Packed into 49 square miles and bordered on three sides by water, San Francisco has breathtaking vistas – literally. Pant to the top of a hill for an astonishing panorama of the impossibly blue bay, dotted by sailboats and linked by the Golden Gate Bridge to the pristine Marin Headlands beyond.
San Francisco has always drawn both fortune seekers and free spirits with its live-and-let-live philosophy. The most progressive city in the U.S., it brought you "Howl,” the Summer of Love, the gay rights movement, the Internet revolution and Burning Man.
Its tourist attractions have a nostalgic quality – dinging cable cars, winding Lombard Street, deco Coit Tower. Locals are found elsewhere: lounging in Dolores Park, browsing boutiques along Valencia Street, buying cheese at the Ferry Building, cheering the Giants at AT&T Park or surfing at Ocean Beach. They’re barhopping in the Castro or the Marina or the Mission, or catching a band at the Fillmore. And they’re dining at a dizzying array of exceptional restaurants – line up and join them.