Read this in early 1980s - man meets up with a beautiful girl with equally beautiful friends. They are space tourists who visit disasters across galaxies and who are in town (San Francisco?) to await the catastrophe which is about to occur.


(Since this remains inexplicably without a formal answer despite the comments above, I can only assume that the giants here have intentionally left it for others.)

There is a very good chance that this is a slightly misremembered version of "Vintage Season" by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore. Originally published in the September 1946 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (under the name "Lawrence O'Donnell"), and collected numerous times since then, this story's plot concerns time-traveling tourists who visit the scenes of great catastrophes in (their) past.

The travelers are uniformly depicted as attractive. Per the plot summary from Wikipedia (bold mine):

The story is set in an unnamed American city at about the time of publication. There are several mentions of how beautiful the weather is.

Oliver Wilson is renting an old mansion to three vacationers for the month of May. He wants to get rid of them so he can sell the house to someone who has offered him three times its value, provided the buyer can move in during May. His fiancée, Sue, insists that he arrange for them to leave, so that he can sell the house, giving them enough money for their impending marriage.

The tenants are a man, Omerie Sancisco, and two women, Klia and Kleph Sancisco. They fascinate Oliver with the perfection of their appearance and manners, their strange connoisseur's attitude to everything, and their secretiveness about their origin and about their insistence on that house at that time. Oliver's half-hearted attempts to evict them founder when he becomes attracted to Kleph. The mystery deepens with remarks she lets slip, with the unspectacular but advanced technology of things she has in her room—including a recorded "symphonia" that engages all the senses with imagery of historical disasters—and with the appearance of the would-be buyers, a couple from the same country...

At the end of May, more time travelers visit the house. A meteorite lands nearby, destroying buildings and starting fires—the "spectacle" that the time travelers wanted to end their visit with. Oliver's house survives, as the visitors had already known it would.

It seems likely that the name "Sancisco" (plus references to the great weather) is what makes you think it might have been set in San Francisco.

The entire story can be read online at archive.org, starting on page 54 of the digitized issue.

Obviously, the real credit here goes to Richard, who IDed this first in comments, and who points out that it has also been used as the basis for a movie. As user14111 implies, the story is a great match for your description if one allows for time travelers instead of space travelers.

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  • Good answer. I added info about the pen name because that byline was retained in some anthologies, and people looking for it should know that it's the same story. As usual, roll back if you don't like. Didn't know Frisco was famous for its great weather. Maybe compared with Saskatchewan or Mali. – user14111 May 19 '16 at 5:24
  • "Vintage Season" was dramatized on Sci-Fi Radio and is available at the Internet Archive. – user14111 May 19 '16 at 6:11

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