The other big State city, San Francisco, will look more familiar to the European tourists than Los Angeles: walking is the most common way of transportation (which is pretty rare in the United States), and this city built around hills possesses a true appeal, with its innumerable coloured-wooden houses and the atmosphere, reflecting quietness and relaxation.
The cars are both emblems and mobile museums. They should have been stopped several times already. However, each attempt has been met with a wave of protest. Since 1955, there is a law stating that the operation of the three lines can only be stopped after a majority vote, which is not likely to happen.
Another must see before the unscrupulous real estate developers get their hands on it is the charming Sausalito area and its famous house boats on the other side of the bay. To get there, you have to cross the Golden Gate. Once there you will discover a multitude of houseboats of all styles.
Golden Gate Bridge
really looks like it is made of gold in the sunshine. In fog, the bridge rises up above the fog banks, soaring into the sky. It survived the 1989 earthquake without visible damage. The structure remains the emblem of the city.
The suspension bridge is 1.6 miles long if you take into account the ramps on both sides. The suspended section itself is 1,966 meters long. It is supported by huge, connected steel cables measuring nearly 79,500 miles, three times the earth's circumference. The two towers of the bridge are 227 meters high, with 67 meters between the road and the sea.
You should also visit Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay, which became a prison in 1860 and was closed in 1963. Alcatraz has been open to the public since 1973. An audio guide takes visitors on a tour of the prison. It is very interesting and provides a better understanding of the conditions of incarceration, but also how the two of the most spectacular escapes happened in 1946 and 1962.
The famous Lombard Street should also be on your 'must see' list. It is decorated with hydrangeas and has been nicknamed 'the most crooked street in the world'. With no fewer than eight bends, the road is a nightmare for novice motorists. For a more impressive view, you should admire it from the bottom.
Those who love charming cottages won't be able to resist visiting the Painted Ladies, houses painted in pastel colours that can be seen from Alamo Square. The view of San Francisco is also worth the trip
If you want to enjoy the sea air, head to Pier 39 where you can watch the hectic life of the sea lions basking on the docks of the Pier all day long. Children won't believe their eyes.
In the UK, the service charge is often included in the total bill but people usually leave a small tip. In the United States, you normally to leave 15% of the total bill as a tip. Waiters often earn a very low salary and they are rarely covered by health insurance by their employer. The tips are based on the services rendered.
At restaurant entrances, even the simplest ones, it is very common to find a sign saying: "Please wait to be seated". It is only when a free table has been cleaned and prepared that the head waiter will lead the customers to their places. In most restaurants, you will be offered a drink at the bar while you wait. Pay for it before being seated at a table. You should never run and take a seat at a free table or sit at another person's table, like some people do in Europe, as the waiter may simply ignore you.
This Californian family business is older than McDonald's. Since 1948 it has opened 216 fast food restaurants in three American states. Here you will find only burgers, fries and milkshakes which are prepared on site every day with fresh products. There are no freezers, ovens or microwaves. Delicious!
Every day | 333 Jefferson Street | Muni F - Market
The Original Levi's Store
is just opposite the Nike store. The store's four floors are completely filled with jeans created by Bavarian Löb Strauß, who designed them for the first time in 1853 in San Francisco at Levi Strauss & Co. for gold diggers.
300 Post Street | Muni 30 - Stockton