San Francisco is the financial, cultural and commercial centre of Northern California. It has the thirteenth highest population in the USA. It is a stunning city to visit.
The Golden Gate Bridge
This dramatic bridge, built in 1937, is located between San Francisco Bay and the Marin Peninsula. The whole area around the bridge is a designated National Recreation Area and has 15 million visitors annually. Walking along the shoreline towards this elegant structure is a sight not to be missed.
Alcatraz Island is approached by boat as it is 1.25 miles off the San Franciscan coast line. The federal prison for which the island is famous was built in 1934 and in use until 1963. On a foggy San Francisco day the prison presents as an eerie threatening building and, although once some convicts allegedly escaped, it is hard to imagine. Many tour companies take thousands of visitors on day and night trips every year. Famous for Burt Lancaster in the film The Birdman of Alcatraz.
San Francisco Cable Car System
This is the last manually operated cable car system in the world and is a must for any visitor to take a ride. It used to have 23 lines in operation, but now only three remain. It was built between 1873 and 1890. To cling on, whilst being transported up and down the unbelievably steep gradients of the San Francisco streets, is an unforgettable experience.