Photo: Bicycles on Lombard Street

Two men ride their bicycles down Lombard Street, said to be the city’s crookedest public thoroughfare.

Photograph by Catherine Karnow

A mosaic of colorful, distinctive neighborhoods, San Francisco, California, is a city of trend-setting high fashion and famous postcard views. Within this seven-by-seven-mile metropolis—which perches on a peninsula amid 43 hills—you’ll find ethnic enclaves such as the Mission District, leafy parks like the Presidio and Golden Gate, tony residential areas such as Nob Hill, and the gleaming office towers of the Financial District. Over the years, this supremely tolerant city has welcomed the Irish, Latinos, Chinese, hippies, gays, and dot-commers. “It’s an odd thing,” said Oscar Wilde, “but anyone who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco.”

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