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The Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 to vehicles

Cable cars were declared a National Historic Landmark on Oct. 1, 1964

Restaurants at Fisherman’s Wharf offer views of San Francisco Bay

The Palace of Fine Arts remains from the Panama-Pacific Exhibition of 1915

At sunset, Alcatraz looks more like a resort than a former prison

The Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest Japanese park in the United States

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San Francisco: its outstanding attractions are only surpassed by its stunning beauty

 

 

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    It’s no wonder San Francisco draws almost 16 million visitors a year.

     

    The 49-square-mile city, on a peninsula bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the left and the San Francisco Bay on the right, is small in size, but huge on reasons to visit.

     

    Known as America’s best restaurant city, San Francisco’s dining establishments would be reason alone to visit. Chefs use fresh local ingredients to create authentic international flavors, such as Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Moroccan, Indian, Malaysian, Mexican, Greek, Russian or traditional American.

     

    But there’s also plenty to see and do in between meals.

     

    Visitors must experience the thrill of taking a ride by car or bicycle over what is likely the world’s most famous and photographed bridge -- the magnificent Golden Gate. Spanning 1.7 miles, the views from the bridge are as spectacular as the views of the bridge.

     

    Another transportation must is a ride on a historic cable car. Enjoy the clanging bells, wind in your hair and spectacular views of the city. Running on tracks with underground cables, these vehicles have been operating since the late 19th century.

     

    Fisherman’s Wharf, home to Pier 39, is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It has an abundance of souvenir shopping opportunities, as well as a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and a wax museum.

     

    For a more somber but fascinating experience, visit Alcatraz, the infamous former prison, set on an island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, that held some of the United States’ most notorious criminals. While a few tried, no inmate ever succeeded at escaping.

     

    No visit to San Francisco would be complete without at least a day in Golden Gate Park, home to the Conservatory of Flowers, the Japanese Tea Garden, the San Francisco Botanical Garden, the De Young Museum and The California Academy of Sciences.

     

    Combine these with ample opportunities for clothes shopping and golfing and San Francisco makes a premier vacation destination.