This year, San Francisco was home to one of the largest sailing racing in the world, the America's Cup. This prestigious race included several high profile events, many of them held on the San Francisco Bay.
The first event was in February and the season wrapped up with the San Francisco Americas Cup 2013 Finals in September. It's was one of the best times to get a glimpse at this historical competition.
The event drew hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout the year.
This year's finals took place in September. They drew a large crowd as Oracle Team USA tried to defend their title against Emirates Team New Zealand.
Emirates Team New Zealand pulled out an early lead and had just one more race to win to capture the title. In a historic effort, Oracle Team USA came from behind to win this year's 34th America's Cup.
It was a best of 17 series and the first team to 9 wins. However, due to penalties, the Oracle Team USA had to win 11 races in order to reclaim the title.
The final results were Oracle Team USA 9 and Emirates Team New Zealand 8.
Because the entire race is being held on the San Francisco Bay, there are several ways to catch the action live. You can watch the race aboard a bay cruise or catch it for free from several spots around the bay.
Get close to the action on one of these Hornblower America's Cup Cruises. This is THE best way to see the race. All the tickets for these cruises are currently selling for up to half price their full retail value. Here are the cruises available and what you can expect from each one.
*Additional fees may apply
Here are just a few recommendations on where you can catch the America's Cup races this year. The arrows on the map below outline the main racing area.
The numbers on the map highlight some great places to catch the action. Below the map, you will find details on each one of these options.
You can also grab a premium seat at the finish line at the America's Cup Pavilion. These tickets are pricey, but available for several of the finals days in September.
This is another great place to get a look at the winner of this year's America's Cup.
I highly recommend booking your hotel as early as possible if you are visiting San Francisco in July, August or September. Rates will skyrocket for the San Francisco Americas Cup 2013 Finals in September and rooms will sell out quickly.
There aren't many hotels where you can directly see the race. The only one that would have some great views is the Fairmont Heritage Place in Fishermans Wharf. It's right up the hill from Aquatic Park.
Each room has a balcony in the back with views of the bay. If you are set on booking this hotel for the San Francisco Americas Cup 2013, then I'd call to confirm your room placement to ensure you can see it from your balcony.
Other great places to stay in the city for easy access to this event are Fishermans Wharf and the Marina. If you are only able to book in another neighborhood, you can easily use public transportation to get to the waterfront.
Here are several hotel recommendations by budget, location and amenities.
To add even more excitement to this year's event, you will find more than a dozen outdoor concerts this summer at the America's Cup Pavilion. The series kicks off on Friday, May 31 with Imagine Dragons. The final concerts will take place in September during the final racing days.
Several bands have already been announced, but more will be added soon. Here is the current list of outdoor concerts planned here this summer.