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San Francisco

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San Francisco

Your guide to the City by the Bay!

Welcome to San Francisco – one of the most beautiful, and livable, cities in the U.S. This 49-square mile area of northern California offers something for just about everyone. While early settlers were seeking gold, today's entrepreneurs in the tech and financial industries - as well as numerous others - can find opportunity in this west coast mecca. And, with its year-round temperate climate and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, outdoor fun and recreational activities can take place most anytime. San Francisco has some of the most diverse neighborhoods in the U.S., so it is no surprise why this city has been ranked as one of the most livable cities in the country.


While most people may know about the cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge, there's so much more that San Francisco has to offer - especially if you're considering calling the area home. This city by the bay is filled with beautiful views from just about any angle. From San Francisco's Financial District, many of the country's largest banks and financial institutions run their operations - which include all six of San Francisco's Fortune 500 companies. Over the past two decades, the Internet boom has also led to numerous tech companies moving into the city - which has led to a demand for housing in the San Francisco area, as many new jobs have been created. The Pacific Ocean is just steps away - and a hike or bike ride among densely populated hills is a regular activity for many of its residents. There is also a large number of theatres and live performance venues, along with sports teams to cheer on. In addition, San Francisco loves a reason to celebrate - which is why the area tends to have so many festivals year-round. However, many San Franciscans leave the city and head over to Black Rock, Nevada, during that area's Burning Man festival, which is held the last week in August. Each of the neighborhoods in San Francisco has its own special character - so much so that if you walk through a dozen different ones, you may get the feeling that you are in an entirely different town in each.


What to do in San Francisco

There is much to do in San Francisco – so bring your sense of adventure. You can start by taking in the city’s gorgeous scenery with a tour of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy the water? Then you’ll love the amazing views of the beautiful San Francisco Bay. This city is loaded with parks, sports and entertainment venues, and theatres to suit most any taste.


How to Get Around in San Francisco

Although San Francisco is made up of nearly 50 miles of curvy streets, long boulevards, and lots and lots of hills, the good news is that the city has a well mapped out transportation systems – so if you are well equipped with the right maps or apps, you should be able to get around with relative ease. One of the easiest ways to get around in San Francisco is to use the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, system. It is fast, easy, and inexpensive. These electric trains carry roughly 430,000 passengers every weekday – and they help to reduce commuter traffic on the highways. The San Francisco Municipal, or MUNI, operates a system of trains, buses, cable cars, and the F-line heritage streetcar. While the MUNI buses stay above ground, the metro runs on rails and will at times go underground. The cable cars and the street cars run on cables, and are located in the downtown area, and these run primarily on three lines. They include the Powell-Mason, the Powell-Hyde, and the California St. The F-Line Street Car runs up and down Market Street and goes all the way up to Fisherman’s Wharf. Due to its temperate climate, San Francisco is also a great place to walk or ride a bike. In fact, even taking into account its steep hills, San Francisco was recently rated as the second most walkable city in the U.S. – just behind New York City. This can be a good thing, because parking in the city can be difficult at best. So, for those who do own a car, it can often be a good idea to keep it parked for as long as possible in the same spot rather than giving up your space. If you do decide to drive somewhere, though, it is wise to allow yourself an extra 20 or 30 minutes in order to find a parking spot somewhere nearby.


What it's like to live in San Francisco

San Francisco is much more than just a breathtakingly beautiful place to see the ocean and ride the cable cars – it can also be a great place to call home. There are numerous employment opportunities in this area – especially for those who are in the tech and financial fields. In fact, both the city and county of San Francisco is considered to be the commercial, cultural, and financial center of Northern California. It is home to the headquarters of five major banking institutions, as well as a number of other companies, such as Gap, Inc., Salesforce.com, Yelp, Reddit, and Mozilla. Because the San Francisco Bay area is combined with San Jose and Oakland, this locale that consists of nearly 9 million people is the 5th most populous area in the U.S. - and apparently for good reason, as San Francisco ranked high in 2015 on world livability rankings. Also, the food in San Francisco is diverse - and can be amazing, for those who like to try a wide variety of different tastes. There is anything from Vietnamese to Italian to good old American - and you can go from casual to the ultra fancy. Because the temperature is a moderate 60ish year-round, you will find plenty of outdoor activities to suit - from beach and water related fun to hiking in the forest. Although it is important to note that the temperature can - and often does - change quickly, so having a jacket or other clothing "layers" somewhere on hand can be a plus. For the sports fan, there won't be disappointment, as this city is bustling with professional teams to cheer on, including the 49ers football, the Giants baseball, and the Golden State Warriors basketball. Hockey fans also have the nearby San Jose Sharks.


