"If you're alive, San Francisco will keep you from getting bored. If you're dead, San Francisco will bring you back to life" - these words of the American writer William Saroyan describe this city in California in the best way. Amazing San Francisco is built on 42 hills, so an ordinary ride on the local cable car turns into a "roller coaster". San Francisco is a hippie city, a Pacific paradise with luxury beaches, Silicon Valley, Stanford University, Apple Park, parrots on every tree, and innovative cuisine. Its residents make this city by the bay special — weirdos, dreamers, and wandering poets who don't want to go down from the clouds to the ground.
Districts of San Francisco
"New China District" or Richmond is inhabited not only by the Chinese but also by Asians and Russians. The Asian population also dwells in Sunset District. And together, these neighborhoods are called the Avenues.
Bayview–Hunters Point is considered to be an impoverished and dangerous neighborhood in the city.
The South of Market and Mission Bay are two industrialized districts of San Francisco with skyscrapers.
Ocean Beach and Baker Beach are two main beaches in San Francisco. The first one isn't suitable for beach rest and swimming, but it's a great place to surf. The second one is a Pacific paradise stretching from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Presidio Park.
Lovers of green vegetation have places to explore. There are about 200 parks in San Francisco. Golden Gate Park is the largest one that attracts tourists with its greenery and access to the Pacific Ocean.
Map San Francisco
San Francisco has won its place in the heart of tourists and its superiority in travel culture. Cool dawn mists, almost half a hundred hills, buildings of the Victorian epoch, and modern industrialism intertwine in the city. The world-famous Golden Gate Bridge will open the door to an incredible world of nature and cultural diversity.
Brief history and description of San Francisco
Since the 1770s, the Spanish political course began in California, and the number of Indian settlements decreased sharply. Spanish rule had been lasting for half a century — in 1821, Mexico became independent and took control of California. William Richardson, a native of England, developed the first plan of the future city. He built the first residential building in the European style in Yerba Buena (future San Francisco).
In the 1840s, the U.S. put forward claims that California belonged to them, and soon it became part of the country. Americans and Mormons, who had left the east because of religious persecution, began to populate Yerba Buena. At the same time, the city got its modern name, San Francisco.
Closer to 1850, the era of the "gold rush" started. At this time, the number of inhabitants increased 25 times during the year. Back then, young San Francisco was poorly adapted for the rapid population expansion. Its narrow streets could not cope with the growing number of vehicles (which still affects the movement of people through the city to this day). In the same period, thousands of Chinese came here to work in gold mining and on the railroad. The Chinatown was born — the most significant Chinese diaspora in the world. It was during this period that prominent businessmen, bankers, and owners of the first corporations became famous. Nowadays, you can find their names in the titles of the best hotels on the coast - Mark Hopkins Hotel and Hotel Huntington. Besides, you can see them in such companies as Levi Strauss & Co (there is hardly anyone who doesn't know about Levis jeans), Ghirardelli chocolate factory, and the large Wells Fargo bank.
In the early 1900s, the city managers began to transform San Francisco into "western Paris". During the realization of this project, an opera was built in the north of City Hall, subway lines, and Embarcadero Boulevard.
San Francisco confirmed its image of a comfortable city in the 1950s. After World War II, many military servants fell in love with the city and moved here with their families, settling in the Sunset District, as well as in Visitacion Valley.
Of course, everyone knows about hippies, and San Francisco was the center of the hippie revolution in the 60s and 70s. That time was filled with the craving for peace, the spread of love and freedom, the development of music, and more. During the Summer of Love (1967), adherents of the hippie culture came here from all over the world and celebrated the triumph of life.
For the next few decades, San Francisco experienced a boom in reconstruction: roads were built, and the number of skyscrapers grew. This often caused dissatisfaction among locals who tried to preserve the historical spirit of the city and protested against the so-called "Manhattanization. As a result, high buildings were erected in new districts on the outskirts of the town.
At the end of the XX century, the city faced another problem - it was flooded by homeless people who founded a settlement in Civic Center Plaza called "camp Agnos". This issue has not been solved to this day; it is being addressed through various social programs.
The earthquake of 1989 also left its grim mark on the territory of the city — roads were destroyed, and buildings were damaged. But the town soon recovered and became one of the most famous and wealthiest cities in the United States.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
The best time to come to San Francisco
Therefore, the best time to visit the city of hippies is in May or September, when the weather is the warmest, it is not too foggy, and there are no rains yet.
Purchase the San-Francisco CityPASS, which will provide you with museum visits and the use of public transport for nine days. Moreover, you will get a free cruise on San Francisco Bay. You can pay in advance via the Internet.
The Marina District, Fisherman's Wharf, Nob Hill and Russian Hill are considered to be San Francisco's most convenient areas to live in.
You need to stay alert at night on the streets of San Francisco, especially if you are a tourist and do not navigate well.
Don't expect to be able to swim in San Francisco. The water temperature on the coast is quite low — around +15°.
What should a tourist do in San Francisco?
- Rest in Baker Beach. This beautiful area for walks and picnics is equipped for the beloved American barbecue. At sunset, this place will offer you an unforgettable view of the main symbol of California's city — the Golden Gate Bridge in the rays of the setting sun.
- Surf in Ocean Beach. All the world's surfers dream of coming to San Francisco for at least once and spending time on its coast. There are now a lot of downtown shifters — people from other countries who have quit their jobs and moved to San Francisco. Most of them are surf coaches and say they've found their paradise here on earth.
- Take a ride on the cable car. How else can you check out the entire city standing on 42 hills? The cable car itself is a landmark and a beautiful attraction. You will see a fabulous stop on Lombard Street, which is covered with flowers and goes down the hill on a 30°-angled serpentine.
- Visit Chinatown. The largest Chinese diaspora in the world is a must-see site! Here, the Chinese culture will surround you with spice scents, bright lanterns, colorful dragons, and hieroglyphs.
- Admire the city from its heights. San Francisco has several observation decks situated at an incredible altitude where you can see the whole city spreads before your eyes. The Transamerica Pyramid or the Spire is the number one location. Access to its observation deck is closed, but don't give way to despair — it's replaced by Coit Tower on top of Telegraph Hill. Twin Peaks hills are the second must-visit place. Their observation decks offer a splendid circular city panorama.
- Explore San Francisco from the inside in its museums. Attend the fascinating and impressive Museum of Modern Art, Walt Disney Museum, Exploratorium (Science Museum), and Musée Mécanique.
- Taste the city by the bay. It's considered the gastronomic capital of America. For fresh seafood, one should go to the Fishermen's Wharf, for French delicacies - to Union Square, for Mexican hot dishes - to the Mission district, and for Asian noodles - to Chinatown.