Wednesday, July 13, 2011

San Francisco

Ever since the Gold Rush, hill-sloped and breezy San Francisco has attracted those free-spirited types who have an eye for edgy art, a taste for imaginative cuisine and a zeal for adventure.
This northern California city is often described as Los Angeles' more refined cousin. Cool and compact, San Francisco combines the big-city buzz exuded by its southern counterpart and melds it with a sense of small-town charm. Here, you'll discover a mish-mash of culture -- from Hispanic to LGBT -- flourishing throughout San Francisco's many colorful quarters. Yes, follow the crowds to the touristy Fisherman's Wharf area (which offers spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz), but don't forget to save time for districts like Mission and The Castro, where much of the city's history and culture can be explored.
It's really not surprising that songwriter Tony Bennett left his heart here: The city is home to jaw-dropping sights, world-class cuisine, cozy caf├ęs and plenty of booming nightlife venues -- there are no shortage of ways to stay busy here. Spend an hour or two sunning yourself alongside sea lions on the bay or engaging in conversation with one of the many art aficionados who call the Golden Gate City home. For an authentic tour, enjoy a ride on a cable car.

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