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Best San Francisco Quotes and Sayings

We’ve lined up some of our favorite San Francisco quotes and sayings from one of our favorite cities.

C’mon, how many cities have named their omnipresent fog? His name is “Karl the Fog.” Check out Karl’s Twitter following, with over 200,000 followers. How great is that?

San Francisco’s influence is seen in literature, movies, and culture. It’s a city that’s made an impact on Americans across the country and visitors from outside the country.

Here are some famous San Francisco quotes and sayings about this beautiful city.

Good San Francisco Quotes

1.) San Francisco has only one drawback – it is hard to leave.
Rudyard Kipling

2.) San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.
Paul Kanter

3.) There may not be a Heaven, but there is San Francisco.
Ashleigh Brilliant

4.) If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life.
William Saroyan

5.) San Francisco is perhaps the most European of all American cities.
Cecil Beaton

San Francisco Quotes and Sayings.

Funny San Francisco Quotes

6.) 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

7.) You know what it is? (It) is a golden handcuff with the key thrown away.
John Steinbeck

8.) 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

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

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

11.) Anyone who doesn’t have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me.
Anthony Bourdain

You might like our Sunset Quotes.

San Francisco quotes and sayings image

City by the Bay Sayings

12.) 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

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

14.) Los Angeles? That’s just a big parking lot where you buy a hamburger for the trip to San Francisco.
John Lennon

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

16.) You wouldn’t think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight there, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes.
Dylan Thomas

SF is hard to leave.

Mark Twain San Francisco Quotes

17.) The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco
Mark Twain

18.) I have always been rather better treated in San Francisco than I actually deserved.
Mark Twain

San Francisco Sayings

19.) Money lives in New York. Power sits in Washington. Freedom sips cappuccino in a sidewalk cafe in San Francisco.
Joe Flower

20.) It’s simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn’t be anywhere else — it’s so beautiful, and there’s that location and the sense of the free spirit. Who couldn’t become ravenous in such a place?
Julia Child

21.) 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

22.) East is East, and West is San Francisco.
O. Henry

23.) 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

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

Most European US City quote.

SF Quotes

25.) Suddenly, we reached a height and saw stretched out ahead 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

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.) The morning, like all San Francisco mornings, promised spring. In California, the seasons come daily: spring, the dewy mornings covered lightly in gray mist; summer, when the sun burns through and rises directly overhead at midday; afternoon autumns, crisp breezy, when colors show off and the air smells clean into twilight; winter is the night.
Elizabeth Stark 

Frisco Phrases

28.) I can walk down the streets of San Francisco, and here I’m normal.
Robin Williams

29.) To a traveler paying his first visit, it has the interest of a new planet. It ignores the meteorological laws which govern the rest of the world.
Fitz Hugh Ludlow

30.) When you get tired of walking around in San Francisco, you can always lean against it.

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

32.) The Bay Area is so beautiful; I hesitate to preach about heaven while I’m here.
Billy Graham

33.) 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

O. Henry quote on SF.

Heartfelt San Francisco Quotes

34.) 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

35.) 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

SF Sayings

36.) 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

37.) I have seen purer liquors, better segars, finer tobacco, truer guns and pistols, larger dirks and bowie knives, and prettier courtesans here in San Francisco than in any other place I have ever visited.
Hinton Helper

38.) San Francisco beats the world for novelties, but the inventive faculties of her people are exercised on a specialty. Controversy is our forte.
San Francisco Call

39.) Every man should be allowed to love two cities, his own and San Francisco.
Gene Fowler

40.) I prefer a wet San Francisco to a dry Manhattan.
Larry Geraldi

41.) 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

San Francisco – Top Tourist Attractions Video

I left my Heart

42.) It may be Baghdad by the Bay to you, but to me, it’s Resurrection City.
Robert Kennedy

43.) The cool, grey city of love.
George Sterling

44.) I’m just mad for San Francisco. It is like London and Paris stacked on top of each other.

45.) What I like best about San Francisco is San Francisco.
Frank Lloyd

46.) This is the friendliest city in the world.
Joe di Maggio

47.) 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

48.) There are a thousand viewpoints in the viewtiful city.
Herb Caen

49.) The port of San Francisco is a marvel of nature and might well be called the harbor of harbor.
Juan Bautista de Anza

50.) 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 

Inspirational San Francisco Quotes

51.) 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

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

53.) Every morning in San Francisco was a bit like waking up on the edge of the earth: beautiful and damp and wild, full of the strange music people make, open-armed, into the wind.
Elizabeth Percer, author of Anyone who doesn’t have a great time in San Francisco, is pretty much dead to me.

