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San Francisco

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"Every man should be allowed to love two cities – his own and San Francisco," once said author Gene Fowler. San Francisco, also known as the City by the Bay, is a diverse, colorful, and intriguing destination luring visitors from all corners of the world with its beauty, culture, history and dynamic ambiance. It is best known for its steep hills, beautiful panoramic vistas, and excellent cuisine. The eclectic mix of architecture, sandy beaches, ethnic and cultural diversity, and entertainment for all ages makes San Francisco a great choice for vacation.
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Do and see
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. It is not only hip, but pop culture and old traditions are neatly packed into this one fabulous city.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is acclaimed to be one of the world’s most beautiful bridges. Its bright orange towers and sweeping main cables glow in the sunshine or are engulfed in the fog that frequents this area. No matter if you drive, walk or bicycle across this engineering marvel, the views are spectacular.
San Francisco Cable Cars
No visit would be complete without a ride on a cable car. These cable-powered streetcars have been transporting people up and down the fabulous hills of San Francisco since 1873. A highlight of the ride is actually at the end (or beginning) at the turnaround. Watch while drivers push the cable car on a rotating platform 180 degrees for the trip back up the hill.
Fisherman’s Wharf
A long strip along the waterfront is home to the Cannery, Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39. A working waterfront, also called Fish Alley, sells tons of sole, shrimp, salmon, and squid every year. Crab season (mid November - June) is the time for seafood lovers. There is shopping, entertainment, restaurants and vendors who sell Dungeness Crab ready to eat.
Aquarium Of The Bay
In addition to the expected displays of sea life, this unusual aquarium invites visitors into the hidden world of life under San Francisco Bay. A moving walkway takes you through two crystal clear tunnels, 300 feet in length, surrounded by 700,000 gallons of filtered Bay water and more than 23,000 aquatic animals.
Lombard Street
This steep and winding street is the most photographed street in San Francisco. Tourists come to Russian Hill to see, drive or walk down the "crookedest street in the world," with eight hairpin turns. The Hyde Street Cable Car makes a stop at the top of Lombard Street. Along with the dramatic view of Lombard Street, there are awesome views of Fisherman’s Wharf and the Bay.
Chinatown
Walking through the dragon-adorned Pagoda Gates leads visitors into the colorful and exciting area of San Francisco known as Chinatown. It is tightly packed with exotic shops, ethnic food markets, and excellent restaurants. In February each year, the Chinese New Year is celebrated here with parades and dancing dragons.
Alcatraz
Once a federal prison housing dangerous and notorious criminals, Alcatraz (The Rock) now welcomes tourists into the cellblocks once occupied by the likes of Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelley, and the Birdman of Alcatraz. Self-guided audiocassette tours have dramatic narratives of Alcatraz’s grim history, including realistic sound effects one would hear in prison.
Walt Disney Family Museum
If you are a Walt Disney fan, then this is the place to visit. Here you will learn more about the fascinating and inspiring story of Walt Disney – the man behind Mickey Mouse and Snow White. This fun museum features historic materials and artifacts, including early drawings and animation, movies, music and much more.
Information
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is located 8 miles (13 Km) south of the city and it offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. BART rapid rail runs from SFO to San Mateo County, San Francisco and the East Bay. It is a convenient and quick way of getting to the city center. You will find the SFO BART Station on the Departures/Ticketing Level of the International Terminal (Boarding Area G side). Tickets can be bought at the SFO BART Station upon arrival. (www.bart.gov) SamTrans offers 24-hour bus service connecting SFO to San Mateo County and parts of San Francisco. Routes KX, 292, 397 and 398 stop directly at the Airport terminals. SamTrans buses stop at the terminals,: Terminal 2: Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level, center island adjacent to Courtyard 2 Terminal 3: Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level, curbside adjacent to Courtyard 4 International Terminal: Level 1 at Courtyard A and curbside adjacent to Courtyard (www.samtrans.com) Taxis offer door-to-door service to any destination within San Francisco and surrounding communities.
Oakland International Airport
(OAK) lies 20 miles (32 Km) east of the city. Use the BART transport system to get to and from the airport. Oakland Airport BART station is located next to the Terminal 1 baggage claim area. The line connects the airport and Coliseum stations, the journey lasts 8 minutes.
San Jose International Airport
San Jose International Airport (SJC) is located 40 miles (64 Km) south of the city and is thus the furthest from San Francisco. The free VTA Airport Flyer connects the airport to Santa Clara's CalTrain station. You can take Caltrain to both San Francisco Airport and downtown San Francisco. This option is free, but most time-consuming. Private van and taxi services are also available at the airport; van pick up may be arranged from any location in San Francisco (inquire about prices when booking).
Time Zone
San Francisco is in the Pacific time zone, and all times are reflected in Pacific time.
Public Transport
San Francisco has the most extensive public transit system on the West Coast. The MUNI-Metro, a light rail System, operates five routes that crisscross the city. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is the regional transit system connecting San Francisco with outlying communities. The MUNI Passport can be purchased at the airport, online or at several locations inside the city. Offers unlimited rides on buses, historical streetcars and cable cars.
Taxi
Yellow Cab: +1 415 333 3333 www.yellowcabsf.com Luxor Taxi: +1 415 282 4141
Post Office
There is at least one post office location in each of the major neighborhoods. Hours vary slightly but are generally 08.00 to 17.00. weekdays and 09.00 to 13.00 on Saturday. There are a few that are open on Sundays.
Pharmacy
Walgreens Drug Store has a number of stores in the city: 730 Market Street +1 415 397 4800 1301 Franklin Street +1 415 775 6706 Chain pharmacies (such as CVS) are easy to locate around the city. Check for ones open 24/7 in your area.
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