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San Francisco is a peninsula washed by the Pacific Ocean. It is said to be the crossroads to everywhere, with 16 million visitors every year. San Francisco’s charm lies in its neighborhoods, which give the city its utter uniqueness. Union Square is in the heart of the city and the hub of the shopping district. North Beach is known for its Italian heritage, bakeries and restaurants. The Marina District has some of the most elegant homes in San Francisco, and the waterfront is where shopping and dining are at their best. The Haight, famous for the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets, is the location of former homes of Counterculture icons like the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. Unique shops, music, bookstores and cafés line many of the Haight’s streets. Alamo Square is best known for the beautiful turn-of-the century Victorian homes called the "Painted Ladies." SoMa (South of Market) includes unique nightclubs, restaurants and museums. The Castro District has the highest concentration of gay/lesbian population of any city in America. Steep streets and brightly painted Victorian houses, imaginative boutiques and bars, and the largest Gay Pride Parade are found in this area. Yerba Buena Gardens is the cultural heart of the city, where community, entertainment, arts and pop culture come together. San Francisco’s climate is influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean. Days are generally cool year-round, and summer days are often foggy in the afternoon. Average summer temperatures range from 59-79ºF (15-24ºC) and winter from 50-59ºF (10-15ºC).
San Francisco is a diverse destination, encompassing nature, history, art, science and some of the most beautiful scenery along the West Coast of the United States. Pop culture and old traditions are neatly packed into this one fabulous city. Wander around the diverse neighborhoods, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, ride the cable cars and explore everything San Francisco has to offer.
With over 3,300 restaurants, San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world for dining. Food from every corner of the world can be found here, from Afghan to Tibetan, Bolivian to Russian. From the small corner cafés to elegant four-star restaurants, there is something for everyone. San Francisco Sourdough Bread and Dungeness Crab are two "absolute musts" for visitors to try and enjoy. Furthermore, San Francisco’s close proximity to the Napa-Sonoma wine country ensures the availability of excellent California wines.
The bar scene in San Francisco is as varied as the city itself. From wine and champagne lounges to rocking sports bars, finding one to fit any personality is easy. Mission District is great for bar hopping and North Beach for hideaway bars. The nightlife rocks in San Francisco and, like much in the city, nightlife varies from district to district: SoMa for hip-hop, Marina District for more elegant spots, and North Beach for lots of neon lights.
Sometimes, it is not so much what you are shopping for but where you are shopping that matters– nothing could be truer of San Francisco. From outlet malls and department stores to trendy high-end boutiques, there are plenty of choices to satisfy any shopper's taste.
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