54.) If free speech and individuality are American characteristics, there is no place more American than San Francisco.
Desi del Valle

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

56.) It’s simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn’t be anywhere else.
Julia Child

Golden Gate Quotes

57.) The Golden Gate wasn’t our fault either, but we still put a bridge across it.
Larry Wall

58.) 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

59.) 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

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

61.) 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

62.) Animation had been used only for things like King Kong and the destruction of cities, which was very popular in the 1950s. I got tired of destroying cities – I destroyed New York, I destroyed San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Rome, and Washington. I was looking for a new outlet, and I came across the Sinbad Legends.
Ray Harryhausen

Out West

63.) 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

64.) You can find your way across this country using burger joint 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

65.) Every window in Alcatraz has a view of San Francisco.
Susanna Kaysen

66.) This studio has more suspensions than the Golden Gate Bridge.
Humphrey Bogart on Warner Bros.

San Francisco Instagram Captions

Here are some of the best San Francisco captions we could find.

67.) West Coast, Best Coast.

68.) Golden State of Mind.

69.) Stay golden, San Francisco.

70.) Falling in love, one cable car at a time.

71.) Chillin’ in the San Francisco hills.

72.) Golden Beach. Golden Life.

73.) Happy as a clam at Fisherman’s Wharf.

74.) Sea-sing every moment in San Fran.

San Francisco Slogans

75.) San Francisco: The Golden Gate City.

76.) Sanny Franny.

77.) Baghdad by the Bay.

78.) The City By the Bay.

79.) San Fran – frowned upon by many locals.

80.) Fog City.

81.) San Francisco: Everybody’s Favorite City.

82.) San Francisco: The City That Knows How.

83.) Frisco.

84.) San Francisco: Golden City.

85.) San Fran State of Mind.

Notable San Francisco Quotations

86.) San Francisco is poetry. Even the hills rhyme.
Pat Montandon

87.) A bend reveals a sudden vision of San Francisco in shades of blue, a city in a dream, and I was filled with a tremendous yearning to live in that place of blue hills and blue buildings, though I do live there, I had just left there after breakfast.
Rebecca Solnit

88.) San Francisco, coolest place ever.
Imogen Poots

89.) I grew up in Marin County, north of San Francisco, and in the 1950s and ’60s, it was a natural paradise.
Huey Lewis

90.) I would rather be in San Francisco than just about anywhere on Earth.
Joe Buck

San Francisco is poetry saying.

91.) I’ve always had a connection here in the city from the first day I arrived. I stayed in the city. I made San Francisco my home. (And) I was seen in the offseason at a lot of different functions, and people liked that.
Willie McCovey

92.) I have this insane and unabated longing for San Francisco. I come up there every chance that I get.
Aisha Tyler

93.) 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

94.) 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

95.) San Francisco is exciting, moody, and exhilarating. I even love the muted fogs.
Julie Christie

Short San Francisco Quotes

96.) I am a San-Fan-Cisco.

97.) This is one Hart that you will not leave in San Francisco.
Gary Hart

98.) I prefer a wet San Francisco to a dry Manhattan.
Larry Geraldi

99.) America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.
Tennessee Williams.

100.) There is more grace per square foot in San Francisco than any place on Earth.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

101.) Now there’s a grown-up swinging town.
Frank Sinatra

102.) San Francisco is the friendliest city in the world.
Joe DiMaggio

103.) I left my heart in San Francisco.
Tony Bennet

104.) Every window in Alcatraz has a view of San Francisco.
Susanna Kaysen

105.) Every man should be allowed to love two cities, his own and San Francisco.
Gene Fowler

106.) This city is a point upon a map of fog.
Ambrose Bierce

107.) San Francisco, city of dreaming spires.
Eddie Izzard

Background on the City by the Bay

San Francisco has always been special, whether it’s the weather, the people, its natural beauty, the industries, or anything else about it. It is the city of creativity.

The culture of this city is like no other. Many important men and women have made the Golden City their home because they fell in love with it. And many cherish it as the best city in the world and dream of living here someday. Few do not fall for the City the first time they visit it.

By Mike O’Halloran

Mike is the founder and editor of Greeting Card Poet.

Extra Extra

If you know any other San Francisco quotes, sayings, or slogans you’d like to see included, please send them our way via the Contact page. Thanks!

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