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San Francisco

A very old city by West Coast standards, San Francisco is known for its rich and colorful history. In 176San Francisco Skyline9, a Spanish land expedition led by Gaspar de Portolą discovered San Francisco Bay on a trek north from Mexico. In 1775, San Juan Manuel de Ayala sailed into the bay for the first time, soon followed on land by Father Junipero Serra who built the Mission Dolores.

In 1848, California joined the Union, gold was discovered and San Francisco became world-famous as the place where fortunes could be made. In 1849, the Gold Rush began and thousands of fortune seekers-the famed '49ers-crowded into the city. In just four years, the city's population rose from about 800 in 1848 to 35,000 in 1852.

Hotels and restaurants sprang up to house the visitors who were pouring in. The city needed bankers, companies to outfit the miners, communications and transport companies. Levi Strauss made a fortune providing miners with blue jeans, while Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, Collins P. Huntington and Mark Hopkins financed the transcontinental railroad.Golden Gate Bridge

The most severe challenge to the city came in 1906, when a major earthquake followed by several days of fire devastated much of San Francisco, killing 700 people and destroying some 28,000 buildings. In the years following the great quake, the city rebuilt itself making a remarkable recovery. On June 9, 1911, a group of businessmen signed an article of incorporation founding the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Over the next 30 years, the city built a grand City Hall and Civic Center, the Hetch Hetchy Water System, the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges and the first public municipal transit system in the United States.

Today, it's rare to find a person who needs an introduction to San Francisco's charms. People residing all over the world immediately recognize the city's famous attractions: the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, the cable cars and the pyramid-shaped Transamerica Building.

San Francisco combines sheer physical beauty, cultural diversity, leisure and recreational offerings anThe Bay Bridged an ideal climate.  Surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, San Francisco's compact 46 square miles (125 sq. km.) crowd the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula.  "The City" has a population of 723,959; nevertheless it looms large in the imagination as the hub of the greater Bay Area. The nation's fifth largest metropolitan region registers a population of 6 million and hosts over 16 million visitors, conventioneers and business travelers each year.  Temperatures in San Francisco are probably the mildest in California, thanks to the bay's mediating influences, with summertime highs averaging around 65°F (18°C) and wintertime lows around 47°F (8°C).  Average annual rainfall is 19.3 inches per year, with most of that coming in the winter months.

We have visited San Francisco three times, and every time is a joy.  The Grace Cathedral and Cable Car city's unique architecture and homey feeling remind us of home.  We find many similarities between San Francisco and Seattle, from the buildings, to the steep, hilly streets, to the beautiful city views of the water.  On our trips, we have visited some of San Francisco's tourist attractions, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and Chinatown, but there are many other still yet to discover.  Although San Francisco has the one of the highest cost of living indexes in the United States, it was ranked by Money magazine's Best Places to Live as the best big city in which to live in the western U.S.!  Nearby Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley make that sound even more enticing...

We've included links to all kinds of information about the city in our San Francisco Directory.  Simply click on the links to visit the site indicated.  We've also provided photographs of our trips in our photo gallery!  Thank you for visiting our site and we hope you enjoyed your stay!

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