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The Sunset

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Despite its sun-referencing name, this district is known for evening fog that lends an air of romance to its cozy cafés, bookstores, bars, and restaurants.

History: Now a series of lively residential neighborhoods, the Sunset started as a windswept sand pile populated only by dairy farms and the occasional chicken ranch. When the city switched from horsedrawn public transport to electric cable cars, enterprising San Franciscans bought the old lorries, hauled them out tot the edge of the secluded and sandy Sunset. The resulting community of bohemians living in horse cars on stilts was dubbed Carville.

Don’t Miss: Ocean Beach’s world-renowned waves lure wetsuit-clad surfers who are often seen walking the streets with their surfboard in tow. But the beach is just as good for walkers, who can stop by the waterfront Beach Chalet or the hip but convivial Outerlands. Nearby, the San Francisco Zoo, which started with a single grizzly bear named Monarch, today displays hundreds of species, including a newly arrived rare red panda. Closer to civilization, the corner of Seventh Avenue and Irving Street is the hub of the Inner Sunset. From there grab sushi at KOO or find a cozy respite from the foggy chill at Fireside Bar.