Imagine the quality of life available to newcomers in the San Francisco Bay Area, living each day in one of the world’s most beloved tourist destinations. World-class museums, professional sports, spectacular gardens, breathtaking vistas, stunning architecture, lush parks, and vast natural preserves ensure an unsurpassed quality of life. Around every corner, you’ll discover a free musical concert, an exciting attraction, or a chance to enjoy and appreciate nature. Attracting visitors from every continent, San Francisco places tourism at the top of its revenue-generating industries. The city creates a romantic, ever-changing, and exciting atmosphere filled with memorable cultural, shopping, and entertainment opportunities.

Wonderful museums, professional sports, spectacular gardens, breathtaking vistas, stunning architecture, lush parks, impossible streets, and quaint cable cars are all elements of San Francisco’s enchanting ambiance. All four of the performing arts — symphony, theatre, opera, and dance — maintain celebrated permanent companies in San Francisco. Fine galleries mix with fascinating museums and science discovery centers, many that offer special programs and classes. The San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center covers a full seven acres in the heart of the city with dazzling venues like Davies Symphony Hall and the Opera House. World-class museums dot the city, displaying everything from the world’s greatest fine art to wax figures of movie stars and famous characters from history.

Many communities and neighborhoods combine sports activities with a kaleidoscope of artistic classes and modes of expression, from dancing to painting. Teen and senior centers, community centers, recreation centers, and country clubs provide opportunities for exercise, creative expression, and camaraderie. Equestrian centers, golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, athletic fields, sports leagues, racquet clubs, skating rinks and lush parks combine with regional sites for hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. If sailing is your passion, the San Francisco Bay enjoys a worldwide reputation for optimum conditions and sheer beauty.

Aficionados of shopping will find that the San Francisco Bay Area is a retail mecca of virtually endless treasures, from antique and specialty stores to art galleries and sprawling regional malls. The downtown international marketplace lures artists and activists to its kaleidoscope of merchandise, while sidewalk cafes and fine restaurants beckon the weary customer to relax and refresh. When the intrigue of San Francisco’s cosmopolitan crowds begins to dim, you can explore the intimate neighborhood districts tucked away in San Mateo County’s welcoming communities. For bargains and a collector’s dream, look over the books, trinkets, and linens at one of the weekend flea markets.

Situated in the very heart of San Francisco’s lively waterfront is Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, The Cannery, and Ghirardelli Square — a unique and colorful collage of the glories of the past and the vitality of the present. Hundreds of shops and restaurants beckon visitors and residents to indulge their senses in this historically preserved district. Golden Gate Park, one of America’s first urban retreats and one of the world’s largest horticultural wonderlands, stretches from Stanyan Street to the majestic Pacific Ocean on 1,107 indescribably beautiful acres. Some of San Mateo County’s fine state beaches are also perfect spots for whale-watching, including Montara State Beach, Pillar Point Harbor, and Half Moon Bay.

Another magnet to the Bay Area is the abundance of professional sports thrills in the impressive arenas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. Some of America’s favorite teams clash with the competition, cheered on by frenzied fans. Imagine watching the Giants or Oakland A’s play baseball, catching the action of the 49’ers or Oakland Raiders football teams, or cheering on the Golden State Warriors basketball team.

Day trips and weekend vacations are a common indulgence for Bay Area residents, who live within an easy drive from premier destinations like pristine Lake Tahoe, alpine recreation areas, the Monterey Peninsula, and award-winning wineries. Where the San Francisco Bay meets the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers at the California Delta, more than 1,000 miles of sparkling waterways invite boating, fishing, camping, relaxing on a houseboat, water-skiing, jet-skiing, swimming, and birding. The more adventurous may want to explore high-intensity sports like skydiving, wind-surfing, parasailing, canoeing, kayaking, white-water rafting, backpacking, bungee jumping, and rock-climbing.

Finding the ideal home is easy in the San Francisco Bay Area, where spectacular waterfront properties, hillside retreats, and magnificent mansions mix with cozy bungalows or elegant Victorians. High-rise condominiums and luxurious townhouses with panoramic Bay views draw in the city’s brilliant glow of lights, romance, and attractions. In the area’s smaller communities, beautiful older homes along tree-shaded streets are graced by meticulous landscaping trimmed in greenery and blooms. Regardless of where you choose to settle in the Bay Area, you will find a gracious lifestyle that defies comparison. Little wonder that metropolitan San Francisco glitters like a flawless diamond among metropolitan centers, intensely loved by those who are fortunate enough to call it home.

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