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San Francisco (California)
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San Francisco, the largest city of Northern California lays South-West from Sacramento. It is an industrial, commercial, educational, cultural and scientific center. Nearly 7 million people live in Great-San Francisco, which is the collective name of San Francisco and its suburbs (Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward, Fremont, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose).
San Francisco
Photo: San Francisco, California, USA, flickr.com, by Kostas Pagiamtzis

It’s advised to travel along the famous 49 mile Scenic Drive (panoramic road) in the downtown of San Francisco; we may find several beautiful memorial places, and fantastic museums here. It’s typical buildings are: the Grace Cathedral, which show a resemblance with the Notre Dame; the Stow Lake, which lays on a pictorial island; Sutra Tower, the radio tower; the magnificent palace, The Palace of Fine Arts and the San Francisco National Maritime Museum, which is in a building that looks like an Atlantic liner, and has an exhibition about nautical antiquities.
The Financial District is the center of San Francisco. It’s dominated by enormous skyscrapers, among which we can find the pyramid shaped, 260 meters tall Transamerica Pyramid. The main square of the city is the Union Square, dotted with palm trees and surrounded by famous shops and shopping centers.
Transamerica Pyramid
Photo: Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California, USA, flickr.com, by pbo31

The most famous museums are:
· San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a really varied collection with magnificent paintings and statues. Nearly twenty thousand pieces are put on display.
· Wells Fargo History Museum, which has an exhibition about old mail-coaches, which travelled thousands of miles back in the 19th century.
· Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is a huge artistic center. Concerts and artistic performances await the visitors throughout the whole year.
· Asian Art Museum is an artistic collection of more than 12 thousand museum pieces exclusively from Asia.
· California Academy of Sciences is huge scientific museum that has several departments, which are the following: Steinhart Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums of the USA; Morrison Planetarium, a special planetarium; Gem and Mineral Hall, which has an exhibition of the most varied gems and minerals; Life Through Time, which shows the history of evolution; Elkus Collection of Native Art, a display of the artistic collection of the native Indians’; and Wild California, which shows the natural sights of California
· California Palace of the Legion of Honor, which show magnificent masterpieces from the European Arts. It has painting from Monet and Rembrandt.

One of the largest Chinese districts is to be found in San Francisco. It’s the Chinatown, where one may find the most varied Chinese shops and restaurants. It’s worth to visit the Chinese Historical Society, which introduces the role of the Chinese ethnic group in the life of San Francisco, and also has an interesting exhibition about Chinese Art.

The swarm Italian district of the city is called the North Beach, which also offers interesting sights. The Cafe Trieste is the oldest cafeterias found in the city. Its most famous night club is the Condor Club, and Lombard Street is said to be the most bended street of the world. The San Francisco Art Institute deserves a visit, where collections of famous artists are put to display. The beautiful Coit Tower is situated on the top of Telegraph Hill. We can admire the whole city from its terrace.
Coit Tower
Photo: Coit Tower, North Beach, California, USA, flickr.com, by code martial

Nob Hill is the highest hill of the city. It is built in with luxurious hotels and magnificent villas. Trams climb down the sloppy roads of the hill to the city. The Grace Cathedral is found over here, where they organize popular, musical ceremonies.

It’s worth to visit the Fisherman’s Wharf on the shore, which is a famous hospitality and fishing center of San Francisco. The most various seafood dishes are served in its restaurants, beginning form the delicious fish soups through the crab cocktails to octopus salads. We may take a look at the USS Pamapanito submarine in the harbor, which served in World War II. We can also visit the San Francisco National Maritime Museum, where an exhibition of the history of sailing and diverse ship-models is set up.

Three other districts of San Francisco Haight Ashbury, Pacific Heights and Fillmore District may also have something interesting for us.
Haight Ashbury was the former hippie district. It was the free and boundless district of the hippies in the ’60-ties. It preserved its characteristics; its cafeterias and places of amusement are visited by many youngsters throughout the year. The Red Victorian Hotel is one of its characteristic buildings. The popular Buena Vista Park offers a splendid outlook onto the city.
Pacific Heights win everyone’s heart with its old building from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We should visit the Palace of Fine Arts, which is in the nearby, in the Marina District. It is an interesting museum of fine arts.
Fillmore District, populated by the afro-American people is rather swarming. There are non-stop parties in its bars and clubs.

Whatever happens, we also recommend the three, maybe the most famous sights of San Francisco: the Golden Gate Bridge, the Alcatraz Island and the Mission Dolores.
One of the most beautiful bridges in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge was built in 1937 in the San Francisco Bay. More than 40 million cars go over it annually, which is 2.7 kilometers in length and 227 meters tall.
The well-known prison of the Alcatraz Island played a role in many movies. It was the most secure prison of the USA between 1934 and 1963. Such famous prisoners were locked up here, as Al Capone or George Kelly.
The oldest building of San Francisco, the Mission Dolores was built in 1791, back in the era of the Spanish Colonization. The sixth Californian Christian Mission had been operating in this building.
Golden Gate
Photo: Golden Gate, San Francisco, USA, flickr.com, by Mike Johnston

It’s worth to visit the marvelous Golden Gate Park, the John McLaren Park or the Presidio National Park, where we can have a rest and recover our strength. We can go cycling, walk of even be on the beach in some places.

The suburbs of San Francisco also have a surprise for the visitors.

San Jose is the largest of them all, and has several famous museums. The Tech Museum of Innovation has many, mainly information technological collections on display. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium offers an exhibition of a reputed ancient collection. If we’re well off with time, we can visit the Winchester Mystery House, which was the residence of the well-known rifle manufacturing family, or we can check out Silicon Valley, where we’ll find the headquarters of the world’s largest information-technological enterprises.
San Jose
Photo: San Jose, California, USA, flickr.com, by skreuzer

Oakland is regarded to be the sleeping city of San Francisco. It’s worth to spend a few hours in the Museum of California, which tells the history of the state, or in the Jack London Museum, which shows the labor of the well-known writer, who’d spent his childhood in this city.

It’s important to mention the two university cities of Great-San Francisco: Berkley, the city of the University of California at Berkley, and Palo Alto, which is the home of the famous Stanford University. These cities feature swarm collage life.
Several excellent, sandy beaches are awaiting the tourists in Great-San Francisco. We can find several places in the San Francisco Bay and along the coast of the Pacific-Ocean that are suitable for pleasure boating, scuba diving and windsurfing. Such places are the Muir Woods, Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach and the Pacifica State Beach too.

 


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