Choose the city’s wavy side
San Francisco’s hotels cluster downtown. But there’s something to be said for a stay on the city’s saltier, breezier, and less-known Pacific Ocean edge. Out here, a room at the Ocean Park Motel gets you in with the wetsuit-wearing, wave-riding crowd at Ocean Beach, famously foggy in summer but warm and sunny come September.
The 1930s modern motel has a pretty courtyard and (in many rooms) cute kitchens—all at a reasonable price, especially for the city. And it takes dogs (from $10/night), which is handy because Ocean Beach is dog heaven. From $135; 415/566-7020. –P.F.