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San Francisco

5,043 bytes added, 17:51, 12 June 2013
Climate
'''San Francisco''' [http://onlyinsanfrancisco.com/] is a major city in [[California]], the centerpiece of the [[Bay Area (California)|Bay Area]], well-known for its liberal community, hilly terrain, Victorian architecture, scenic beauty, summer fog, and great ethnic and cultural diversity. These are only a few of the aspects of the city that make San Francisco one of the most visited cities in the world.
San Francisco is located on a small seven-by-seven mile (11x11km) square of land at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast. It has a population of 815,000, but is the center of a metropolitan area of 7.1 million. San Francisco is just one of the cities which makes up the entire San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco's neighbors - municipalities to the east of the Bay Bridge, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and south of the city are all part of separate counties, each with their own governments and local public transportation systems. '''[http://www.citywalkingguide.com/sanfrancisco Download and print the San Francisco walking guide series]''' to help you explore the city at your own pace.
==Districts==
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San Francisco has a mild climate, with cool, wet winters and dry summers. In most months, you can expect the high temperature to be in the upper 50s, 60s or low 70s degrees Fahrenheit (between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius). However, these mild temperature readings belie a unique climate not shared by other major cities in the state or country.Essentially San Francisco is never warmer than 73 degrees but never colder than 50 degrees. The nights are very cold so usually people in San Francisco always carry around a jacket because the temperatures can drop or rise drastically within an hour
Summer days usually start out under fog, slowly burning off towards the ocean into a sunny albeit windy afternoon. Measureable precipitation during the summer months is rare, although light drizzle is possible. Humidity is very constant, but rarely uncomfortable. At late afternoon, when the fog and wind returns people generally find themselves needing a jacket (and this is summer!). There are some days when the fog lingers all day.
'''San Francisco Bay Area Airports'''
*'''San Francisco International''', +1 800 435-9736, [http://www.flysfo.com] ({{IATA|SFO}}) located about 10 mi (16 km) south of the city is a major international airport, one of the largest in the world and has numerous passenger amenities including a wide range of food and drink establishments, shopping, baggage storage, public showers, a medical clinic, and assistance for lost or stranded travelers and military personnel. It is the major hub for Virgin America and United as well as a major international airport with direct flights to Asia, Latin America and Europe.
*'''Oakland International''', +1 510 563-3300, [http://www.oaklandairport.com/] ({{IATA|OAK}}) in the [[East Bay (Bay Area)|East Bay]] provides service to numerous destinations in the United States as well as Mexico. It is a major hub for Southwest airlines.
*'''Norman Y.Mineta San Jose International''', +1 408 277-4759, [http://www.sjc.org] ({{IATA|SJC}}) in [[Silicon Valley]], about 1 hour south of San Francisco attracts Bay Area residents who find SFO to be inconveniently distant from their homes. Only Alaska Airlines and Volaris operate international flights from here(to Mexico).
[[Oakland]] and [[San Jose (California)|San Jose]] tend to offer more discount airline flights, while San Francisco Airport attracts more international flights and can be more convenient for those staying in the city. Private pilots should consider Oakland ({{ICAO|KOAK}}) rather than SFO, as the separate general aviation field there is more accommodating to light aircraft.
*'''WestCAT''', +1 510 724-7993, [http://www.westcat.org/index.html] from Contra Costa County.
*'''Vallejo Baylink''', +1 707 643-3779, [http://www.baylinkferry.com/schedule/baylink-bus.php] (in conjunction with BayLink Ferry) from Vallejo.
*'''BART ''', +1 707 643-3779 +1 510 465-2278, [http://www.bart.gov] runs commuter trains between various places in San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Vallejo and Contra Costa Counties including the San Francisco International Airport.
*'''511.org''', [http://www.511.org] provides streamlined information on getting around the bay area by public transport with various transit agencies, train companies and ferries including a trip planner program.
