5 good reasons to go to San Francisco
To see / do
Culture and History
The largest Chinese community outside Asia lives in San Francisco. After passing under the jade green gate (which keeps away evil spirits), you will enter a world of lanterns, pagoda roofs, signs written in calligraphy and temples that will transport you instantaneously to another continent. After immigrating during the gold rush, the Chinese community would seem to be well settled here now. You can even try out your luck with a fortune cookie!
This square is the beating heart of the city, located near banks, department stores and Market Street, a major thoroughfare. It is bordered by busy streets such as Powell and Geary, Post and Stockton. You are sure to pass through during your stay.
Home to the hippie movement and counter-culture, this district still retains a bohemian, festive and artistic spirit. It contains numerous bars, record shops, bookstores and thrift stores, curiosity cabinets and colourful characters, and the legacies of Flower Power and psychedelic rock can still be felt.
Built on a small island in the Bay of San Francisco, the famous Alcatraz high security prison can now be freely visited. It certainly has many legends and stories to tell, as a prison that held the greatest criminals of its time including the famous Al Capone during his period of operation between 1934 and 1963. It was later given to the Indians for a time, who used it as a base for the recognition of their rights.
The bohemian district of Sausalito
The hippies who settled in this small industrial district in the 1960s and 1970s indelibly transformed the appearance of the area. They built a floating village of colourful dwellings where they could live peacefully on the water. Although the hippies have mainly moved on, 400 houseboats are still moored at the docks.
It was here, at the end of this wooden jetty with its fairground-like appearance, that an amusing colony of sea lions settled in 1990 on floating platforms which kept them a short distance from the onlookers. Ferries to Alcatraz can also be boarded here, and you can also taste seafood specialities.
Shopping at the Ferry Building
With the opening of the Golden Bridge and the arrival of car traffic, this terminal, which was once one of the most important in the world, has been gradually converted from its original function. The new idea was to transform this huge public building into a market hall. You will find the best regional produce here, and it is where the city’s greatest chefs now get their supplies.
Wine tourism in Napa Valley
California is also America’s leading wine-growing region, with its century-old oak forests (for making barrels) and temperate oceanic climate that is well suited to growing vines planted on the sunny slopes. From a tourist point of view, various wineries fight to attract wine lovers to their tasting rooms with ever more impressive architectural designs.
A region of abundance
San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States, primarily due to the incredible agricultural region that surrounds it which supplies organic fruit and vegetables, fine meat, farm poultry, fresh cheeses and the best wines in the country. The sea is also very generous.
Dungeness crab is the iconic San Francisco dish. Restaurants at Fisherman's Wharf and elsewhere throughout the city offer many variations on this tasty shellfish. There are also plenty of other seafood products from the shores of the Pacific Ocean, traditionally served with delicious rye bread.
Cioppino is a fish or seafood soup simmered in a tomato sauce that was invented by the fishermen who arrived here from Genoa. Of course, there are also many Italian restaurants in the city that are a tribute to their country.
This oyster and bacon omelette speciality dates back to the gold rush. Although the combination may seem surprising, it is not for nothing that the recipe has been passed down to us today. The best thing is to form your own opinion.
This famous cocktail will warm and invigorate you and is particularly suited to the misty climate of San Francisco. It was imported soon after its invention in Ireland by Jack Koeppler, owner of the Buena Vista which currently serves nearly 2000 a day. It is a warm smooth blend of coffee, sugar, whisky and whipped cream.
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* The information on this page is provided for information purposes only and is not exhaustive. The list of airlines is subject to change. Changes to flight offers may occur at any time and without notice. For details of connections, contact airlines or travel agencies.