San Francisco is located in central coastal
California on San Francisco Bay. It is best known for the Golden
Gate Bridge and the traditional cable cars operating on its steep
hillsides. The city was founded in 1776 and the area has an urban population
of more than 7 million. The Ohlone were inhabiting the bay area when
the Spanish arrived in 1769. San Francisco experienced a population
boom during the California Gold Rush of 1849 when the city became the
arrival point for speculators from all over the world. The 1906 San
Francisco earthquake is among the worst natural disasters in US history.
The quake and the ensuing fires destroyed most of the city. During
the 1960s the Haight-Ashbury area was a well known destination for
hippies. Today San Francisco is a very liberal city and LGBT flags
are displayed prominently in support of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and
transgender, especially along Castro Street.
best time to visit San Francisco for good weather is the summer. Its
weather is a cool Mediterranean climate. Highs in the summer are
around 68F (20C) and lows are 55F (13C) with very little rainfall.
Winters highs are around 60F (16C) with a rainy season from November to
March. The rainy season starts in October and lasts past April,
with average rainfall of about 4 inches / month during this period. The catch phrase "The coldest winter I ever
spent was a summer in San Francisco" is often attributed to Mark
Twain, but he never actually said it.
Ride a cable car
- nothing beats the experience of hopping on and hanging out the
side. It's a chance for old timers to remember the days when
cars didn't have seat belts and you moved about unrestricted. Catch the Bay
Area Rapid Transit (BART) from San Francisco International Airport
and get off at the Powell Street Station, where you can connect with a
cable car to Fisherman's Wharf. Union Square and the theater district
are a couple blocks from the Powell Street Station, for those who
would rather shop instead.
Golden Gate Bridge
at the south end of the bridge and the Golden Gate National Recreation
Area at the north end with views back to the bridge and the city.
Lombard Street - drive or walk down Russian Hill on
this twisting, turning one-way street.
the Transamerica Pyramid - the most
photographed building in the city.
Alcatraz - Catch
a ferry from Pier 33 to the island known as "the Rock",
where Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly were incarcerated. Today
the penitentiary is closed and the site is a tourist attraction.
The Painted Ladies - Victorian housing with a
city view backdrop. Easily viewed from Alamo Square Park.
Chinatown - the largest of its kind.
North Beach - for Italian food, the Saints Peter
& Paul Church and the
Coit Tower with
its murals and its city views. Then descend all 400 steps of the
Stairs of Telegraph Hill and watch for wild parrots on the way down.
Visit the famous hills of San Francisco - the mansions
of Nob Hill, the older downtown area on Russian Hill,
the wealthy district of Pacific Heights, the Stairs of Telegraph
Hill, the city views from Twin Peaks and the cross on top
of Mount Davidson.
DoubleTree by Hilton SFO Airport - popular with many
airlines for layovers. Book a rental car with Enterprise -
Burlingame to save on airport rental rates and they will pick up and
deliver you to the DoubleTree.