San Francisco, in northern California, is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Known for its year-round fog and Tony Bennett leaving his heart there, San Francisco is home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colourful Victorian houses. The Transamerica Pyramid is its most distinctive skyscraper. In the bay sits Alcatraz Island, site of the notorious former prison which is open to visitors and is reached via a rough 10 minute boat ride. Only 3 men managed to escape from Alcatraz and although the prison authorities swore that they drowned at sea, there is apparently evidence to show that they in fact survived their ordeal.
Fisherman’s Wharf, on the northern waterfront, is one of the city’s busiest tourist areas. Souvenir shops and stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread appear on almost every corner, as do stunning views of the bay, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. There’s also a colony of sea lions to see and historic ships to tour. At Ghirardelli Square, boutiques and eateries reside in the famed former chocolate factory.
Union Square is another favourite spot with numerous upscale hotels, boutiques, restaurants and galleries and of course and icon of San Francisco is the San Francisco cable car system which is the world’s last manually operated cable car system.
Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and you are into the peace and tranquility of the Napa Valley wine region.
So much to do in San Francisco – it’s great for a short break or even a two week holiday. You won’t be bored – stay in the Vertigo Hotel which is like stepping back in time into the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name.