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San Francisco, California

 


A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its steep rolling hills, its unique Mediterranean but foggy climate, its expansive natural areas, and its eclectic mix of architecture and landmarks including the iconic Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, the Coit Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid.
 

With 50 hills, there are many viewpoints from which to see the waterfront, bridges, towers, steep alleys and residential neighborhoods for which San Francisco is famous.

The San Francisco Bay Area includes nine counties and the cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Santa Clara and San Mateo.
 

As a result of the Gold Rush boom, about 48000 homes built in the Victorian or Edwardian styles were erected in San Francisco between 1849 and 1915.

A popular tourist activity is to ride one of the restored cable cars that run along the Powell-Hyde, the Powell-Mason or the California-Van Ness Lines which provide views of the main scenic highlights of the city.
 

The Transamerica Pyramid is 48 stories tall and visible from all points of the city. At its base is a park with a redwood trees, a pond and several bronze sculptures.

During the Christmas season, remarkable art installations were on display, and an ice skating rink was set up in Union Square.

 

San Francisco has one of the oldest and most established Chinatowns in North America with characteristic temples, shops, and eateries.

 

Fisherman's Wharf  on San Francisco's northern waterfront is the city's most popular tourist  area with its Pier 39 shopping and dining areas, Ghirardelli Square, the historic ships at Hyde Street Pier and other attractions.
 

Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay was the site of a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison and a federal maximum security prison.
 

A colony of boisterous sea lions resides at the K-Dock of Pier 39, site of an interpretive center operated by Aquarium of the Bay.

In one massive space, Golden Gate Park features playgrounds, a Japanese Tea Garden, a Victorian Conservatory, and tulip gardens.
 

Within Golden Gate Park are impressive museums such as the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Science.

The San Francisco City Hall is a Beaux-Arts monument epitomizing the American Renaissance of 1880 to 1920.
 

The restored 1898 Ferry Building on the Embarcadero now houses gourmet food vendors.

Coit Tower rising from Telegraph Hill has been an emblem of San Francisco since it was built in 1933.

San Francisco emblematic structures offer an enticing blend of architectural styles with their associated cultural significance.
 

Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio is home to Fort Point and the Walt Disney Family Museum. (Mike Peel, Wikimedia Commons)

The University of California Berkeley is considered the birthplace of the 1960s Free Speech movement. Surrounding the campus are a number of theaters, museums and gardens.
 

A scenic bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge or a ferry ride across the Golden Gate Strait lies Sausalito, a quaint town known for its houseboat enclaves and artisanal offerings.

About an hour's drive north of San Francisco lies the Napa Valley, known for its hundreds of vineyards and the Wine Train, a vintage locomotive and travelling restaurant running through the valley. (oleg alexandrov, Wikimedia Commons)
 

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This site was last updated 08/16/21