SAN FARANCISCO... <ul><li>The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the 14th most populous city in the United States, with a 2007 estimated population of 764,976. One of the most densely populated major American cities, San Francisco is part of the much larger San Francisco Bay Area, which is home to approximately 7.2 million people. The city is located on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Francisco Bay to the east, and the Golden Gate to the north. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1776, the Spanish settled the tip of the peninsula, establishing a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush in 1848 propelled the city into a period of rapid growth. After being devastated by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt. </li></ul><ul><li>San Francisco is a popular international tourist destination renowned for its steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture, and famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the cable cars, Coit Tower, and Chinatown. The city is also known for its diverse, cosmopolitan population, including large and long-established Asian American and LGBT communities. While the climate includes chilly summer fog, the winters are mild. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers. With their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849. The promise of fabulous riches was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. California was quickly granted statehood and the U.S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate and a fort on Alcatraz island to secure the San Francisco Bay. Silver discoveries, including the Comstock Lode in 1859, further drove rapid population growth. With hordes of fortune seekers streaming through the city, lawlessness was common, and the Barbary Coast section of town gained notoriety as a haven for criminals, prostitution, and gambling. </li></ul>HISTORY....
GEOGRAPHY..... <ul><li>San Francisco is located on the west coast of the U.S. at the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula and includes significant stretches of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay within its boundaries. Several islands are part of the city, notably Alcatraz, Treasure Island, and the adjacent Yerba Buena Island, together with small portions of Alameda Island, Angel Island, and Red Rock Island. Also included are the uninhabited Farallon Islands, 27 miles (43 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean. The mainland within the city limits roughly forms a seven-by-seven-mile square (11-by-11 km), which has become a colloquialism referring to the city's shape. </li></ul><ul><li>San Francisco is famous for its hills. There are more than 50 hills within city limits. Some neighborhoods are named after the hill on which they are situated, including Nob Hill, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, Potrero Hill, and Telegraph Hil </li></ul>
CLIMATE...... <ul><li>A quotation incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain is "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." San Francisco's climate is characteristic of California’s Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and dry summers. In addition, since it is surrounded on three sides by Walter, San Francisco's climate is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean which tends to moderate temperature swingu and produce a remarkably mild climate with little seasonal temperature variation. Average summertime high temperatures in San Francisco peak at 70 °F (21 °C) and are 20 °F (9 °C) lower than in nearby inland locations like Livermore </li></ul>
TRANSPORTATION..... <ul><li>Public transit solely within the city of San Francisco is provided predominantly by the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni). The city-owned system operates both a combined light rail/subway system (the Muni Metro) and a bus network that includes trolleybuses, standard diesel motorcoaches and diesel hybrid buses. The Metro streetcars run on surface streets in outlying neighborhoods but underground in the downtown area. Additionally, Muni runs the highly-visible F Market historic streetcar line, which runs on surface streets from Castro Street to Fisherman's Wharf (through Market Street), and the iconic San Francisco cable car system, which is the only moving National Historic Landmark in the U.S. </li></ul>