1850 brought California its statehood, and the appeal of wealth buried in the mountains, as well as the Pacific Railroad’s completion in 1869, brought even more Americans out to San Francisco and the west coast. An influx of Chinese immigrants also settled in San Francisco in the mid-1800s, creating the country’s first Chinatown neighborhood; today it is home to the largest population of Chinese people outside of Asia.

San Francisco—also known by Frisco, S.F., and San Fran-—is famous for its hilly streets covered in colorful Victorian homes, many of which were originally constructed during this period of wealth in the late 1800s. In 1906, however, a massive earthquake struck the city, destroying 75% of the young city’s buildings and killing more than 3,000 people. It remains the deadliest natural disaster in California’s history. It was during the decades following this disaster, as San Francisco was forced to rebuild, that the city as we know it today began to take shape. Reservoirs and aqueducts gave the city vital water infrastructure, tunnels, railways, and bridges allowed for ease of transportation, and one of those structures, completed in 1937, went on to become one of the most recognizable architectural achievements in the world-—the Golden Gate Bridge. Around this time, Alcatraz Island, formerly a military fort, became a maximum security federal prison, housing such infamous criminals as Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly.

Beginning in the 1950s, San Francisco became a hub for the American counterculture. Beat Generation writers, hippies, and hundreds of LGBTQ people called the city home, and it became a critical center for the gay liberation movement of the 1970s and beyond. In the late 1990s, the dot-com boom (and later the social media boom) brought a wave of technology and information start-ups to the San Francisco Bay area, giving rise to the region known as Silicon Valley, which is still host to giant technology companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. The tech industry dominates the Bay Area today, as well as banking institutions and renowned educational institutions. Stunning coastlines, forests, hiking trails, beaches, and parks surround the city, making it a playground for outdoor-lovers who use grab a short-term rental in the city as their home base.