Looking for the best San Francisco Quotes and San Fran Captions for Instagram or social-media? Look no further, as I have the ultimate list of quotes about San Francisco that are guaranteed to inspire your next adventure! 

When thinking of San Francisco, the first image to pop into most of our heads is its iconic landmark – the Golden Gate Bridge. Also known as the Golden city, it’s a city that leaves an unforgettable impression, not only on its citizens but also its visitors.

Seen as a haven for open minds and free spirits, San Francisco welcomes people from all over to experience its world-class food and breathtaking scenery. Though this can at times be obstructed by its omnipresent fog.

So next time you are contemplating where you should head to next – think San Francisco. The culture of this city is like no other, making it a worthwhile experience. Here are some of the best San Francisco quotes and sayings about the beautiful city to get you in the right mood.

San Francisco Quotes


Famous Quotes About San Francisco

The city has a certain cool vibe and energy to it, making it a popular destination for both Americans and international travelers for decades. 

Listed here are some of the most well-known sayings and quotes about San Francisco – the friendly city.

1) “San Francisco has only one drawback – ’tis hard to leave”. – Rudyard Kipling

2) “I’m proud to have been a Yankee. But I have found more happiness and contentment since I came back home to San Francisco than any man has a right to deserve. This is the friendliest city in the world.” – Joe di Maggio

3) “San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.” – Paul Kanter

4) “San Francisco is perhaps the most European of all American cities.” – Cecil Beaton

5) “It’s the grandest city I saw in America.  If everyone acted as the San Franciscans did, there would be hope for settlement of the world’s difficulties.” – Frol Zozlov

6) “You can go one block to the next in San Francisco and get a completely different opinion of what the issue is.” – Don Johnson

7) “When I was in my late 30s, I lit a figure on fire on Baker Beach in San Francisco. It was me, a friend, and maybe eight people, tops. There wasn’t any premeditation to it at all. It was really just a product of San Franciscan bohemian milieu.” – Larry Harvey, Burning Man founder

8) “There may not be a Heaven, but there is San Francisco.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

9) “If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life.” – William Saroyan

10) “I have always been rather better treated in San Francisco than I actually deserved.” – Mark Twain

11) “San Francisco is one of the great cultural plateaus of the world — one of the really urbane communities in the United States — one of the truly cosmopolitan places and for many, many years, it always has had a warm welcome for human beings from all over the world.” – Duke Ellington

12) “I love this city. If I am elected, I’ll move the White House to San Francisco. Everybody’s so friendly.” – Robert Kennedy

13) “Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible.” – Walter Cronkite

14) “I can walk down the streets of San Francisco, and here I’m normal.” – Robin Williams

15) “The extreme geniality of San Francisco’s economic, intellectual, and political climate makes it the most varied and challenging city in the United States.” – James Michener

16) “Every man should be allowed to love two cities, his own and San Francisco.” – Gene Fowler

17) “I think San Francisco is the best place in the whole world for an easy life.” – Imogen Cunningham

18) “San Francisco is a complex town that lets you be yourself, that accepts you even if your family doesn’t. No matter how uncomfortable your own skin feels, you can move to this city, discover who you really are, and plant your feet on the ground.” – Jack Boulware

19) “Where else but in San Francisco would characters such as Sister Boom-Boom, a transvestite who dresses in a miniskirted nun’s habit, and a punk rocker named Jello Biafra run for seats on the Board of Supervisors? And where else would 75,000 runners dress like centipedes, gorillas, and six packs of beer to participate in the ‘moving masquerade ball’ otherwise known as the Bay to Breakers Race?” – JoAnne Davidson

20) “What I like best about San Francisco is San Francisco.” – Frank Lloyd

21) “San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the world…I would probably rank it at the top or near the top. It’s small but photogenic and has layers…You never have problems finding great angles that people have never done.” – Ang Lee

22) “I’m just mad for San Francisco. It is like London and Paris stacked on top of each other.” – Twiggy

23) “You wouldn’t think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight here, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes. Beautiful Chinatown. Every race in the world. The sardine fleets sailing out. The little cable-cars whizzing down The City hills… And all the people are open and friendly.” – Dylan Thomas

24) “There is no logic to San Francisco generally, a city built with putty and pipe cleaners, rubber cement and colored construction paper. Its the work of fairies, elves, and happy children with new crayons.” – Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

25) “San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.” – William Saroyan

26) “I don’t think San Francisco needs defending. I never meet anyone who doesn’t love the place, Americans, or others.” – Doris Lessing

27) “Perpetual spring, the flare of adventure in the blood, the impulse of men who packed Virgil with their bean-bags on the overland journey, conspired to make San Francisco a city of artists.” – William Henry Irwin

28) “Chicago is the great American city, New York is one of the capitals of the world, and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic; San Francisco is a lady.” –  Norman Mailer

