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The Fillmore

Still showing its cultural roots as a historic jazz district- but now with a growing sense of upscale chic- the Fillmore remains San Francisco's thumping musical heart. History: Once known as the Harlem of the West and the center of the Summ...

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The Civic Center

The imposing Civic Center is both the seat of city government and a hub of San Francisco culture. History: In the early 20th century, San Francisco civic leaders found their city just plain ugly (hotelier Alan Pollock bluntly described its b...

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Hayes Valley

Hayes Valley is one of San Francisco's great success stories. Little visited and barely noticed just as few years ago, today it is home to some of the city's most in-demand shops and eateries. History: Before Europeans settled in Hayes Valle...

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Japantown

Clustered around the iconic five-tiered Peace Pagoda, these six square blocks offer as authentic a taste of Japan as you'll find on this side of the Pacific. History: The country's largest and oldest Japanese urban enclave (Nihonmachi), Japa...

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Union Street

History: Cow Hollow was once a pastoral landscape of vegetable gardens and cattle-grazing land that produced food for the city. The cows themselves were banished from the district in 1891 to address public health concerns, but the name stuck. A...

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The Presidio and Crissy Field

Wandering through the old barracks of the Presidio or among the dunes of Crissy Field, it's easy to forget that you're in one of America's most densely packed cities. History: Watching over the mouth of San Francisco Bay, the Presidio was re...

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The Marina

Upscale and fun-loving, the Marina is shorthand among locals for of-the-moment boutiques and bars. But it's also bursting with cultural landmarks and occupies one of the city's most picturesque stretches of waterfront. History: Following the...

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Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39

Your gateway to the bay, this is the best place to hop on a ferry or a sightseeing tour- or to enjoy everything the bay has to offer from the comfort of a shop or chowder house. History: Perhaps more than any other neighborhood, Fisherman's ...

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Russian Hill and Polk Gluch

History: Russian Hill earned its name from a cluster of Cyrillics crawled gravestones found there in the 1850's, while Polk Gulch first emerged as a burgeoning gay neighborhood in the '70s and today is booming with new nightlife spots. Don't...

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Nob Hill

The historic nesting ground of San Francisco's rich and famous, this neighborhood- dotted with luxury hotels and upscale apartment buildings- still looks the part. History: In the late 19th century, this is where San Francisco's nouveau gent...

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