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San Francisco

One of the country's most attractive cities, San Francisco boasts foggy, hilly streets that provide gorgeous views of San Francisco Bay and its famous bridges. This is a mosaic of a city, a big picture made from the colorful tiles of the Latino Mission, gay Castro, bustling Chinatown, clubby SoMa, hippie Haight-Ashbury and Italian North Beach. Fisherman's Wharf is the epicenter of tourist kitsch and the gateway to Alcatraz, while Union Square is where the classy shoppers congregate.
Golden Gate Bridge Golden Gate Bridge
An engineering masterpiece, this bridge, built in 1937, towers with sturdy grace over the Golden Gate. Stretching over 4,200 feet, it is every bit as awesome an accomplishement in suspension-bridge engineering today as it was over half a century ago. Pedestrians can access the east entrance for a 50-minute jaunt (less on a bike) on one of the world's most famous corridors. For photos, or to view the bridge in its entirety, try the spectacular lookout points located at the southeast and northeast ends. Don't miss the historic Roundhouse, a gift shop/visitors center, which boasts a fine selection of souvenirs, and an informative exhibit about the bridge's construction and history.
Golden Gate Park Golden Gate Park
In the late 1800s, a Scotsman named John McLaren transformed more than 1,000 acres of sand dunes into a wondrous haven in the midst of busy city life. Stretching from Stanyan Street to the Pacific Ocean, the lush landscaping features ever-changing settings at every turn. There are trails for walking, jogging, biking, horseback riding, as well as golf course, lawn bowling greens, soccer fields and a baseball diamond. For those seeking less strenuous diversion, the California Academy of Sciences and an authentic Japanese Tea Garden. For families with children there are playgrounds, a live buffalo reserve and a carousel.
Alcatraz Island Alcatraz Island
No longer a prison for some of America's most dangerous offenders, it is open to tours and remains a must-see for visitors to The City. Once on the island, you will certainly be captivated by its history and its incredible beauty. Take your camera because regardless of the view, a photo opportunity awaits. Also, dress in layers (even during the summer months) because the island can be breezy and inside the prison walls it is cold and damp.
Muir Woods National Monument Muir Woods National Monument
Step back in time and into this primeval forest on Mount Tamaplais. Some of these towering redwoods are more than 2,000 years old. Trails are set out for the casual stroller and for the avid hiker looking for a challenge in the cool stillness of this 560-acre national park.


    
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