“If I do go to heaven, I'm going to do what every San Franciscan does who goes to heaven. He looks around and says, ‘It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco.' " Herb Caen, longtime San Francisco journalist.
With 800,000 citizens, San Francisco is the fourth largest city in California and the fourteenth largest in the United States. Although it was founded by Spanish colonists as along ago as 1776, it was the 1849 Gold Rush that really put San Francisco on the map, sending its population skyrocketing from 1,000 to 150,000 within twenty years. Though devastated by the 1906 earthquake, the city rebounded to host the 1915 World’s Fair, the 1968 Summer of Love, and critical victories in the gay rights movement.
Modern San Francisco has become a global hub of commerce and tourism, of activism and architecture, and of culture from all around the world.
Though compact—it measures only 49 square miles in a near-perfect 7-by-7 square—San Francisco provides a combination of excitement, fun, beauty, and year-round mild temperatures that puts it on par with the world’s greatest cities.
It is difficult to pinpoint what most sets San Francisco apart: its distinct neighborhoods, sweeping hills and panoramic views, and remarkable diversity; its incredible food and drink, proximity to the best of Northern California nature and innovation, and solid line-up of arts events; or its nightlife, architecture, and numerous professional athletics teams. It may be Rudyard Kipling who said it best: “San Francisco has only one drawback - ’tis hard to leave.”