San Francisco

San Francisco Wine Country

 

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San Jose's smaller and less populous neighbor to the north, San Francisco, is referred to by area residents as simply "The City".  Truly one of the grandest cities in the world, San Francisco is the centerpiece of the Bay Area in many ways.  Cosmopolitan and eclectic at the same time. World class in all respects.   San Francisco Map

What's there to see and do?  How's this:

Golden Gate Bridge Chinatown Fisherman's Wharf Cable Cars
Haight-Ashbury Union Square Shopping The Embarcadero Pier 39
The Presidio Twin Peaks Golden Gate Park North Beach Restaurants
Ghirardelli Square Transamerica Tower The Painted Ladies Alcatraz
Lombard Street Pacific Bell Park Fillmore West Moscone Center
Palace of Fine Arts Museum of Modern Art Cliff House Exploratorium
Nob Hill United Nations Plaza Fort Point Coit Tower
Marin Headlands Sausalito Muir Woods San Quenton

We typically start Tour #1 at Twin Peaks.  Here you can see the entire city (and Bay Area on clear days) laid out beneath you.  All the way from Candlestick Point to the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Then we wind our way down from Twin Peaks and enter The Haight.  The center of the hippie universe, both in the 60's and still today.  Down Market Street past the Mint and Union Square to the Financial Center.  A ride on the Cable Cars and we're off to Chinatown.

Coming around under the Bay Bridge to Oakland on the Embarcadero, we slid into Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.  Up the hill on Hyde to look back at Alcatraz and then down the hill on Lombard Street, the Crookedest Street in the world.

We'll take a quick trip through the Presidio, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and then climb the Marin Headlands to look back at San Francisco across the Bay.

Map of San Francisco

Preparing for the Tour

Since the Bay Area is semi-arid, it seldom rains between May and October.   Conversely, our rainy season usually starts in October and ends the following May.  So it's pretty green in the mountains during the winter, but golden brown during the summer months.

During most summer days there isn't a cloud in the sky.  Temperatures can reach into the high 90's, but humidity is low and it is usually very comfortable.  During the summer, the cool ocean breezes roll into the Bay Area  every afternoon and fog rolls into San Francisco.  So even though it may be very hot during the day, the entire Bay Area cools down in the evening.  

Because it is located on the tip of a peninsula, San Francisco has it's own unique micro-climate that can be considerable different than other areas around the Bay.  Mark Twain once said he never suffered a colder winter than an August in San Francisco.  Make sure you include warm clothing or you'll end up buying a sweatshirt at one of the tourist stops.  The fog doesn't burn off until late in the morning and it can be pretty cold and windy.

Here are some websites to help you with your planning:

www.sanfrancisco.com 

www.sfvisitor.org 

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