About San Francisco
Life in the Bay Area
Whether a visitor or a local, it is hard not to find what you are looking for in San Francisco. The narrow, often hilly streets not only provide gorgeous glimpses of the bay and its famous bridges, but many also offer an array of shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
Within San Francisco’s city limits you can find distinctly defined neighborhoods where the sights, sounds and flavors can change within a single block. Glitzy shops and hotels fill Union Square; Chinatown is jam-packed with vegetable and herbal markets, temples, and of course, a substantial percentage of San Francisco’s Chinese residents. Haight-Ashbury is a colorful, vibrant area harboring all walks of life, while Fisherman’s Wharf harbors the tourists and several top attractions (Alcatraz, Pier 39, and the Maritime Museum).
If you are searching for more active pursuits, half the fun in San Francisco takes place outdoors. Golden Gate Park houses gardens, lakes, massive lawns and fields, and many other recreational facilities: tennis courts; baseball, soccer, and polo fields; a golf course; and riding stables.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, covering 3 counties and 28 miles of stunning shoreline, is the largest urban park in the world. The park features beaches, and a multitude of sites well suited for jogging, biking, kite flying and fishing. In addition to Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco boasts more than 2,000 additional acres of parkland ideal for picnicking or throwing around a Frisbee.
Captivating sights and activities stretch beyond the Bay Area. In less than an hour by car, you can reach natural spectacles like Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods; scenic communities like Tiburon and Sausalito; and the neighboring cities of Oakland and Berkeley. If you are willing to travel a little further, Northern California’s glorious wine country is a feasible day trip from San Francisco, and Lake Tahoe is a great weekend destination.
Both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys offer the beauty of vineyards, wildflowers, green and golden hills, and of course, numerous wineries enticing both wine connoisseurs and novices to taste their house specialty.
Lake Tahoe boasts pursuits for every type of mountain traveler. Winter sports include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe tours, dog sledding and more. Summer visitors can experience spectacular boating, sailing, backpacking, mountain biking, and other activities that meet numerous desires. In South Lake Tahoe, after taking your chances on the mountains by day, you can try your luck in the casinos by night.
Overall, the list of things to do in San Francisco and the surrounding areas is endless. Read a book in a local café. Shop for incense and tie-dyes in the Haight. People watch in Castro. Stroll across the Golden Gate while the bay mist sweeps across your face. Walk along the beach, sip California wine, hit the slopes in Tahoe again, the options are never-ending. They are also open to everyone, so be sure to come and join the fun!
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