The epicenter of all things trendy, beautiful, and delicious in San Francisco's hip Mission District, Valencia Street is more than just a thoroughfare: it's a melting pot. To the East of Valencia lies the old-school Mission neighborhood, where authentic taquerias are packed in several to a block and storefronts blast contemporary Mexican music. To the West, apartment rental prices soar, gourmet grocery stores thrive, and techies work on their tans in Dolores Park.
Since the early days of the Gold Rush, San Francisco's given rise to an impressive cast of authors, poets, and literary game-changers. Some were born here; many made conscious decisions to relocate to the famously freethinking city; others simply took a liking to the place while passing through. But regardless of where they came from or how long they stayed, they all left their marks on the city in one way or another.
Robert Louis Stevenson called it "bottled poetry." Ben Franklin called it "proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy." But in here Northern California, we just call good wine "a way of life." The region immediately surrounding San Francisco is blessed with endless rows of lush vineyards, innumerable wineries, and plenty of friendly folks ready to share their knowledge of local viticulture with visitors.
The California coast has long exerted a powerful pull for visitors in the summertime: When the weather heats up, locals and travelers alike start to dream of mornings riding Pacific waves, afternoons of lazy beachcombing, and evenings cooled by ocean breezes.
It's summertime, and San Francisco's in bloom. Sure, it may not seem like it as you wander in the shadow of skyscrapers or window shop on Fillmore Street, but this is a city where trees tower and blossoms beckon. Don't believe us? Then it's time to get yourself over to Golden Gate Park, a thousand-acre oasis of greenery near the city's northernmost point.