In 1846 the United States claimed California during the Mexico-American War and renamed Yerba Buena as San Francisco in 1847. The California gold rush swelled the population, which generated significant wealth for the city. The first cable cars were installed in 1873 and impressive Victorian houses dotted the cityscape. Interestingly, the famous Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937 during the Great Depression - the same period as our own Sydney Harbour Bridge. Today San Francisco is a thriving melting pot of cosmopolitan chic, a major destination for visitors keen to bask in the glow of the golden gates.
San Francisco is a year around destination for visitors. In summer, temperatures peak at around 21 degrees, while in winter the mercury rises on average to about 14 degrees. Summers are however considerably drier with the bulk of rain falling between January and March.
The city hosts a dizzying array of events and festivals including the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Fringe Festival and the San Francisco Blues Festival. San Francisco is also a hot bed of creative talent. World famous companies include the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Symphony. A visit to the city isn’t complete without enjoying the unique San Francisco artistic expression.
From Australia, most airlines fly to San Francisco via Los Angeles. Airlines that fly to San Francisco include:
San Francisco boasts unsurpassed elegance when it comes to luxury accommodation options including the Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons Hotel and The Fairmont. There are also many intimate boutique hotels if that’s your preference.
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
San Francisco boasts many iconic images. The Golden Gate Bridge is immediately recognisable, the cable cars are synonymous with the city and Alcatraz, an island prison, should be at the top of your exploration list. Lombard Street has been immortalised in many films owing to its incredible steepness and eight hairpin turns. Bordering the Alamo Square Park are the Painted Ladies, a row of Victorian houses exquisitely painted to perfection.
Consider strolling through the various neighbourhoods. Check out the sea lions sun baking near Fisherman’s Wharf, enjoy yum cha in Chinatown or wander down to the Castro, the centre of the city’s gay and lesbian community. Union Square is always a good place to get your bearings in downtown San Fran.
For your museum fix, marvel at the contemporary wonders at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, enjoy the European antiquities in the Palace of the Legion of Honor or learn something about the world around us at the Morrison Planetarium and the Steinhart Aquarium.
Don't leave home without...
San Francisco is a modern city. Therefore if you happen to forget your favourite moisturiser, the chances are you can find a replacement.
The city proudly welcomes diversity and individuality. Locals openly promote acceptance of people from all walks of life. Therefore tourists are welcomed with genuine American hospitality.
Things to be careful of…
Smoking is illegal inside bars, restaurants and other public places. Regardless of the law, most locals would appreciate visitors refraining from lighting up in restricted areas.