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A shapeshifting city that’s changed from a New Spain military fort to a Gold Rush supply town, from the Beat Movement Mecca to the hub of 1968 and The Summer of Love, and finally into a technology boomtown; San Francisco is a city that constantly reinvents itself. But San Francisco has never backed down from a challenge, even when it was nearly leveled to the ground in the 1906 earthquake. It’s a city of reform and rebirth, an ever-evolving amalgam of self-sufficient individuals who, throughout the generations, have remained pioneers—whether Spanish explorers, Western prospectors, Beat writers, radical revolutionaries, civil rights activists, and technological innovators, the folks here have always been movers and shakers.

This spirit of innovation can be felt in those who hail—and have hailed—from San Francisco’s shores: from Jack London to Robert Frost, Harvey Milk to Charles Schwab, the San Francisco symphony to the Grateful Dead, their pioneering spirit has driven American identity, and has been felt the world over in everything from investments to literature and politics to music. From the suave tech tycoons to the tie-dye clad hippies on roller skates, San Franciscans are a nearly impossible mix of fierce independence and loyalty to community, and there are certainly more than a few folks around town who are a little quirky themselves. But that’s what makes this city so marvelous.

There’s a lot to San Francisco: the immense spectrum of its people, the vibrant culture, and of course the landmarks like the wildly extensive and unique Golden Gate Park, the diverse and bustling international communities, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and San Francisco Bay—all of these provide a dizzying array of activities. As a cultural hub of the world, San Francisco offers something for everyone: from its colossal culinary scene to its notorious nightlife to its beautiful nature preserves, it’s a dynamic, bustling city, proud of its rich heritage, but always looking to be at the cutting edge wherever it can. It’s a city in dichotomy: with cable cars running in between skyscrapers along cobblestone streets that blend with stainless steel espresso bars; it’s a grid-patterned city where navigation is no easy feat with its tumultuous topography. Here, there’s fresh-pressed new money drinking with the saltiest of old sea dogs and tech tycoons and starving artists sharing tables over coffee. All are welcome in San Francisco—you’ll just have to come see for yourself.

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