A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, steep rolling hills, and LGBT-friendly culture. Its famous landmarks include the Golden Gate Bridge, the Alcatraz Federal Prison, and Fisherman's Wharf. The Greater San Francisco Bay Area is also home to some of the world's finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches, and the tech-savvy southern end of the bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook, and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovations.
Although huge in terms of offerings, San Francisco is physically quite compact. It is located on a seven-by-seven mile (11 x 11km) square of land at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast. It has a population of 812,000 which represents a small fraction of the entire Bay Area population of 7.1 million. San Francisco is just one of the cities which makes up the entire San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco's neighbors - Oakland and Berkeley east of the Bay Bridge, Marin County north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Peninsula south of the city are all part of separate counties, each with their own governments and local public transportation systems.
San Francisco suffers from crime in some downtown districts like the Tenderloin, Mid Market, 6th Street, Soma and the Western Addition. The south-eastern part of the city also suffers from violent crime. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings when walking late at night near some downtown hotels. San Francisco also has a high rate of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. (San Francisco Wikitravel)