San Francisco, California, United States of America
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Exploring San Francisco

It's hard to believe two of San Francisco's most iconic landmarks, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge, did not exist until the Great Depression. While surrounded by many densely populated towns and cities, San Francisco proper is a surprisingly small space. The northeast section, particularly the areas which are popular among tourists, like Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, contains most San Francisco hotels, but everywhere in this city will you find a creative ambience.

The three-star Villa Florence, conveniently situated on the Powell Street cable car route, gives its guests a taste of Italy and several sumptuous spa treatments, just steps from vibrant Union Square. Travelodge South San Francisco is among the few city hotels which serve free breakfast, but no matter where visitors stay, quality morning meals are never far away in any of the city's nearly 4,500 restaurants. Many of the most affordable establishments are centred around Lombard Street and Fisherman's Wharf.

Sights nearby

San Francisco is surrounded on all sides by breathtaking bodies of water, stunning natural scenery, and several other Bay Area communities with their own unique charms. Sausalito stands on the opposite end of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. San Jose and Silicon Valley are located south of the city, while Berkeley and Oakland are the best known East Bay communities.

Burlingame
This affluent and charming Peninsula community is located south of San Francisco International Airport. Most hotels stand in the seaside Bayshore Area, but neighbouring Milbrae also contains many affordable places to stay, like the Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn. The world's biggest PEZ dispenser is the centrepiece of the Museum of PEZ Memorabilia, Burlingame's main tourist attraction outside of its Broadway and Burlingame Avenue shopping districts.

San Jose
San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation may showcase the latest in technology, but Silicon Valley's unofficial capital is also filled with more historic attractions, like the Winchester Mystery House. This unusual home's original owner tried everything to keep spirits away, including building a stairway to the ceiling, hallways leading to nowhere, and doors which open to walls and thin air. The Raging Waters water park is located next to Lake Cunningham Park.

Oakland
Oakland has overcome decades of being overshadowed by San Francisco, to become one of the most multicultural cities in the United States. The East Bay city's main gathering spot may be Jack London Square, but Redwood Regional Park boasts some of the tallest and the oldest trees in the entire state. An amusement park called Children's Fairyland and the Oakland Zoo are especially popular with children, but the whole family can enjoy cycling, boating, or walking around Lake Merritt.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

No other North American city can match San Francisco’s claim for one restaurant per every 250 people who live here. This foodie paradise offers a plethora of vegetarian restaurants, outstanding steak houses, and nearly every other kind of cuisine in between. Richmond's sushi, Chinatown's Americanised Cantonese food, and the Mediterranean offerings at the Financial and Sunset districts are some of this city's most famous culinary offerings.

The Castro has long been famous for its tremendous gay community, but the Marina is the preferred partying spot for most young professionals. Union Square is among the few places in the city where visitors can find familiar chain shops, which are outnumbered by smaller independent establishments in nearly all other neighbourhoods. Souvenir shops are most prevalent in Fisherman's Wharf.

Public transport

No other city in California, or anywhere else in the United States west of Chicago, contains as extensive a public transportation network as San Francisco. The city's iconic streetcars and cable cars are part of the San Francisco Municipal Railway network, known as MUNI, which also contains the Metro light rail line in addition to more conventional buses. San Francisco is also connected to Berkeley and Oakland by the BART network, and to San Jose by the Caltrain rail network. The city's hilly streets are easy to navigate on foot or by bicycle by visitors who are in good shape.

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