Where to find apartments in San Francisco

There are neighborhoods both directly in San Francisco, as well as in the surrounding area. So, there are many 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartment rentals to choose from. However, prior to heading out to look, it is a good idea to first do some research. When securing an apartment for rent in San Francisco, you will usually need to put down a security deposit, as well as the first month's rent. This will also typically need to be accompanied by proof from your employer that you have steady income in an amount that is above what you will need for your monthly rent. You will also usually require proof that your employment is stable. In addition, a good credit history is typically also needed, along with one or two good credit references. With regard to finding that ideal apartment rental, Fapar in San Francisco - here you will want to determine just what type of attractions and / or area you want to be near. For instance, is it important to you to be near the water, the park, or the downtown area. Also, do you want to be near public transportation? Once you have decided upon your location, there will be other items to think about, too. For example, do you want to have certain amenities in your apartment unit, such as a washer and dryer. Or, would you rather pay a little less in rent and do your laundry offsite instead? Likewise, do you want to have certain conveniences such as a workout facility onsite? After you have a solid list in hand, you will be ready to begin your San Francisco apartment search.


Neighborhoods in San Francisco

Financial District


The Financial District consists of both historic and modern buildings that house banks, brokerages, and other financial entities. There are also various shopping malls and restaurants nearby, as well as bars where you can find anything on the menu from a basic burger to a martini for lunch.

Castro District


The Castro District is the universally known mecca of gay and lesbian life in the San Francisco area. It includes the famous Castro Theatre and Castro's historic art deco movie palace, as well as a number of boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.

Chinatown


This busy area of the city consists of numerous Chinese restaurants, temples, shops, and street vendors. This area also hosts a fireworks celebration during the annual Chinese New Year.

Fisherman's Wharf


While this is still a working wharf, the Fisherman's Wharf area is also full of shops and other tourist attractions as well. Here you will find a plethora of fish and shellfish for purchase - especially early in the day. Later on, there is live entertainment. There is also a museum, including a Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum.

Cole Valley


This quaint area of San Francisco has more of a community feel to it, with local mom and pop business establishments, restaurants, and cafes. Due to its location, you can also enjoy some amazing views - especially from the top of Tank Hill.

Haight-Ashbury


While the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood at one time was considered the center of 1960's psychedelia, today you can still find a number of piercing shops and funky clothing shops, along with bookstores, ice cream shops, retailers, and older Victorian homes.

Lower Haight


The Lower Haight has more of a party-like atmosphere. So, for those who like the late night scene, then this could be an ideal location. That's because here you will find numerous rock, techno, reggae, and metal music playing at various establishments on the weekends. There is also a wide variety of eateries, coffee houses, and hair salons along the streets of this neighborhood.

Hayes Valley


The Hayes Valley area is in close proximity to the San Francisco symphony, opera, and theatre district. So, for those who are in the social scene, then this could be a good option. There are also some of the best restaurants in San Francisco located here, such as the Zuni Cafe, Suppenkuche, and the Hayes Street Grill.

Marina


For those who are may be considered upward-moving business professionals, the Marina area is where you will find people networking and trading numbers in order to make things happen. This area also provides some fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Mission District


The Mission District offers a wide array of authentic restaurants, Mexican bakeries, specialty shops, and markets. It is also home to Mission Dolores, which is the oldest structure in San Francisco.

Nob Hill


Nob Hill is considered to be one of the more iconic neighborhoods in the San Francisco area. This locale - known for many of its famous landmarks and hotels, along with its swanky style - provides both old and new architecture.

Pacific Heights


Pacific Heights is one of San Francisco's more exclusive areas. It includes many beautiful parks, along with breathtaking views of the bay and marina. Residents and visitors of this neighborhood can enjoy shopping in the area's classy boutiques, as well as dining in restaurants such as Vivandi Porta Via and the Elite Cafe.

Presidio


Presidio is actually a national park that is within the city's boundaries. This beautiful area offers hiking trails and creeks that are set on an old military base. Both residents and visitors here can enjoy a plethora of activities such as nature activities, after school programs, and walking tours.

Richmond


For those who love to be active, Richmond may be an ideal place to live. Close to the Golden Gate Park on one side, the forests of the Presidio on another, and the Pacific Ocean on still another, there is never a lack of things to do here.

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