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No other city combines sea breezes with Victorian architecture and world culture quite like San Francisco does. With its Gold Rush roots, its worldwide fame through the film industry and its proximity to Silicon Valley,
San Francisco spans eras as easily as its famous Golden Gate Bridge spans the shark-filled bay.
The city's bayfront is home to many of its most famous attractions, from the steaming sidewalk crab pots of Fisherman's Wharf to the shops and eateries of Pier 39. From there, swing by Ghiradelli Square for a bite of world-famous chocolate before you check out old sailing vessels at the National Maritime Historical Park.
When you're ready for a more pastoral escape, Golden Gate Park awaits with its glass-enclosed Conservatory of Flowers, Chinese-style Golden Gate Pavilion and classical Japanese Tea Garden.
More must-see places include the twists and turns of Lombard Street, the creepy cell blocks of Alcatraz, and the largest Chinatown outside of Asia.
At the northwest tip of the San Francisco area is the former army base best known as the Presidio, which encompasses family favorites like Baker Beach, the Exploratorium science museum and the Palace of Fine Arts.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area spans both the north and south sides of San Francisco Bay's mouth and offers beaches, hiking trails and sweeping views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge.
Over the centuries, San Francisco has evolved into one of the most distinct, beautiful and internationally recognized cities in the world. And with its mix of cultures, stunning architecture and extensive attractions, San Francisco is truly a traveler's delight.