There are four major highway approaches to San Francisco. '''US 101''' comes up the eastern side of the SF peninsula and is the most direct route from the south, although it often backs up with traffic. '''Interstate 280''' is a more scenic route into the city from the same direction, but with poorer connections than 101. '''Interstate 80''' approaches the city from the east over the San Francisco Bay Bridge. From the north, '''US 101''' takes you over the Golden Gate Bridge.
 
Note that as of 2012, the Golden Gate Bridge has closed all cash toll booths and fully converted to electronic toll collection. All users must have a FasTrak transponder issued by one of the state's various toll road agencies (many California rental car agencies can rent a transponder with their vehicles for a "convenience fee") or must settle their toll within 21 days of crossing. The toll plaza is equipped with cameras to record license plates of vehicles that do not have transponders. Tolls can be paid online or at one of several retail locations that take cash. For now, all other Bay Area bridges still have cash toll booths.
==Get around==
===By bike===
If you have strong legs and can tolerate traffic with intermittent bike lanesa bit of urban cycling experience, bicycles can be a convenient form of are an excellent option for transportation in within San Francisco. Although it's a The city with a hefty population and a high density rate, San Francisco is fairly small in land area-- just 7x7 about 7 miles from north to south and 7 miles from east to west-- so it's fairly quick to get from one end to the other, and in recent years, the city's Metropolitan Transportation Agency has installed many miles of new bike lanes and paths. Cycling is a common transportation choice for San Francisco residents, moreso than in most other American cities, as it is often the quickest way across town. This means that motorists will generally be aware of the presence of cyclists on the roadway. However, it is extremely important to ride with caution, as gridlock and congestion can lead motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike to act unpredictably and in an unsafe manner, at times. Theft of bicycle parts and entire bicycles is unfortunately very common in San Francisco, so it is recommended to avoid leaving a bicycle unattended in public for extended periods of time, and if it is necessary to do so, to lock the bicycle as securely as possible, with a strong lock. But  If you plan on cycling in San Francisco, consider that much of the terrain is extremely hilly and hard , making for some tough climbs. In addition, coming downhill means, if you're not careful, you may find yourself barreling out of control into cross traffic at the bottom of the hill. However, there is almost always a bicycle route to get you from one place to pedal upanother while avoiding major climbs within the city. If you'''re unsure of how to get around the hills, ask a local cyclist for advice. Do not''' be misled by maps depicting the city's strict, regular street grid, as even and assume that these streets are always flat. Even the straightest of San Francisco's streets might include steep hills or even staircases instead of a roadway. And remember, children may tire even sooner than adults will. A classic and relatively recommended easy ride for children and cyclists with little experience is from the tip of Golden Gate Park's panhandle in the Haight, along paths and JFK Drive through the park to Ocean Beach. JFK Drive is lightly trafficked, and closed to cars on Sundays.
DowntownSoMa, SoMathe Mission, and the Sunset, and Richmond districts are relatively flat. There are a number of bike paths and bike routes on city streets; the '''San Francisco Bike Coalition''' [http://www.sfbike.org/] keeps a lot of information about them. There are a number of bike rental companies in town, including '''Dylan's Bike Rental''' [http://dylanstours.com/],'''Bay City Bike''' [http://www.baycitybike.com/], '''Bike and Roll''' [http://www.bikerental.com/] and '''Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals''' [http://www.blazingsaddles.com/] with locations in Fisherman's Wharf, and the '''Bike Hut''' [http://www.thebikehut.com/] and '''Pacific Bicycle''' [http://pacbikes.com/] in SoMa.
