| San Francisco
San Francisco is located on the west coast of California, this city is the major urban area in northern California. The city is at the northern tip of a peninsula to San Francisco Bay. San Francisco has water on three sides of it. The Pacific Ocean is to the west, the Golden Gate Strait is to the north and San Francisco Bay is to the east. The San Bruno Mountains are to the south.
The 47 square mile city is serviced by 3 major airports, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is part of the extensive mass transit system in the area. This is known as the Bay Area and includes major cities to the east such as Oakland, Richmond and Berkeley. San Jose is to the south and Marin County is to the north. The city is broken into numerous sections around the many hills in the city. The elevation in the city ranges from sea level upto 938'.
San Francisco was settled in 1776 by the Spanish officer Juan Bautista de Anza. The presidio (fort) was set up to guard the San Francisco Bay. 1846 saw the control of the city passing from Mexico to the United States. 1848 gold was discovered in nearby Sacremento. The resulting gold rush resulted in a booming San Francisco.
The city's economy is centered around being a regional financial and trade center. A leading manufacturing area, it is one of the countries largest shipping areas. Tourism is the other large industry that supports the city. Internet commerce has also recently a strong hold in the city.
San Francisco is a beautiful city, contrasted by steep hills, large water fronts and old wooden houses that are painted in multi-colors. Skyscrapers, Golden Gate Park and bridge, Chinatown, museums, Fishermans Wharf, the Castro district, the Haight, Mission district, North Beach, cable cars and the seals at Pier 39, San Francisco offers culture and activities normally seen in cities much larger then its size.
Buffered by temperate weather, the city receives slightly less then 20"/year of rain. Often sunny, often foggy, San Francisco is known for micro weather systems. The weather tends to be sunnier away from the Pacific Ocean areas. San Francisco is reknowned as a tolerant city, incorporating diverse racial groups and alternative lifestyles.