San Francisco is located at the tip of West Coast of United States, in the state of California. Some parts of Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay are part of this region. Several islands like Alcatraz, Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island are all part of the city. There are many hills here; more than 50 hills are located within the city itself. Marina and Hunters Point are unstable as they are buildings on areas of landfill. San Andreas and Hayward Faults are responsible for earthquakes in the city. It is a cause of much concern; better engineering standards and retrofits are activities undertaken frequently.
The Ohlone community occupied Northern California in 6th Century. Lieutenant Jose Joaquin Moraga and Father Francisco Palou were the founders in 1776. It was a part of Spain and it became a part of Mexico in 1821. Mexico officially declared the territory to USA in 1847. Fortune seekers rushed to California in search of precious metals in 1849; the population increased 25 fold from 1000 people. Silver and Comstock Lode further increased the population growth. With the increase in population in such a short time, crime, prostitution and gambling also grew. The military of USA built a fort at the Golden Gate and Alcatraz Island to secure the bay. The Gold Rush led to the development of banks, trade, restaurants, transportation and industries. Soon, the region evolved into a flamboyant styled community with stately hotels and huge mansions.
In 1906, a major earthquake devastated more than three-fourths of the city. Many people lost their lives; many more became homeless. Rebuilding of the city was quick and the city celebrated its rebirth in 1915. The city became the financial capital and the Great Depression did not have any negative impact on the city. Many African Americans migrated here during World War II. Two most significant treaties were signed in San Francisco: The UN Charter creating the United Nations in 1945 and the Treaty of San Francisco ending the war with Japan in 1951. The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 destructed Marina and South of Market districts. In late 1990s, computer application developers, entrepreneurs, marketing and sales professionals reinvigorated the economy. High Technology, entrepreneurship and tourism are still driving sectors of the economy.
Large financial institutions, banks, venture capital firms, Craiglist, Twitter, and Wikipedia have their corporate headquarters in San Francisco. It is the principal banking and finance centre of the West coast; Montgomery Street is the Wall Street of the West. It is also emerging as a hub for biotechnology and bio medical sectors. A large hotel infrastructure and state-of-the-art convention facilities has made San Francisco a favourite destination for event planners.
Vibrant San Francisco
San Francisco provides varied entertainment with historic architecture, sandy beaches, excellent weather, famous landmarks and delicious cuisine. There are more than 40 neighbourhoods, each wonderful and unique; a few popular ones are mentioned here.
Embarcadero has deep-water piers offering splendid views of the Financial District and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Fisherman’s Wharf is a major water-based trade centre and a tourist’s delight. Chinatown is a bustling avenue with exotic shops, food markets, herbal remedies, temples and museums. Yerba Buena is an oasis of art and culture with many galleries and museums located here. Mission District is historic with murals depicted on buildings, fences and walls. Castro/Upper Market is popular as the gay capital of the world. Haight-Ashbury has tie-dyed roots with abundant shops catering to vintage clothing, books and music records. Golden Gate Park offers the most spectacular sunset points and sightseeing attractions in San Francisco.
San Francisco is a family holiday destination with many activities to engage every member. There are museums, art galleries, shopping centres, beaches, parks and an engaging nightlife.
General Etiquette in San Francisco
Tipping is not necessary but it has developed as a rewarding habit in San Francisco. It started as a symbol of appreciation to supplement their meagre incomes. Restaurants charge Gratuity for large parties of 6 and above. Tip at least a dollar in case of buffet restaurants. Bartenders, house keeping, porter, showroom captains accept tips around $1-$5. It is a mount of $10-$15 in case of waiters, taxi drivers and hairdressers. Remember to pack your most comfortable shoes with so many attractions to visit. Make dinner reservations to avoid waiting in line.