San Francisco, city, California, United States. Famous for its beautiful setting, San Francisco is primarily located on the northern tip of a peninsula at the entrance to San Francisco Bay and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west Golden Gate Strait on the north, San Francisco Bay on the east, and San Bruno Mountain on the south. Alcatraz, Angel, Treasure, and Yerba Buena islands are part of the city.
San Francisco is a leading financial and international trade centre for the western United States. The central financial district contains the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, the headquarters of the 12th Federal Reserve District, and numerous banks and corporate office buildings, including the home office of the Bank of America, one of the largest banks in the world. Tourism is also increasingly important to the city's economy. As a leading manufacturing centre, its many products include textiles, fabricated metal items, electrical equipment, petroleum products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper products, and printed materials.
The port of San Francisco is one of the largest in the nation and its shipping activity has grown since the early 1980s. San Francisco is served by an international airport. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system links the city with Oakland, Richmond, Concord, and Fremont across San Francisco Bay. The city contains the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (opened 1936), one of the longest combination bridges in the world, and the Golden Gate Bridge (1937), with a central channel span of 1,280 m (4,200 ft).
San Francisco has a land area of 117 sq km (47 sq mi). The central part of the city lies on a series of hills that reach a maximum in altitude of about 285 m (935 ft). The most notable hills are Telegraph, Russian, Nob, Rincon, Lone Mountain, Bernal Heights, Larsen Peak, Twin Peaks, Potrero, Buena Vista, Lincoln Park, Mount Olympus, and Mount Davidson, the highest. The Embarcadero, a crescent-shaped boulevard, borders the edge of the peninsula; from it, Market Street, the principal thoroughfare, runs diagonally to the south-west, bisecting the city. North of Market Street are the main commercial sections of the city, and to the south are the older sections and industrial areas. The wealthier residential neighbourhoods are situated on hills to the north and west of the centre; Nob Hill is one of the most well-known.
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