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

Golden Gate Bridge and skyline
Golden Gate Bridge and skyline

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Scott Chernis

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Traditional cable car
Traditional cable car

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Jack Hollingsworth

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Gala dinner in Francisco's City Hall
Gala dinner in Francisco's City Hall

© Frank Jang

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San Francisco skyline at dusk
San Francisco skyline at dusk

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Can Balcioglu

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Skyline at sunset
Skyline at sunset
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View from Twin Peaks
View from Twin Peaks
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High Above San Francisco
High Above San Francisco
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Historic San Francisco City Hall
Historic San Francisco City Hall

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Beto Lopez

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Cliff House near Ocean Beach
Cliff House near Ocean Beach

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Scott Chernis

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Famous sea lions at Pier 39
Famous sea lions at Pier 39

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Jack Hollingsworth

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AT&T Park
AT&T Park

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Scott Chernis

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Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island

© San Francisco Travel Association

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Alamo Square
Alamo Square

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Scott Chernis

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Ferry building and farmer's market
Ferry building and farmer's market

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Scott Chernis

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Chinatown
Chinatown

© San Francisco Travel Association photo by Scott Chernis

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Chinatown, San Francisco
Chinatown, San Francisco
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de Young Museum
de Young Museum

© San Francisco Travel Association

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Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park  © San Francisco Travel Association photo by Jack Hollingswo
Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park © San Francisco Travel Association photo by Jack Hollingswo
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AT&T Park baseball stadium, San Francisco
AT&T Park baseball stadium, San Francisco
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North Beach neighbourhood, San Francisco  © San Francisco Travel Association photo by Can Balcioglu
North Beach neighbourhood, San Francisco © San Francisco Travel Association photo by Can Balcioglu
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Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument
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