A very popular ride for visitors to San Francisco is the ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, a small town in the relatively undeveloped Marin Headlands. The Golden Gate Bridge has sectioned off pathways on each side for pedestrians and bicyclists. If you choose to ride a bicycle across the Golden Gate BridgeWhen open, be aware that walkers always stay on the east Western side of the bridge is for cyclists only. When the Western side is closed for construction, the Eastern side is intended for shared use by pedestrians and bikes are often to cyclists. When sharing the Western side with pedestrians, ride on the west (ocean) courteously. Avoid riding side-by-side , and do your best to make way for groups of the bridgepedestrians, as well as commuting cyclists, who ride at higher speeds, and generally have less patience for obstructions. When the Bridge bridge is closed to pedestrians during nighttime, you may continue to bicycle across by stopping to press the buzzer at the automatically closed gates to be buzzed in and out. [http://goldengatebridge.org/bikesbridge/bikes.php] It is a pet peeve of many locals to have to dodge bicycles while jogging or strolling.
===By taxi===
When parking on a hill (and there are many of them in San Francisco), remember to '''always''' apply that parking brake and turn your wheels so that the tires are against the curb (Facing uphill, the front wheels should be turned out until the tires are resting against the curb. Facing downhill, the front wheels should be turned in so that they are set against the curb). Failure to park properly doesn't just run the risk of having your car roll downhill, but it is also against the law and you may be ticketed. [http://www.sfmta.com/cms/penf/indxpkenf.htm#curbwheels]
'''Motorcycles and scootersScooters''' are a common sight on San Francisco streets; in fact, San Francisco is known as one of the most motorcycle-friendly places in the U.S. Street parking for motorcycles is plentiful and relatively inexpensive ($0.40 to $0.70 an hour), but note that parking on sidewalks is usually illegal. There are several motorcycle rental shops like '''Dubbelju Motorcycle Rentals''' [http://dubbelju.com/], along with many dealers, service shops, and motorcyclist hangouts. As elsewhere in California, motorcyclists must wear helmets. Motorcycle theft is a problem; always use a disk lock or secure your bike to a stationary object using a cable or chain.
'''Segways''', though more novel, are fairly common in San Francisco. So far there is only one authorized Segway dealer that rents out Segways [http://www.siliconsegway.com/], though various tour operators (many of whom operate from [[San Francisco/Fisherman's Wharf|Fisherman's Wharf]]) offer guided trips throughout the city.
 
===Ride Share Programs===
'''Ride Sharing''' is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to taxi cab services in San Francisco, offering an arguably friendlier and more reliable service at a cheaper price. Programs including Lyft[http://www.lyft.me/], Sidecar[http://www.side.cr/], and Uber[https://www.uber.com/] involve downloading their mobile application to request a ride. Programs such as Sidecar and Lyft utilizes local drivers, while Uber is a more up-scale service, providing town cars and luxury SUVs at a premium price. The local drivers whom drive for Sidecar, Lyft, etc. usually do not have a taxi license. They are residents who own cars and are looking for an extra income on the side. But be assured, each driver in the ride share programs go through background checks and are tracked via GPS during your ride. Driver photos and their cars are displayed to the rider before pick up to ensure rider safety.
 
To request ride, the ride share programs usually requires the rider to download their mobile application and create an account and store credit card information. When requesting a ride, the rider enters their pick-up location, and drop-off location. When a driver confirms your ride request, a GPS map will track the driver's location, ETA, as well as show a picture of the driver and their car.
 
All forms of payment are done through the mobile application, so there is no need to carry cash. And since most of the ride share programs are not a Taxi service, and the driver's don't have Taxi licenses, they work off an 'suggested donation' system.
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Three passes are available which offer discounts to many interesting attractions:
*'''San Francisco CityPASS''' [http://www.citypass.com/san-francisco]. A relatively cheap and easy way to cover many attractions of the city is the CityPASS. For a fare of $64 84 for adults and $39 59 for children 5-12, you get admission to the California Academy of Sciences, a Blue and Gold Fleet bay cruise, the Aquarium of the Bay, or the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Exploratorium or the Legion of Honor and the de Young Museum (both must be visited on the same day). A CityPASS works for 9 consecutive days starting with the use of your first ticket (each ticket only accounts for one visit to each attraction). The pass also includes seven consecutive days of Cable Car and MUNI fares.
