San Francisco Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
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San Francisco Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

San Francisco is a spectacular, fun city on
the central coast of California about 350 miles from L.A.. It’s bursting with a youthful energy that
will guarantee you have an amazing and unforgettable adventure. On the northern end of the San Francisco peninsula, the city invites you to explore hip neighborhoods,
elegant buildings, beautiful parks and gardens, and enjoy a liberal,
relaxed atmosphere. And there’s no end of things to see. Union Square, in the heart of downtown, is
San Francisco’s finest shopping region. The neighborhood is famous for wide streets, clanging cable cars and some amazing shopping. And don’t forget about the Square itself,
which is a great place to sit back, relax and do some serious people-watching. Just a few minutes north, San Francisco’s
Chinatown is 8 blocks of bustling activity with storefronts and alleyways selling all
manner of strange and exotic goods. One of the largest Chinese communities in
the US, San Francisco’s Chinatown is filled with exotic sights and sounds and
a little bit of eastern mystique. Less than a mile to the east, the Embarcadero
is a busy waterfront roadway that runs right around the port area, with some of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, including Market Street, the Bay Bridge and
the San Francisco Ferry Building. Fisherman’s Wharf is at the northern end of
the Embarcadero and has a great assortment of shops, bars
and restaurants, and is right on the bay. Here you can grab a relaxed meal and a cool
drink and be entertained by colorful street performers, or just enjoy the views along the waterfront. A short stroll away is Pier 39 which has some
of the best views of San Francisco Bay, and a resident sea lion community that has
been basking in the sun at the Pier for more than 20 years. The island fortress of Alcatraz sits ominously
in the bay and is now a popular attraction, with tours
departing from Fisherman’s Wharf several times a day. Up until 1963, The Rock was home to America’s
hardest prisoners but where there was once only concrete, steel
and barbed wire, there are now gardens and wildflowers. If you listen carefully, the eerie passages
and cramped cells still echo with footsteps from the past. Not far from downtown is the Haight-Ashbury
district where Victorian-styled buildings echo with memories of the hippy days of the
60s. There are still many pockets of counterculture
where the Summer of Love lives on, and cafés, smoke shops and music stores still
sell peace and love. Halfway between Fisherman’s Wharf and the
Golden Gate Bridge is the Palace of Fine Arts. A survivor from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Expo,
and built in the Beaux-Arts style, it’s covered in greenery and surrounded by
a peaceful lagoon. It’s a perfect place for a quiet afternoon
stroll. At more than a thousand acres, Golden Gate
Park stretches almost halfway across the peninsula and contains the Conservatory
of Flowers and the tranquil Japanese Tea Garden. The park is the perfect place to enjoy the
outdoors, or just relax and recharge in some peaceful
surroundings. The Golden Gate Bridge sits majestically over
the mouth of the bay, and invites millions of visitors to the city
each year. Almost 2 miles long and 750 feet high, the Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco
to the nearby Marin Headlands. The pedestrian walkway spanning the length
of the bridge is a superb way to see sweeping views across the bay and out
over the Pacific Ocean. Baker Beach is located just to the west of
the Golden Gate Bridge and has spectacular views across the mouth
of the bay to the distant Marin Headlands. It enjoys a reputation as San Francisco’s
best sandy beach, but the views alone are worth the trip. Just north of San Francisco in Marin County, the ancient redwoods of Muir Woods National
Monument tower up to 260 feet high with some dating back almost 800 years. Local rangers can provide guided tours along
pathways that loop through the forest, or visitors can enjoy the hush sounds of nature and explore one of America’s natural treasures
at their own pace. On the eastern side of Marin County is the
charming bayside hamlet of Sausalito. In its early days it was a small artist colony, but now it’s a relaxed bayside community filled
with cafés and art galleries. A short stroll down any street will bring
you to some of the most beautiful views across
the bay. And over there, in the distance, beckoning like a siren’s song is dazzling
San Francisco – tempting you back for another taste. A temptation you’ll find hard to resist�


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