San Francisco

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The initial base for the gold rush of 1849, San Francisco quickly became the most important financial, commercial and naval centre in the American west. Devastated by an earthquake in 1906, the city was quickly rebuilt and over the decades has become famous for many things including the hippy movement in the late 1960s. A relatively small city by US standards at less than 50 square miles, what San Francisco lacks in size it certainly makes up for in every other way!

An exciting, dynamic city overflowing with activity, endless outdoor adventures, trendy restaurants, world-class opera and theatre, beautiful Victorian architecture and a buzzing waterfront all make this a place you simply cannot miss. Traditional cable cars trundle through the steep streets and fresh seafood and cocktails are popular at sunset on Pier 39. The pathways bustle with families on bicycles, navigating across the city’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge to explore the ‘arty’ town of Sausalito on the other side. There are many different districts of the city to explore, whether you want to get your own personalised fortune cookies in Chinatown, stroll around the historic hippie vibe area of Haight-Ashbury, or enjoy some time shopping in the malls of Union Square. A highlight is to take an evening ferry out to visit the fascinating Alcatraz Island, where some of America’s most infamous criminals spent time behind bars.

In summer, expect the morning fog to come rolling in (great for the picture album), but later in the year around November time you can expect to see some gorgeous sunny days. Wearing layers is the key here, as the weather can surprise you!

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