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San Francisco

San Francisco gay capital pacific coast USA

San Francisco

During your exciting journey to Hawaii, Fiji or French Polynesia  why not stop- off and take a break in San Francisco?

  

Before celebrating your exotic destination wedding there is no place better to ‘get in the mood’ than to enjoy a city as magical as San Francisco!!   Or if you’re attending an unforgettable corporate event abroad, what better way to kick-off your activities than with a luxury excursion to California’s fantastic and most modern city. 

 We start our adventure with a stop-over in San Francisco, the ‘metropolis of the 50 hills’ and voted one of the top cities offering the best quality of life in the USA, second only to Honolulu! 

  

We were surprised by its low temperatures of just 20 degrees Celsius for a Californian July day. SFO (San Francisco International Airport) left us more than impressed. Designed by Gensler, T2 is the first LEED® Gold certified terminal in the United States, supporting the goals of zero waste, sustainable education and carbon footprint reduction. 

  

Definitely take a break from your exciting journey to Hawaii, Fiji or French Polynesia and try a stop-over in San Francisco 

  

You may wonder why this city has a Spanish name. The hamlet of San Francisco was founded by Spanish settlers in 1776 and belonged to the Viceroyalty of New Spain until Mexican independence in 1821. After the US intervention in Mexico between 1845 and 1848, the hamlet and the rest of Alta California became US territory. 

  

San Francisco, and especially the Haight Ashbury neighbourhood, was the birth-place of the ‘Hippy’ movement in the 1960’s.  The district still attracts crowds of tourists. It has many colourful and well-preserved Victorian houses, including Jimmy Hendrix’s historic home. Upper Haight Street is home to a great mix of vintage clothing boutiques, with bookshops, record shops, nightclubs and casual, eclectic restaurants. 

  

A great place to set the scene before your gay wedding in Hawaii or French Polynesia

  

It is said that there are more dogs than children in San Francisco, which is not surprising, because San Francisco is the gay capital of the world. The city gained particular notoriety due to the fact that, during World War II, soldiers suspected of being homosexual were sent to the city by the military authorities to be tried and their future in the army decided upon. Between 1941 and 1945 around 10,000 gays and lesbians moved to San Francisco and a large number of them settled there. In the 1970s, the city became a world leader in gay rights.  The gay community is concentrated at the intersection of Castro Street and 18th Street, known as “the four gayest corners of the earth”. 

  

San Francisco’s trams are the only national historic landmark that are actually capable of moving, and they do so by means of cables embedded in the rails of the roadway. They run up and down the steep slopes of the Nob Hill neighbourhood. More than a simple means of transport, it is now a main attraction for tourists who want to travel from Union Square to the tourist area of Fisherman’s Wharf. 

  

Its Chinatown, located in downtown San Francisco (one block from Union Square), is the oldest Chinatown in North America and has the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. 

  

Why not kick-off your unforgettable corporate event with a toast in Napa Valley. 

  

Napa Valley, located 40 miles north of the city, is one of the finest and most spectacular wine regions in the United States. With incredible scenery, covered with vineyards, castles and romantic sites. San Francisco is California’s second most popular destination after Disneyland, with almost 5 million tourists a year. Its name derives from “Wappo”, the name of the Indians who inhabited the region. It is believed to have been given its name by the Spanish, because of its resemblance to the word ‘guapo’ meaning ‘handsome.’ 

  

Look out across the bay of San Francisco and you’ll see a remote island housing the famous high-security prison of Alcatraz, surrounded by icy cold waters with strong currents, and designed to hold America’s most ruthless prisoners who were causing unrest in other federal prisons. Al Capone was one of them!  The successful “Escape from Alcatraz” in 1962 by Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin, brought the reputation of the famous prison into question. This event, coupled with high maintenance costs, caused the prison to close its doors just 9 months later. 

  

If you are on your honeymoon you can combine San Francisco with a visit to the Colorado Canyon. 

  

We stayed in Union Square. Our first walk was down through Market Street, then onto the financial district with its modern skyscrapers, to the Ferry Building Market Place. This building is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It was opened in 1898 and has housed the iconic clock tower that has been the symbol of San Francisco for over 100 years. Once the main gateway to the city, however, it ceased to be a central transportation hub in the 1950s, when the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge opened.  Since 2003 it has been reopened to the public after extensive restoration. Today it hosts a wide variety of events, from outdoor yoga to skating nights, gardening events to concerts. 

  

For an amazing visual review of the City follow me on instagram: arenapacific 

  

As you can see, San Francisco is truly unique, which is why Arêna Pacific recommends it as an almost obligatory stop-over on your way to the Pacific Islands!