San Francisco

We have the California Gold Rush to thank for making San Francisco the city it is today. Over 150 years later, the 12th most populous city in the country is home to an eclectic mix of residents that make it an exciting tourist U.S. destination. Its banking and financial rich industries and close proximity to the technology focused Silicon Valley also make it one of the wealthiest.

San Francisco is known for many world famous attractions, like the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Lombard Street, Alcatraz and Chinatown. Its steep rolling hills, eclectic architecture (a mix of historic, Victorian and modern) and ubiquitous fog make it a great and popular backdrop in movies and photography. Even San Francisco's climate is unique. Very mild, with cool, wet winters and dry summers that rarely reach above the low-70s. And of course, that fog.

So Much to See, So Much to Eat

The morning is a great time to visit one or a few of the many world class museums. If you're traveling with kids, the Randall Museum and the Exploratorium are must-sees. So is a visit to San Francisco's famous zoo. Golden Gate Park is like a city all in itself, encompassing the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden, the de Young Museum and much more. Near the city's physical center is the Twin Peaks — make your way 875 feet above sea level to revel in spectacular views in all directions.

All that sightseeing can work up an appetite. As one of the biggest culturally diverse cities in U.S., San Francisco has a variety of delicious ethnic foods to help you refuel (see Chinatown). In fact, San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any major city in North America. And it's a short (and beautiful) drive to California's beloved Wine Country with some of the finest restaurants in the world.