*'''Go San Francisco Card''' [http://www.gosanfranciscocard.com/]. Another easy way to cover many attractions and tours is the Go San Francisco Card. This card allows you to take some tours for free, such as the Wine Country tour, San Francisco Sightseeing, City Tour, Bay Cruises, museums, aquariums, The Conservatory of Flowers, and many other activities. Other tours and activities are also discounted from $5 to 40%. The cost of the card is $50 for 1 day, $80 for 2 days, $85 for 3 days. $115 for 5 days, and $136 for 7 days.
At the '''Hyde Street Pier''' in [[San Francisco/Fisherman's Wharf|Fisherman's Wharf]] you can go on board several historical ships, including the 1886 Balclutha clipper ship, a walking-beam ferry, a steam tug, and a coastal schooner. At Pier 45 just to the east, the World War II submarine '''USS Pampanito''' and the World War II Liberty Ship '''SS Jeremiah O'Brien''' can be visited. Nearby is the '''Aquarium of the Bay''' on Pier 39 and the '''Wax Museum'''.
The newly relocated and bigger and better than ever '''Exploratorium''' at the Palace of Fine Arts in the [[San Francisco/Golden Gate|Marina]] on Pier 15 is walking distance from Embarcadero and will keep you busy for an entire day with their science and perception exhibits. Also in In the Marina district is '''Fort Mason''', home to a few cultural museums.
===Parks and outdoors===
====Outdoor and recreational events====
[[File:Bay to breakers.jpg|thumb|300px| Bay to breakers parties during the race]]
*'''Bay to Breakers''', [http://www.baytobreakers.com/]. Third Sunday in May. An annual footrace that is one of the largest in the country. The route runs from Downtown to Ocean Beach. Many runners do the whole thing in costume, wearing anything from elaborate costumes to wearing almost nothing at all, lending a party atmosphere to the event.
*'''Critical Mass'''. On the last Friday of each month, bicyclists in San Francisco (and about 200 like-minded cities world-wide) gather at the north end of Market Street on the Embarcadero and ride en masse to some destination, militantly demonstrating their right to occupy the roads. If you are driving in SF on a Critical Mass day, you will want to listen for radio traffic reports, but if you are stopped by the mass the best thing to do is maintain a good sense of humor and remember that it will all pass in about 5 minutes. Although, tempers can and do flare, and there have been cases where run ins with drivers and bicyclists have gotten violent. If your car is surrounded by bikes, definitely do not move until they have passed or they might feel threatened.
San Francisco has several professional sports teams, although the spread-out nature of the Bay Area means there are also teams nearby in [[San Jose (California)|San Jose]] and [[Oakland]].
The '''San Francisco Giants''' are the city's Major League Baseball team, playing their home games at the lovely AT&T Park in [[San Francisco/SoMa|SoMa]]. The other major league team in San Francisco is the '''San Francisco 49ers''', the city's National Football League team, who play their games at Candlestick Park on Candlestick Point in [[San Francisco/Southeast|Southeast San Francisco]]. Both teams command huge fan bases. The '''San Francisco Bulls''' are a professional hockey team, located at the Cow Palace in the southwest corner of the city. They are the minor league affiliate of the San Jose Sharks. The Bulls' regular season runs from October through March.
As far as college sports go in San Francisco, there are the '''University of San Francisco Dons''', who play various college sports including baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball at their campus in [[San Francisco/Western Addition|Western Addition]]. The '''San Francisco State University Gators''' play various college sports including baseball, basketball and soccer at their campus near [[San Francisco/Twin Peaks-Lake Merced|Lake Merced]].
