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North America » United States » San Francisco

Who cares about a little fog (okay, a lot of fog) when there’s so much to do in San Francisco? By day, explore Fisherman’s Wharf and the Aquarium of the Bay, ride a cable car, and stroll around the Presidio; by night, have a fabulous dinner (at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a tiny place in Chinatown), then hit some of the best clubs on the West Coast.

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San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the leading financial and cultural center of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. The only consolidated city-county in California, San Francisco encompasses a land area of about 46.9 square miles (121 km2) on the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, giving it a density of about 17,179 people per square mile (6,632 people per km2). It is the most densely settled large city (population greater than 200,000) in the state of California and the second-most densely populated major city in the United States after New York City. San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California, after Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, and the 14th most populous city in the United States—with a population of 805,235 as of the 2010 Census. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of the larger San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area, with a population of 7.6 million.


Today, San Francisco is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and is renowned for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former prison on Alcatraz Island, and its Chinatown district. It is also a primary banking and finance center.





A popular quote incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain is "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". San Francisco's climate is characteristic of the cool-summer Mediterranean climate of California’s coast, "generally characterized by moist mild winters and dry summers". Since it is surrounded on three sides by water, San Francisco's weather is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean, which moderate temperature swings and produce a remarkably mild year-round climate with little seasonal temperature variation.


Among major U.S. cities, San Francisco has the coldest daily mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures for June, July, and August. During the summer, rising hot air in California's interior valleys creates a low pressure area that draws winds from the North Pacific High through the Golden Gate, which creates the city's characteristic cool winds and fog. The fog is less pronounced in eastern neighborhoods and during the late summer and early fall, which is the warmest time of the year.



Things to do and visit


1. Marrakech Magic Theater: n uproarious one-of-a-kind close-up show in an intimate, historic setting.Featuring the comedy and classical magic of San Francisco Magician Peter Morrison.Have an experience to last a lifetime.At The Marrakech Magic Theater, cherished memories are made during Peter Morrison's unique comedy and magic experience.


2. Lands End: Category: Hiking Trails - Series of hiking trails that connect the Legion of Honor with the Golden Gate Bridge.


3. Marin Headlands: Category: State Parks; Nature/ Wildlife Areas - Located at the Point Bonita Lighthouse, these headlands offer a suspension bridge and hiking trail.


4. Golden Gate Bridge: Category: Bridges - The Golden Gate Bridge is not the oldest suspension bridge nor the newest.  It is no longer the tallest or the highest.


5. San Francisco Magic Show: Category: Performances - Owner description: San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39 proudly presents “The San Francisco Magic Show” at the newly remodeled 270 seat Bay Theater, starring Las Vegas Comedy Magician Timothy Noonan.


6. Land's End Trail: Category: Hiking Trails - Owner description: An easy three-mile walk past Sutro Baths, the Legion of Honor Museum, and along cliffs with beautiful views of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge.


7. San Francisco Opera: Category: Operas - Opera season runs September through November.  Generally a dozen Operas are staged each season, running in repertory.


8. Palace of Fine Arts: Category: Art Museums - he Palace of Fine Arts was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Expo, which San Francisco hosted.  It was built to have the feel of an overgrown Roman ruin, and they had not built it to last as they had expected to tear it down once the Exposition was over.


9. San Francisco Symphony: Category: Symphonies - Owner description: Presents and performs over 220 concerts annually, from September through July. In 2011-12 celebrates its 100th centennial season- learn more at our website.


10. Grace Cathedral: Category: Religious Sites - Owner description: Grace Cathedral is home to a community where the best of Episcopal tradition courageously embraces innovation and open-minded conversation.



Restaurants and bars


  * Kokkari Estiatorio: Price: $25 - $80, Cuisines: Greek, Mediterranean, Seafood

  * Tony's Pizza Napoletana: Price: $20 - $25, Cuisines: Italian, Pizza, Pizza & Pasta

  * Nopa: Price: $30, Cuisines: Mediterranean, Californian

  * La Mar Cebicheria Peruana: Price: $25 - $100, Cuisines: Peruvian

  * Betelnut Pejiu Wu: Price: $31 - $40, Cuisines: Asian, Pacific Rim

  * Scala's Bistro: Price: $12 - $30, Cuisines: American, French, Italian, Bistro

  * Tropisueno: Price: $15 - $20, Cuisines: Mexican

  * Buena Vista Cafe: Cuisines: American, Delicatessen, Hamburgers, Seafood, Café

  * Slanted Door: Price: $9 - $50, Cuisines: Vietnamese