San Francisco Quick Guide
San Francisco. Iconic representations of "The City by the Bay" abound. Cable cars. Chinatown - the most famous in all the country. The Golden Gate Bridge. The Painted Ladies - a half-dozen painstakingly restored Victorian row houses oft-depicted in tourism ads and post cards.
The City of San Francisco literally rose from the ashes following the infamous earthquake and fire of 1906 that nearly demolished the entire city. Today, this chic, urbane metropolis adds a European flair to the northern coast of California and serves as a gateway to the western US. Internationally, San Francisco is a financial powerhouse in the business world, and is home to several Fortune 500 companies, with an economy driven by business, finance, real estate, tourism and trade.
San Francisco's City Hall is located at 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl. and is open to the public Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. San Francisco also maintains a citywide 311 customer service center to help residents access many city departments and services.
Getting Around or Getting Away
Map your San Francisco driving directions to popular areas that include the Financial District, Fisherman's Wharf or North Beach, or get there via BART - the Bay Area Rapid Transit system.
Need a flight to or from San Francisco? Find a San Francisco travel agent. Need to get to SFO from areas that include the Mission District, Pacific Heights and Russian Hill? Try these airport transportation services.
Making San Francisco Your Home
San Francisco Shopping and Services
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Where to Go in San Francisco
Whether you strike out on foot, hop on a cable car, or take advantage of San Francisco's public transportation system - BART - there are myriad places to go in this city that you won't want to miss.
Fisherman's Wharf is a favorite destination for visitors and residents alike. Enjoy delicious seafood, ferry over to Alcatraz, watch the sea lions play near the pier, or take in the spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay.
For more cultural pursuits, visit the Museum of Modern art (MOMA) in the area known as South of Market. The Marina is home to the Palace of Fine Arts, an architectural masterpiece and the last remaining structure from the 1950 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The Palace is home to the Exploratorium, a museum of science and art.
Once known as a haven for hippies, Haight-Ashbury is an enclave for all things alternative and bohemian. From boutiques to bookstores, the Haight is still a cool place to hang out. Buena Vista Park is about two blocks to the east of this historic intersection, while the grand Golden Gate Park is about five blocks west.
The Embarcadero, the city's downtown waterfront district is home to shops, restaurants, entertainment and public art exhibits, all in close proximity to the Financial District.
Things to Do in San Francisco
Try a new cuisine, find a new hangout or take up a new hobby. From Chinatown to Little Italy, San Francisco's variety of unique neighborhoods makes it easy to find new things to do!
See what's new in the San Francisco night club scene, or enjoy the San Francisco Opera or San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House.
Find tickets for San Francisco 49ers football at Monster Park or see the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Outdoor enthusiasts have several parks and natural venues to play in, including Golden Gate Park, Lake Merced and Ocean Beach.
Popular San Francisco Attractions
- Alcatraz Island
- Fisherman's Wharf
- San Francisco Zoo