|Population: 752,000 people|
County: San Francisco
San Francisco is a historical and cultural center, the main Pacific port in the US. A place where the UN was established in 1945. Americans call the place the Gem of the West Coast. The first settlement was built here in 18th century by Spaniards. They also built a church in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, which later gave the name to the city. By American standards San Francisco with its population of 760 thousand people is not a big city. But in its megapolital structure there are about 4.5 millions people.
Together with the suburbs San Francisco almost totally occupies the shore of the homonymous bay. Its parts are connected by huge wire bridges that were built in 1930s and are a tech wonder. One of the examples is a 13 kilometer two-storey Bay Bridge that connects the center of San Francisco with Oakland. But the single-span Golden Gate Bridge (2,737 meters) is considered to be the symbol of San Francisco. It connects the two sides of the bay and it is the first thing travelers see, when they arrive to the city by sea.
The beauty of the city and warm soft climate made San Francisco the America's favorite city that attracts 3 millions of tourists annually. San Francisco is a city of theaters and museums. It has about 160 parks and squares, the Golden Gate Park is the largest of them all.
Beautiful but steep green hills of San Francisco make the process of traveling across the city not that easy not only for pedestrians, but for car owners as well. Some streets are as steep as 35 degrees, so it is impossible to walk straight. The most winding Lombard Street became world-famous. In one block it changes alignment about ten times, making an impeccable serpentine. Some locals prefer driving across the city streets claiming it gives an exercise and a substantial charge of adrenalin.
One can talk about sights and wonders of San Francisco forever. Among those are funiculars, live museums that move along the steep streets of the city; Chinatown with the buildings looking like Chinese pagodas, Alcatrazz, that was once a jail on an island and then, after the desperate escape of three prisoners, became a museum, Ashbury street and Haight street, where the Hippy movement was conceived in 1970s.
Worth mentioning are the places, where the Russian spirit still lives. These are Moscow Road, Russian River to the North of San Francisco. Not far from San Francisco, in Sonoma County, there’s legendary Fort Ross. This is a place built by Russian settlers who were conquering Alaska and the west coast of America. By the way, the famous Lombard Street begins on the Russian Hill, where the Russian cemetery is located. This place is also known for the tercentenary anniversary of St. Petersburg celebration. A memorial to Russian pioneer seamen, created by the famous sculptor Schemiakin, was opened there.