When it comes to San Francisco, we're biased. It is difficult for us to describe the Californian metropolis without emotion. Not only we feel this: Even the singer and songwriter Scott McKenzie relied primarily on emotions in his one and only immortal world hit "If you're going to San Francisco ...". However, he sang about the city in 1967 at the heyday of the Flower Power movement.
Lettering If you're going to San Francisco
San Francisco without flower power
The supposed bliss of the flower power times that began more than 50 years ago in San Francisco's hippie communities is legend. Today nobody wears flowers in their hair. And yet millions of visitors come to San Francisco every year to see Alcatraz Island, the cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge or the world-famous sea lions of Pier 39.
Cable Car - As always
San Francisco's story told in a nutshell
Large parts of the North American continent were explored as early as the 16th century. The San Francisco region, however, remained undiscovered for a long time. There is a simple explanation for this: The researchers of those days mainly used sailing ships for their explorations. Regular fog hid the Golden Gate, the strait that connects the Pacific with the Bay of San Francisco and its protected natural harbor. Even the skilled navigator Francis Drake, England's first circumnavigator, missed the approach in the 16th century.
View of the Golden Gate Bridge
It was not until November 1769 that the San Francisco Bay was located by land. In 1776, Spanish missionaries established a mission station named after Saint Francis on the bay. It took another 60 years before settlement of the region began in 1835. The California gold rush that began in 1848 caused the population to grow explosively. San Francisco, named after the first mission station, was initially the largest city west of the Mississippi.
San Francisco - Panorama seen from the Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco today
Nowadays, the City of San Francisco, built on 42 hills, is no longer the largest city west of the Mississippi. According to the 2016 census, San Francisco has a population of 870.000. In the ranking of the most important US cities, the city ranks 13th. The Californian metropolises of Los Angeles and San Diego located further south have long trumped San Francisco in terms of population. Only when you include the surrounding area does the San Francisco region have around 4,7 million inhabitants.
San Francisco is home to world-famous companies such as the fashion brands Levi Strauss & Co. and GAP. The financial services provider Wells Fargo has its headquarters in San Francisco, and due to its location, the city has one of the most important ports on North America's west coast. The US Navy is also one of the major regional employers. San Francisco is home to many new economy businesses, and wine lovers will love the nearby Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley wine regions.
US Navy ship off Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island
San Francisco - A cruise destination
As a cruise destination, the port is rather insignificant. Cruises to and from destinations such as Alaska, Hawaii or Mexico start or end on San Francisco Bay. In 2017, only 81 cruise ships called at cruise piers 27 and 35. Around 300.000 passengers paid a visit to the city.
Cruise Wharf - Pier 35
Landmarks in San Francisco
The city offers tourists an abundance of sights and attractions that cannot be mastered in a short time. Many of the city's highlights have been seen in American films before. What seemed important to us during a two-day short stay in reality, we present under: San Francisco attractions.
Update April 2021