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San Francisco, California

San Francisco was founded in 1776 by Spain but it wasn't until the Gold Rush of 1849 that the population began to swell. Since then the city has grown into a bustling international town that manages to maintain a mellow vibe. San Francisco is unabashedly hip with a pride of place seen in everything from its historic cable cars to its love for locally produced food.

Drive over the scenic Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands. Hike through the lush green peninsula and take in the views of the city. On your return trip, explore the Civil War-era fort at Fort Point National Historic Site. Tour San Francisco City Hall, a Beaux-Arts beauty, and make sure to look up - the dome is a replica of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Sip a cappuccino-macchiato mix called the Gibraltar at Ritual Roasters in the Mission District. Enjoy the bounty of the sea with Dungeness crab melts and bowls of steaming cioppino at Woodhouse Fish Company. Order a delectable Vietnamese sandwich for takeaway from Out the Door, the smaller and less crowded version of Slanted Door.

Photo 2: San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau