More songs may have been sang about this town than any other. It has enchanted writers from Mark Twain to Jack Kerouac with its charm. Like a siren beckoning ships, this town has called young and old to come and share in the San Francisco experience. The music, the art, even the food leave a mark on the people who pass through the golden gate. It has always drawn people with the promise of some exotic adventure. See what waits for you.
The city’s attractions are dispersed around the city as the earthquake of 1906 destroyed much of the city. Each distinct neighborhood from the Mission to Chinatown has its own distinct flavor. As such, it is a great town for walking and self-discovery. And while driving in the city takes some practice, the mass transit system in the bay area makes it easy to get around town.
The city’s history is intertwined with the bay and many of the major connections are connected to it. The Golden Gate Bridge engulfed in fog is the most recognizable landmark in the city and possibly the most photographed bridge in the world. The bridge has walkways on both sides for pedestrians and bikes. There are three beautiful parks within walking distance of the bridge. On the south side of the bridge you will find the former army base, the Presidio. Now a public park, it contains the Walt Disney Museum and the Palace of Fine Art, the most popular monuments in town. To the west of the Presidio is Lands End, a small park used for hiking which contains the remains of several shipwrecks and the ruins of an old bath house. Just south of the Lands End is Golden Gate Park. The rectangular oasis is the fifth most visited park in the country. It’s a neoclassic music concourse is a popular venue for free concerts. Other attractions at the park include the Academy of Science,the De Young Art Museum and the botanical gardens with the conservatory of flowers. Many people are drawn to a small island in the bay. Alcatraz Island was home to an infamous federal prison until it was closed in 1963. The island has been taken over by the National Park Service. The park service has tours of the prison which can be reached by ferry from Pier 33 near Fisherman’s Wharf.
The city has a vibrant cultural life with the War Memorial and Performing Art Center being home to the city’s symphony, ballet and opera. The Fillmore West is an iconic venue for rock and roll and considered the birthplace of the San Francisco Sound. The city has many theater companies with the American Conservatory Theater being the most famous. 2016 will be celebrated with the reopening of the museum of modern art (SFMONA) with twice the size as before. You will also find that street performing is taken to a new level in town with everything from torch singers to fire jugglers. The Fringe celebration held right after Labor Day celebrates the city‘s bohemian lifestyle with artistic experimentation.
The city has several professional sports franchises including the MLB Giants who play their games at AT&T Park. With it temperate climate, the city is perfect for outdoor activities 365 days a year. San Fran has more than 200 miles of bike paths through the city. The bay offers opportunity for kayaking diving, and sailing among other activities. Ocean Beach is known for its monster waves and draws surfers from around the world. Fort Funston is considered one of the best places in the world for hang gliding. For those looking for a day trip around the city, California’s famous wine country is close by with an endless number of wineries to savor.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Foodies pray to go to San Fran when they die. Whatever type of cuisine you are looking for, you’ll find it here. As with everything else, cooking in this town is on the cutting edge where nothing but the best will do. Eating local and organic was the norm here before it was cool. San Fran is the home of the original sourdough, and surprise, the fortune cookie. You’ll find a passion for hometown favorites like Mission burritos and Anchor Steam Beer. The town is known for its upscale dining and many of the high-end restaurants can be found in the Marina or downtown. Castro and the Mission are the favorites for clubbing or having a drink with friends.
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