29) “Once I knew the city very well, spent my attic days there, while others were being a lost generation in Paris, I fledged in San Francisco, climbed its hills, slept in its parks, worked on its docks, marched and shouted in its revolts… It had been kind to me in the days of my poverty and it did not resent my temporary solvency.” – John Steinbeck

30) “It is a rich, lusty city, rippling with people, with movement, with girls in summer dresses, with flowers, with color; one of the great and wonderful cities of the world, the great seaport of the Pacific now, one of the great naval bases. Through it have poured a million men… And the sea is always just on the other side of those hills.” – James Marlow

31) “As the years went by, San Francisco became not only my city but also my way of life. From the time I was a boy, I wanted to live in a place like my father’s theater world, a magic box filled with lavishly made-up women, extravagant gay men, and other larger-than-life characters. I wanted a world that could encompass all worlds. I found something close to it in this soft-lit city in the ocean mists.” – David Talbot, Season of the Witch

32) “Cities are like gentlemen, they are born, not made.  You are either a city, or you are not, size has nothing to do with it. I bet San Francisco was a city from the very first time it had a dozen settlers.” – Will Rogers

San Francisco Quotes Puns


Funny Quotes About San Francisco

There are thousands of SF quotes out there, some inspiring, some a little dark, and some that have a great sense of humor to them. These quotes are sure to get a smile out of you and hopefully even a chuckle.  

33) “The Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I’m here.” – Billy Graham

34) “One day if I go to heaven … I’ll look around and say, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.’” – Herb Caen

35) “You are fortunate to live here. If I were your President, I would levy a tax on you for living in San Francisco!” – Mikhail Gorbachev

36) “I prefer a wet San Francisco to a dry Manhattan.” – Larry Geraldi

37) “It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco.” – Oscar Wilde

38) “San Francisco was where the social hemorrhaging was showing up. San Francisco was where the missing children were gathering and calling themselves ‘hippies.'” – Joan Didion

39) “San Francisco is a city where people are never more abroad than when they are at home.” – Benjamin F. Taylor

40) “Anyone who doesn’t have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me. You go there as a snarky New Yorker thinking it’s politically correct, it’s crunchy granola, it’s vegetarian, and it surprises you every time. It’s a two-fisted drinking town, a carnivorous meat-eating town, it’s dirty and nasty and wonderful.” – Anthony Bourdain

41) “San Francisco is really fun and liberal, and it’s my kind of politics. It’s like being Jewish in front of Jewish people.” – Elayne Boosler

42) “I always see about six scuffles a night when I come to San Francisco. That’s one of the town’s charms.” – Errol Flynn

43) “We’re crazy about this city. First time we came here, we walked the streets all day, all over town and nobody hassled us. People smiled, friendly-like, and we knew we could live here. Los Angeles? That’s just a big parking lot where you buy a hamburger for a trip to San Francisco. And the beautiful old houses and the strange light. We’ve never been in a city with light like this. We sit in our hotel room for hours, watching the fog come in, the light change.” – John Lennon

44) “San Francisco is a mad city – inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people whose women are of remarkable beauty.” – Rudyard Kipling

45) “It is a good thing the early settlers landed on the east coast… if they’d landed in San Francisco, the rest of the country would still be uninhabited.” – Herbert Mye

46) “I was married once in San Francisco. I haven’t seen her for many years. The great earthquake and fire in 1906 destroyed the marriage certificate. There’s no legal proof. Which means that earthquakes aren’t always bad.” – W.C. Fields

47) “As many of you know, I came from San Francisco. We don’t have a lot of farms there. Well, we do have one  it’s a mushroom farm, so you know what that means.” – Nancy Pelosi

Funny San Francisco Quotes


San Francisco Sayings

The city and its beautiful scenery have made its way into several movies and TV shows. Creating expressions and quotes about San Francisco and its people that have stuck around. Keep reading and enjoy these San Fran sayings.

48) “Somehow the great cities of America have taken their places in a mythology that shapes their destiny: Money lives in New York. Power sits in Washington. Freedom sips cappuccino in a sidewalk café in San Francisco.” – Joe Flower

49) “Now there’s a grown-up swinging town.” – Frank Sinatra

50) “San Francisco is the only city I can think of that can survive all the things you people are doing to it and still look beautiful.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

51) “East is East, and West is San Francisco.” – O. Henry

52) “I was appalled that the San Francisco ethic [of the 1960s] didn’t mushroom and envelop the whole world into this loving community of acid freaks. I was very naive.” – Grace Slick

53) “San Franciscans are very proud of their city, and they should be.  It’s the most beautiful place in the world.” – Robert Redford

54) “When you get tired of walking around in San Francisco, you can always lean against it.” – Unknown

Quotes about the Golden Gate Bridge


Golden Gate Bridge Quotes

Officially opened on May 27th, 1937 the Golden Gate Bridge is a one-mile-wide (1.6 km) suspension bridge connecting the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay.

This iconic, beautiful, and well-photographed bridge doesn’t need more of an introduction. It’s here on its own merit and deserves its own section when mentioning quotes about San Francisco.

