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Home to the famous Golden Gate Bridge, the second largest suspension bridge in the United States, San Francisco turned from a fishing village into a cosmopolitan city almost overnight. The reason? The promise of gold brought 300,000 hopefuls to the state of California, from other parts of the United States, as well as from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia.
San Francisco proudly bears another interesting, if not slightly dark, claim to fame. Al “Scarface” Capone, the Brooklyn born gangster, resided for four and a half years in the prison on Alcatraz Island, a small island located in the middle of San Francisco bay.
Influenced strongly by the cool airs coming in from the Pacific Ocean, the temperatures of San Francisco are kept moderate in comparison to other Californian cities, with March, April and May being some of the most pleasant months to visit. The city is famed for its often ubiquitous fog, which is a product of sea spray, wind and Central Valley heat.
San Francisco thrives as a city largely in thanks to its high rate of tourism. Its stunning sky-line, the intrigue of Alcatraz and the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, all lend to the draw that many tourists feel towards San Francisco. Equally beneficial, the city is located in the State of California, which is an extremely popular tourist destination. To most, California equates to the promise of sun, sea and celebrities. The tourism, which so breeds a healthy economy, also drives up the cost of living in San Francisco, obligating many middle-class families to move outside of the city, to the San Francisco Bay area.
With a population of over 740,000, San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in America. Within that population, the Asian-American community comprises nearly one third, the Hispanic community makes up approximately fourteen percent, the African-American community approximating at a little more than seven percent, and the rest is composed of non-Hispanic Caucasians.
San Francisco boasts the title of being a major international center of culture in terms of music, arts, festivals and museums. Bearing within its boundaries are the De Young Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Asian Art museum and the Palace of Fine Arts, to name but a few attractions, the city also plays host to the world’s largest Gay Pride festival, which takes place every year in June.