Top 10 highlights of San Francisco
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Spontaneity is the only law obeyed without question in San Francisco. No one can commit to a date next week, but everyone suddenly shows up when there is a war that needs protesting or someone is handing out free cupcakes at same-sex weddings in City Hall. San Francisco’s breakneck speed is not for the weak of heart, but as anyone who has clung onto the side of a cable car knows, this town offers one crazy ride.
You may have heard that San Francisco has a wild streak a mile wide, but it also happens to be 4.5 miles long. Golden Gate Park lets San Franciscans do what comes naturally: roller-discoing, drum circling, petting starfish, sniffing orchids and racing bison toward the Pacific. It is hard to believe these 1,017 acres of lush terrain were once just scrubby sand dunes and that locals have successfully preserved this stretch of green since 1866, ousting casinos and a theme-park igloo village. Today, everything San Francisco really needs is here: inspiration, nature and beer. (John Elk III/LPI/Getty)