Even if you’ve never been there you have an idea of San Francisco. Maybe it’s the Golden Gate Bridge, or the rolling hills with a ribbon of asphalt running along. Maybe it’s something intangible, like the summer of love or cottony bales of fog. It isn’t the largest city but it’s one of the world’s most iconic, influential and popular tourist destinations because of its history, legendary destinations such as Alcatraz, activities and nightlife. Millions of people from all over the world visit San Francisco every year for the architecture and its world-class restaurants and museums. They climb its hills in the mild summer air on their way to China Town or The Mission District, catching cable cars from one place to another. It may be small but walking through the city will quicken your heart, and so will the eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture passed on your way to the Conservatory of flowers — a cathedral of glass and iron, and then on to Union Square - the city’s shopping center and most likely where your hotel is. Its natural bays and harbors made it the perfect port city. Soon San Francisco was bustling with trade from all over the world. Jobs were plentiful and the city mellowed. Exposure to world cultures through trade had an effect in the food business and today the city is home to some of the best and most diverse restaurants. San Francisco’s renowned literary scene is associated mostly with the Beat Generation. Lawrence Ferlinghetti established City Light Press in 1955 and began publishing works from Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Robert Duncan and Frank O’Hara. But it wasn’t until 1957, with the publication of a book by Jack Kerouac, that speeding across the country on the open highway in a fast car, on the road with a finished novel and good friends, became a national sub cultural pastime. While the Beats gave San Francisco a language, painters like Clifford Still and Philip Rothko gave it a look. Abstract Expressionism stole the art scene from Paris. Color fields and expressive brush strokes by San Francisco’s painters, jazz music and live poetry readings were turning San Francisco into “The Paris Of The West.” This new era of cultural identity dovetailed with returning servicemen who’d been Over There, who’d seen the world; who’d been stationed in San Francisco before leaving to fight a war and returned to the city they’d fallen in love with. This closed like a zipper over the city, like a nation unto itself: Frisco The spirit of adventure and entrepreneurialism remains in San Francisco, where a complex and cultivated population demands quality food, entertainment and surprise. Here you have world-class restaurants and museums, coffee shops and, naturally, bookstores. Not to mention the propinquity of Sonoma Valley and the countless vineyards. With its mild climate and welcoming environment there are plenty of reasons to head west young man.