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San Francisco travel guide (source taken from Expedia’s YouTube channel)

April 12, 2017

All rights belong to Expedia.

San Francisco is a spectacular fun city on the central coast of California, above 350 miles from LA. It’s bursting with a youthful energy that will guarantee you have an amazing and unforgettable adventure.

On the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, the city invites you to explore hip neighborhoods, elegant buildings, beautiful parks and gardens, and enjoy a liberal relaxed atmosphere, and there’s no end of things to see.

Union Square, in the heart of downtown, is San Francisco’s finest shopping region. The neighborhood is famous for wide streets, clanging cable cars, and some amazing shopping. And don’t forget about the square itself, which is a great place to sit back, relax, and do some serious people-watching.

Just a few minutes north, San Francisco’s Chinatown is eight blocks of bustling activities with storefronts and alleyways, selling all manners of strange and exotic goods. One of the largest Chinese communities in the US, San Francisco’s Chinatown is filled with exotic sights and sounds, and a little bit of Eastern mystique.

Less than a mile to the east, the Embarcadero is a busy waterfront roadway that runs right around the port area, with some of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, including Market Street, the Bay Bridge, and the San Francisco Ferry Building.

Fisherman’s Wharf is at the northern end of the Embarcadero, and has a great assortment of shops, bars, and restaurants, and is right on the bay. Here you can grab a relaxed meal and a cool drink, and be entertained by colorful street performers, or just enjoy the views along the waterfront.

A short stroll away is Pier 39, which has some of the best views of San Francisco Bay, and a resident sea lion community that has been basking in sun at the pier for more than 20 years.

The island fortress of Alcatraz, sits ominously in the bay and is now a popular attraction, with tourists departing from Fisherman’s Wharf several times a day. Up until 1963, the Rock was home to America’s hardest prisoners, but where there was once only concrete, steel, and barbed wire, there are now gardens and wild flowers.

If you listen carefully, the eerie passages and crammed cells still echo with footsteps from the past.

Not far from downtown is the Haight-Ashbury District, where Victorian-style buildings echo with memories of the hippie days of the 60s. There are still many pockets of counter culture, where the Summer of Love lives on, and cafes, smoke shops, and music stores still sell peace and love.

Halfway between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge, is the Palace of Fine Arts. A survivor from the 1915 Panama Pacific Expo, and built in the Beaux Arts-style, it’s covered in greenery and surrounded by a peaceful lagoon. It’s a perfect place for a quiet afternoon stroll.

At more than a thousand acres, Golden Gate Park stretches across the peninsula, and contains the Conservatory of Flowers, and the tranquil Japanese Tea Garden.

The park is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors, or just relax and recharge in some peaceful surroundings.

The Golden Gate Bridge sits majestically over the mouth of the bay, and invites millions of visitors to the city each year. Almost 2 miles long and 750 feet high, the Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco to the nearby Marin Headlands. The pedestrian walkways spanning the length of the bridge, is a superb way to see sweeping views across the bay, and out over the Pacific Ocean.

Baker Beach is located just to the west of the Golden Gate Bridge, and has spectacular views across the mouth of the bay, to the distant Marin Headlands. It enjoys reputation as San Francisco’s best sandy beach, but the views alone are worth the trip.

Just north of San Francisco and Marin County, the ancient redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument tower up to 260 feet high, with some dating back almost 800 years. Local rangers can invite guided tourists along pathways that loop through the forest, or visitors can enjoy the hush sounds of nature and explore one of America’s natural treasures, at their own pace.

On the eastern side of the Marin County, is the charming bayside hamlet of Sausalito. In its early days, it was a small artist colony, but now, it’s a relaxed bayside community, filled with cafes and art galleries. A short stroll down any street, will bring you to some of the most beautiful views across the bay. And over there, in the distance, beckoning like a siren song, is dazzling San Francisco, tempting you back for another taste. A temptation you’ll find hard to resist.

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