San Francisco, a beautiful and beloved city old

A stunning city with steep hills and iconic landmarks —like the Golden Gate Bridge— situated on the West Coast of the United States. This popular destination is cherished by locals and visitors.

A stunning city with steep hills and iconic landmarks —like the Golden Gate Bridge— situated on the West Coast of the United States. This popular destination is cherished by locals and visitors.

This is San Francisco, California, founded in 1776 by Spanish conquistadores. The city grew rapidly in the nineteenth century thanks to the Gold Rush. Today, it is considered the most European city of the USA.

San Francisco stands out as a cultural city, providing a vast selection of exhibitions and events that include theater, opera, and ballet, as well as visual arts. The city houses numerous museums such as the famous San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Asian Art Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences.

I wanted to know what the locals think about this great city. “It’s a romantic destination, we have excellent food, wonderful restaurants, nice weather, beautiful green spaces. People are relaxed and the streets are charming,” said without hesitation the chef at a restaurant.

“Many of those men you see on the street wearing just jeans and a t-shirt are millionaires,” declares David Suarez, the waiter. They aren’t pretentious, they are informal, simple. They have a good life, luxury homes and private jets, they travel and invest their money in the stock market.

In San Francisco, people have a healthy and active lifestyle. They enjoy eating organic food and exercising. They take care of their bodies. You might even see some celebrities working out.

The weather is another element that captivates both tourists and locals alike. San Francisco is known as the “Fog City”. At around 4 pm you can hardly see the house across the street at the top of Broadway or the highest part of the Golden Gate bridge.

Half way through the nineteenth century, the California Gold Rush attracted a large-scale immigration and the city became one of the largest cities in the west. The economic growth has been persistent since then. Major corporations and tech giants like Google, Yahoo, and Amazon are located in Cupertino, just one hour’s drive from San Francisco. “Nextdoor.com began with only 30 employees and the workforce has grown to 300 in only 3 years,” says Stella Padrón, who works at Kate Spade’s company, one of the most recognized fashion accessories designers in the world.

People love the city but they admit it is a very expensive place to live in. Even more expensive than New York. “An apartment is not available for less than $800,000. At Pacific Heights, the rent of a one-bedroom apartment is between $8,000 and $10,000,” declares Stella.

“I live in San Francisco South and I pay $1,850 a month for a one-bedroom apartment with no garage,” says María, a Nicaraguan woman.

This means that wages are higher than the national average. “A hotel maid earns ten dollars an hour, cleaning a house pays twenty-five dollars per hour, a baby-sitter earns thirty dollars an hour and a bank teller receives two thousand dollars per week,” explains Stella who has been living in California for 10 years.

San Francisco is the multicultural, financial and transportation center of San Francisco bay, an area with seven million people. Here you can find elegant hotels and an extensive choice of restaurants with an amazing selection of international cuisines —Italian, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican and more. On Valencia Street there are plenty of beautiful places with a European flair, a bohemian atmosphere and tables alfresco. In Little Italy people can enjoy some fine dining. And only a few minutes away is the famous Chinatown, with bustling shops and colorful clothes hanging on the balconies.

San Francisco is also a casual city. People wear jackets that cost $800 and the suit and tie dress code is only for the office. The traffic is heavy but drivers wait patiently. Pedestrian always have priority and you will only find traffic lights at intersection points on major roads.

Anything can happen and no one will be shocked about it. This is a relaxed society where everything is acceptable. At the Castro gay village, men would walk around naked without being fined or arrested. Castro used to be a working-class neighborhood during the 1960s and 1970s, and it became a ground-breaking area for the gay community. Today it is considered as a symbol for the LGBT individuals.

Mission is the zone frequented by Latin-Americans. Mexican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran people visit this street where you can find everything, from greengrocers to financial services. “It reminds me of Roosevelt area in New York,” says Stella Padrón.

There is a wide range of choices to enjoy the dynamic nightlife of San Francisco. Jazz at South of Market area and Latin music in the Mission district. After midnight, Figaro is one of the most popular clubs for Hispanics while Castro is a vibrant gay scene offering excellent entertainment options.

San Francisco is constantly welcoming tourists from every corner of the world.

Essential places to include in your itinerary:

1) Golden Gate Bridge, is an iconic landmark in San Francisco. This magnificent suspension bridge is 8,981 feet long. Pedestrians can cross the bridge using the walkways on either side.

2) Pier 39, on Beach Street and Embarcadero. From this busy pier you can enjoy amazing panoramic views, sea lions sightings, and visit the numerous restaurants and shops.

3) Lombard Street is San Francisco’s most famous street with eight hairpin turns.

4) Alcatraz, a small island with a high-security prison. Today is one of the most popular tourist attractions.

5) Fisherman’s Wharf is another renowned tourist attraction. Covers the northern waterfront area east to Pier 35.

6) Chinatown, on Grant Avenue and Stockton Street. The oldest Chinatown in the country and one of the largest Chinese communities outside Asia.