San Francisco is a major city in California, the centerpiece of the Bay Area, well-known for its liberal community, hilly terrain, Victorian architecture, scenic beauty, summer fog, and great ethnic and cultural diversity. The city is located on a small piece of land at the tip of a peninsula between San Francisco Bay ant the ocean. If told the city's population is only around 800,000 people, You wouldn't think it's a big place, but the city actually is in a center of at least 7,000,000 metropolitan area.
The first European settlement in the area was founded by the Spanish in 1776 as a mission community surrounding the Mission San Francisco de Asís, in what is today called the Mission Dolores in the Mission District. In addition to the mission, a military fort was built near the Golden Gate: El Presidio. In the southern half of the city is the often overlooked but wonderful Bernal Heights Park, a small park on top of a hill overlooking the entire eastern half of the city, with excellent views of the skyscrapers in the Financial District, the Mission District, and the hills in the southeastern corner of the city.
Perhaps the most recognizable landmark of San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge - also known as one of the Seven Wonders of the modern world. In case that You are approaching the city from north, it will be the first thing to see. Another architectural landmark of the city is The Palace of Fine Arts built in 1915 and it is reminiscent of Roman and Greek architecture. One of the things, that You do not want to just go by for sure is the island of Alcatraz a former military stockade, which also served as a federal maximum security prison, housing notorious inmates such as Al Capone.
A metropolis in every sense of the word, San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the nation and is repeatedly named one of the best restaurant cities in the United States and the world. Cultural diversity, a healthy atmosphere of creativity and competition and access to the freshest and finest ingredients combine to create a prime culinary destination. San Francisco supports a world-renowned opera, symphony and ballet, international film festivals, major public art museums, and dozens of galleries and theatres. A dynamic and diverse year round calendar of events puts the city at the forefront of the American art scene. Landmark cultural institutions include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the deYoung Museum, the Legion of Honor, the Asian Art Museum, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and many others.