San Francisco is a hotbed for underground music; a highly diverse array of musical styles is represented (e.g., rock, pop, experimental, weird folk, and avant-jazz). Shows occur every night, with as many as fifteen small shows occurring each Thursday through Saturday night. Much of this activity is not always well covered in the mainstream media; useful community-driven resources for finding about local shows include Dar Dar Dar [http://dardardar.org/] and the Transbay Calendar [http://transbaycalendar.org].
 
===Meet and greet locals===
But if you don't have a luxury dollar to spend and still want to walk away with something unique, there are plenty of shops in '''[[San Francisco/Chinatown-North Beach|Chinatown]]''' for you, selling Oriental handicrafts of all descriptions, and no chain stores in sight. '''[[San Francisco/Western Addition|Japantown]]''' also offers plenty of great shops selling authentic souvenirs, including the excellent Kinokuniya Stationery/Bookstore. The '''[[San Francisco/Haight|Haight]]''' is full of excellent independent record and book stores, with Amoeba Music dominating the scene.
For basic supplies, try the ubiquitous 7-Eleven convenience stores and Walgreens pharmacies. If you need groceries, Safeway is the dominant supermarket chain in the city. There are Safeway stores in SoMa, near Fisherman's Wharf, and near the Financial District, but not near Union Square. The closest supermarket to Union Square is the upscale Bristol Farms supermarket at Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre.
==Eat==
*<drink name="The Winery SF" alt="" address="200 California Ave, Bldg 180 North" directions="Treasure Island" phone="(415)735-8423" url="http://winery-sf.com" hours="12 p.m.-5p.m." price="" lat="" long="">The Winery SF is San Francisco's Winery, Tasting Room & Event Center. Enjoy distinctive wines produced right in San Francisco, from our highly acclaimed Sonoma and Napa Valley winemaker. Producing hand-crafted wines in a traditional, old-world manner, The Winery offers a large number of boutique wines, creating an unforgettable wine experience for individuals, groups, and guests of San Francisco. The Winery brings the "California wine experience" to San Francisco. </drink>
===Bars and clubs===
The best way to find a good '''bar''' or '''club''' is to ask the advice of a local; but barring that a copy of ''The SF Bay Guardian'' or the ''SF Weekly'' will help you find something suited to your personal taste.
* '''21st Amendment''', also in [[San Francisco/SoMa|SoMa]], is three blocks away from the Giants' home at AT&T Park.
* '''Social Kitchen & Brewery''' is the newest brewpub, in the Sunset District, a block from Golden Gate Park.
* '''Comstock Saloon''', opened since 1907 in [[San Francisco/Chinatown-North Beach|North Beach]]'s old Barbary Coast at the SW corner of Columbus and Pacific, is San Francisco's second oldest bar; formerly the oldest microbrewery in San Francisco, it was known as '''The San Francisco Brewing Company'''
* '''The Saloon''', opened in 1861 at the corner of Fresno and Grant in [[San Francisco/Chinatown-North Beach|North Beach]], is San Francisco's oldest bar and the only bar to survive the 1906 Earthquake and fire
Other destinations for beer drinkers include the '''Gordon Biersch''' alehouse on the Embarcadero in [[San Francisco/SoMa|SoMa]], the '''City Beer Store and Tasting Bar''' on Folsom St in [[San Francisco/SoMa|SoMa]] (your best bet for beer to go), the [[San Francisco/Mission-Bernal Heights|Mission's]] '''Monk's Kettle''', and the famous '''Toronado Pub''' on lower [[San Francisco/Haight|Haight Street]], which specializes in Belgian ales.
The surrounding Alameda, San Mateo, and Marin Counties also host many microbreweries worth trying. Many of these are accessible by BART. And There are North Bay beer options as well that should not be ignored. '''Lagunitas Brewing Company''', one of the country's fastest growing craft breweries, is 35 minutes north of the city. Also, although Santa Rosa is 45 minutes north of San Francisco, no beer lovers should skip the renowned '''Russian River Brewing Company''' in downtown Santa Rosa.
==Sleep==
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