About San Francisco

by SmarterTravel Staff

Seals lounging within city limits, America's crookedest street, and wild flocks of bright green parrots. It must be San Francisco.

Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, and Union Square are favorites among visitors, and the newly rebuilt de Young Museum and California Academy of Sciences offer two more great reasons to spend a day in Golden Gate Park.

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But stick to the most popular attractions and you'll miss the heart of San Francisco, the reason people fall in love with it, despite the fog and high real estate prices. San Francisco is a city of neighborhoods, so find the time to explore, eat, and shop in areas such as Hayes Valley, the Castro, the Mission, Noe Valley, and the Marina.

Visit San Francisco and you'll find the world. Get lost in the shops of Chinatown. Enjoy an aperitif on Belden Place, San Francisco's French alley. Treat yourself to a traditional Japanese soak at the Kabuki Springs & Spa in Japantown. Or twirl a forkful of pasta in North Beach.

San Francisco knows that the way to a visitors' hearts is through their stomachs. The city lives up to its reputation as a food mecca with a delicious array of restaurants, year-round farmers' markets, and the Ferry Building Marketplace, featuring the edible wares of local food producers.

With three airports within driving distance, there's a lot of choice when it comes to finding flights to San Francisco.

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