San Francisco

United States

City description

Springing to life during the famous California gold rush of 1848, San Francisco is renowned for its relaxed cosmopolitan lifestyle and awe-inspiring natural landscape. Often romantically shrouded in cloud, the Golden Gate Bridge remains an icon of the city and an emblem of its pioneering spirit, towering over the affectionately named “backyard of San Francisco” – the vast Golden Gate Park. Electrified by its own unique energy, San Francisco is home to world-class museums and sophisticated farm-to-table restaurants, and the technological powerhouse of Silicone Valley keeps the city on the cutting edge.

Situated on one of the United States’ finest natural harbours, the San Francisco’s rich maritime history is found at the Fisherman’s Wharf, where colourful fishing boats have occupied the harbour for over 100 years and locals savour fresh takeaway crab while strolling along the Hyde Street Pier. Another famous San Franciscan landmark is the dramatic zig-zagging curves of Lombard Street, which have inspired Hollywood car chases for decades, snaking upwards in eight iconic hairpin bends. Of course, not all of San Francisco’s attractions lie on the mainland. Embark on a thrilling adventure to Alcatraz Island, situated 1.5 miles off the city’s coastline, where you can follow in the footsteps of Al Capone, the Birdman of Alcatraz and George “Machine Gun” Kelly as you explore the most notorious prison in the world.

At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, discover a truly spectacular collection of European and American Art, while at the De Young Museum, an impressive collection of 19th-century and contemporary art is housed within a futuristic copper-clad building in the midst of the verdant Golden Gate Park. Nearby, the California Academy of Science is home to an aquarium, planetarium, the Natural History Museum and the Osher Rainforest – a four-story natural wonderland housed beneath a spectacular glass dome filled with free-flying birds, amphibians, reptiles and tropical fish.

Nestled on the cusp of the celebrated Napa Valley wine region, San Francisco is a city which savours the pleasures of great food and wine. At the Ferry Building Marketplace, you’ll discover a wealth of eclectic food stalls, hip cafés and international restaurants. Wine lovers should make sure to explore the Napa Valley Wine Country, located only one hour’s drive from downtown San Francisco. Nestled amidst ancient pines and rolling vineyards, a host of world-class wineries await your discovery in America’s premier wine region.

Surrounded by some of the most enchanting landscapes in the United States, San Francisco is spoiled with a wealth of varying natural landscapes. Discover the dramatic volcanic vistas of the Point Reyes National Park, hike your way through the dizzying giant redwoods of the Muir Woods, and experience the vast beauty of Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake. If you’re looking for adventure, the world famous Yosemite National Park beckons. Colossal waterfalls thunder over rocky cliffs, the vast granite silhouette of El Capitan soars into the sky, and shady forest trails are a paradise for hikers. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, culture, gastronomy or adventure, San Francisco offers it all
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