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San Francisco

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Leave Your Heart in San Francisco

The famous song by crooner Tony Bennett that says, “I left my heart, in San Francisco,” is only the beginning of how one can describe the City by the Bay that really captivates and feeds you—mind, body and soul—and has done so for both visitors and denizens alike for generations.

From its early roots as a Native American settlement to its emergence as a major Spanish mission; a pioneering mid-1800’s Gold Rush enclave; during the turbulent “Harlem of the West” Negro Rights Struggles of the 1950s; the politically fueled Vietnam War protests, prominence of the Black Panther Party and beatnik “Free Love” era of the 1960s; the march for Lesbian, Gay and Transgender rights—and so much more in between—San Francisco has always marched to the beat of its own drum.

And it’s just that liberal, cutting-edge, counter-establishment culture that has made it one of those cities where “captivating,” “weird,” “eccentric,” “savvy,” “revolutionary,” “ultra eco-conscious” and “liberating” are all apt descriptions.

Add to that some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes, attractions, global/multi-cultural districts, architecture, culinary, and literary experiences, just to name a few, and it’s no wonder why San Francisco (NEVER, according to the locals, “Frisco” or “San Fran”) is as much a rich, multi-layered adjective as it is a major cosmopolitan world city.

So where do you begin to extol the virtues of such an enchanting place that really needs no introduction? The best I can do is give you a few snippets here and there to get your amazing Bay Area adventure on the move.

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It’s hard to believe that a city only about 49 square miles wide with a population hovering around 850,000 could offer over a dozen distinctive, iconic neighborhoods, some with denizens that have created so much of their own international identity and support systems that they could often have little or nothing to do with the “English-speaking” areas of town for months at a time.

From North Beach, the historic Italian neighborhood, to Chinatown and the Inner Avenues, home to a breadth of Asian and Pan-Asian citizens; the Mission, which began as part of the Spanish mission settlements in California, to the Haight (formerly called Haight-Asbury), the birthplace of the Free Love movement; the Castro, the long-time though recently more gentrified LGBT community; Fisherman’s Wharf, Castro and Noe Valley, Union Square, and SOMA (South of Market), just for starters, you’ll find a flavor and flair that’s sure to suit more than one of your particular fancies.


Each of these “’hoods” are highlighted by their own spectacular historic and/or quintessential sights and attractions. And one of the best ways to get a visual small plate appetizer of places to see, do and enjoy is by embarking upon a City Sightseeing Hop On-Hop Off tour bus which showcases a plethora of the city’s most popular neighborhoods and attractions via four different open-top routes.

For example, the Downtown Bus Tour encompasses 14 stops including Union Square, Chinatown, Civic Center, North Beach, the Financial District, and Fisherman’s Wharf, and while the Parks and Beach Tour features famous sites such as Golden Gate Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Japantown, the Japanese Tea Gardens, the Haight and other areas. Combo and multi-day tour passes are also available at reasonable prices.

On each, visitors will receive not only historic information about each attraction, but also fantastic personal insights and perspectives from the guides who have lived and breathed the essence of the city for years, some all of their lives.

Visitors can also purchase a San Francisco CityPASS. Good for nine days, you’ll get entrance to the Exploratorium or de Young Museum and Legion of Honor, the California Academy of Sciences, the Aquarium of the Bay (or the Monterey Bay Aquarium if you are traveling south from here), a voyage on the Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, and an unlimited-use Cable Car and Muni transportation passport (the latter only for seven days).

As you might imagine, this is only scratching the surface of one of the most enthralling cities on the planet.

Visit and learn more about San Francisco!

A Gastronomic Mecca by the Bay

All across the spectrum of gastronomic desires, the food scene in San Francisco draws from its 850,000 multifarious denizens who have come here from all over the globe.

Explore San Francisco

Whether you’re a first time or repeat visitor here, you’ll be amazed at the amazing number and wide array of sites and attractions peppered throughout the city.

The Music and Whimsy of San Francisco

No matter your musical penchant, you’ll find something to fit the bill.

The Soul of San Francisco

San Francisco a wide range of attractions, restaurants, music venues and other entities that speak to the African American experience.


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