San Francisco is located on the tip of a peninsula that extends off the west coast of California. To the west of the peninsula is the Pacific Ocean, to the east, San Francisco Bay. San Francisco itself is a relatively small city in both terms of geographic size and population (over 900,000) giving it what residents call “ a small town feel”. However the San Francisco Bay area that encompasses other familiar cities such San Jose, Oakland and Berkley is home to over 7 million.
The San Francisco Bay area as a whole is full of natural beauty and amazing attractions. However the city of San Francisco on its own has more than enough to offer to keep any visitor withy any kind of interest busy for days.
Main areas to Focus and stay
Union SquareThe majority of San Francisco sights and attractions lie with a 3 mile radius of Union Square. Union Square is located in the heart of the city just northwest of the Financial District. Union Square is San Francisco’s Times Square-except there is a healthy proportion of locals to visitors. Union Square is a shopping , transportation, hotel and social hub of the city. It is Union Square that the cable car departs for Fisherman’s Wharf and where some of the best known names in retail maintain large multi- level stores. Popular attractions such as Chinatown, North Beach, SOMA and Nob Hill all border Union Square and are a ten minute or less walk. Union Square is home to dozens of hotels in all price ranges.
Fisherman’s Wharf Aside from Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf is a another focal point to the city. More popular with tourists than locals, the area is always very crowded and is main departure point for Bay Cruises, expeditions to Alcatraz, hundreds of restaurants and Pier 39-a well known entertainment venue. Bus, F Line Street Car and Cable Car service make traveling to Union Square and other parts of the city easy and affordable. The Financial District and Union Square is less than a 30 minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf.
Financial District San Francisco’s financial district is adjacent to Union Square. Mostly located along Market Street and with views of the bay, the financial district is home high rise office buildings and on business days the sidewalks are full of local San Francisco workers in suits and business attire. The area has many restaurants and what some called an east coast-almost Boston vibe. Dozens of high rise hotels catering to business travelers are in this part of the city.
Golden Gate Park and West of city Golden Gate park is a must see for anyone visiting San Francisco. However its only accessible by bus or Muni Street car-ideally from Powell and Market Streets near Union Square. A trip out to this area will take about 30 minutes one way. In addition to the park, its museums and attractions the surrounding neighborhoods include the Sunset and Richmond Districts. Locals by far out number tourists in this area of San Francisco so its an awesome opportunity to see the diverse and authentic San Francisco culture in action.