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image copyright Carl Wilmington, courtesy of SF Visitors Bureau
You wouldn’t think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight there, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes. Beautiful Chinatown. Every race in the world. The sardine fleets sailing out. The little cable-cars whizzing down the city hills. The lobsters, clams, & crabs . . . Every kind of seafood there is. And all the people are open and friendly.
San Francisco has only one drawback. ‘Tis hard to leave.
One day if I do go to heaven, I’m going to do what every San Franciscan does who goes to heaven. I’ll look around and say, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.’
--Herb Caen, June 14, 1996
You tell people you live in California and surf, and they have a picture of a ‘Gidget’ movie. In San Francisco, however, it’s more like some kind of German Expressionist film--all foggy, cold and dark, and nobody around. Just me and the sharks.
--Chris Isaak, 1999
San Francisco is “49 square miles surrounded by reality.”
--Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane
Though the quotes above aren’t heard often, the saying attributed to Mark Twain, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco,” is familiar to most people. Scholars dispute that the words were Twain’s, but no one who has spent a summer in San Francisco will dispute the comment.
Measuring just 7 miles by 7 miles square, this relatively small big city is famous for its morning and evening fog in summer. Locals coming in from the suburbs have learned always to bring along wraps. In summer, it is easy to spot tourists. They are the ones wearing shorts . . . or white shoes, another no-no among locals. Perhaps these visitors are confusing San Francisco with the image of Southern California’s warm beaches. That is a mistake.
In general, the climate is temperate, ranging between 40 and 70 degrees. The best weather usually occurs in September and October.
San Francisco Travel Association Visitor Information Center 900 Market St./Powell St., Halladie Plaza.
Get a free copy of The San Francisco Book--filled with sightseeing, shopping, and dining information—and Visitor Planning Guide. For visitors with disabilities, Access San Francisco is also available. Make lodging reservations through the bureau by calling (888) 782-9673. At the center, agents can communicate in 12 languages.
For a recorded listing of the day’s events, call (415) 391-2001. For the same information in French, call (415) 391-2003; German (415) 391-2004; Spanish (415) 391-2122; Japanese (415) 391-2101; Italian (415) 391-2002.