55) “The Golden Gate wasn’t our fault either, but we still put a bridge across it.” – Larry Wal

56) “The Golden Gate Bridge’s daily strip tease from enveloping stoles of mist to full frontal glory is still the most provocative show in town.” – Mary Moore Mason

57) “Such was life in the Golden Gate: / Gold dusted all we drank and ate, / And I was one of the children told, / ‘We all must eat our peck of gold.’” – Robert Frost

58) “San Francisco! City of dreaming spires, people live here… Golden Gate Bridge, ahh the Romans came here.” – Eddie Izzard

59) “The Golden Gate Bridge should have a long bungee cord for people who aren’t quite ready to commit suicide but want to get in a little practice.” – George Carlin

60) “Drafting is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. The closer you get to the end, the more you start to worry about the beginning.” – Peter James

61) “You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars….We have munched Bridge burgers in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge and Cable burgers hard by the Golden Gate, Dixie burgers in the sunny South, and Yankee Doodle burgers in the North. We had a Capitol Burger – guess where. And so help us, in the inner courtyard of the Pentagon, a Penta burger.” – Charles Kuralt

62) “This studio has more suspensions than the Golden Gate Bridge.” – Humphrey Bogart on Warner Bros

San Francisco Slogans and Captions


San Francisco Slogans & Captions

Have an amazing picture to post to Instagram but struggling to think of a caption? Find inspiration here to help create the caption for your next post.

63) San Francisco is always a good idea

64) Golden Gate Bridge. Golden beach. Golden life

65) Fog City

66) Took bae to San Fran for the day

67) The City By the Bay

68) Oh how I’ve mist you, Golden Gate Bridge

69) San Francisco: Everybody’s Favorite City

70) Sea-sing every moment in San Fran

71) San Francisco: The City that Knows How

72) In that San Fran state of mind

Instagram Captions for San Francisco


San Francisco Fog Quotes

Fog is a common weather phenomenon in the San Francisco bay area – often obstructing the view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Did you know the city has named their fog? His name is Karl – check out his twitter page Karl the Fog.

This environmental sensation has been used as inspiration for years by writers, creating beautiful pieces of work which you can read below. 

73) “No other American city has undergone such an earth-shaking cultural shift in such a short span. Today San Francisco is seen as the ‘Left Coast City’, the wild, frontier outpost of the American Dream… San Francisco values did not come into the world with flowers in their hair; they were born howling, in blood and strife… One of San Francisco’s more flowery laureates anointed it ‘the cool gray city of love.’ But the people who cling to its hills and hollows and know its mercurial temperament, the sudden juggernaut of sea fog and wind that can shroud the sun and chill the soul, recognize San Francisco as a rougher beast.” – David Talbot, Season of the Witch

74) “A city is where you can sign a petition, boo the chief justice, fish off a pier, gape at a hippopotamus, buy a flower at the corner, or get a good hamburger or a bad girl at 4 a.m. A city is where sirens make white streaks of sound in the sky and foghorns speak dark grays — San Francisco is such a city.” – Herb Caen

75) “Fog spilled from the heights of San Francisco like the liquid it almost was. On better days it spread across the bay and took over Oakland street by street, a thing you saw coming, a change you watched happening to you, a season on the move. Where it encountered redwoods, the most local of rains fell. Where it found open space, its weightless pale passage seemed both endless and like the end of all things. It was a temporary sadness, the more beautiful for being sad, the more precious for being temporary. It was the slow song in minor that the rock-and-roll sun then chased away.” – Jonathan Franzen, Purity

76) “I never dreamed I’d like any city as well as London. San Francisco is exciting, moody, exhilarating. I even love the muted fogs.” – Julie Christie

77) “The changing light / at San Francisco / is none of your East Coast light / none of your / pearly light of Paris / The light of San Francisco / is a sea light / an island light / And the light of fog / blanketing the hills / drifting in at night / through the Golden Gate / to lie on the city at dawn.” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

78) “It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

San Francisco Sayings


Did I Miss Any San Fran Quotes?

The list of quotes about the Bay Area is honestly infinite. As this creative haven is loved by so many people, both locals and visitors, the list of sayings and quotes is bound to keep growing. If you think I’ve missed a quote that shows off San Francisco, feel free to contact me via email or social media. I’ll do my best to add it to the list!

How can you not be inspired to visit the Golden City after reading all these great quotes and sayings? For those needing some help on choosing the right place to stay, check out the best Airbnbs in San Francisco to help make your trip memorable.

San Francisco Song Lyrics


Looking for some more travel inspiration or fun quotes?

I’ve got loads of articles about California and would love for you to take a look at a few of my favorite blogs below! And as always, if you ever have any questions about visiting California, feel free to reach out to me on social media and I’d be happy to help any way I can! 

Famous Quotes about San Francisco


Thanks for reading my list of San Francisco Quotes!

Share these SF Quotes with your Bay Area lovin crew!

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