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San Francisco

San Francisco truly has something for everyone. The city of an approximate area of only 7 x 7 miles has a colorful history: starting with its Spanish history in the 18th century, followed by the Gold Rush in 1849 and the influx of Chinese immigrants forming Chinatown as well as an integral element of San Francisco's unique culture. The city later became famous as "the Paris of the West" with its colorfully painted Victorian houses and cable cars that today are icons of the "City by the Bay". An earthquake of an estimated 7.8 magnitude devastated the city in 1906. In the 20th century the beatnik poets, thinkers and writers met in the city's North Beach district, which then evolved into the Hippie Generation, Flower Power and the decade of Counterculture. Today, San Francisco experiences more of a "Cyberculture" with many technology and startup companies flocking into the city and the nearby Silicon Valley.

Highlights of the city are its unique and distinct neighborhoods, such as:


  • Union Square, the city's theater district, cultural center and major shopping area, with the largest concentration of major hotels

  • Chinatown with its unique architecture and many wonderful shops


  • North Beach with its rich Italian heritage, an array of cabarets, coffeehouses and  restaurants

  • tranquil and upscale Nob Hill, with superb views of the Bay and historic hotels

  • the waterfront marketplace Fisherman's Wharf with its many souvenir shops and the famous sea lions

  • Alcatraz Island with its storied history as site of a lighthouse, US fort, infamous federal prison and the occupation by Indians of All Tribes.

  • its many world-famous museums (among others the SF MOMA, de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium to name just a few)

  • and all kinds of restaurants offering a rich palette of cuisines and world-class standards.

Nearby destinations for day excursions are:

  • The former fishing village Sausalito and redwood forest Muir Woods National Monument

  • the Napa and Sonoma Valley wine-growing regions

  • the Silicon Valley for company visits at startup and global technology companies

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