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Overview

Introduction to San Francisco, California

San Francisco, located in northern California between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, is a top commercial hub with a diverse population. The gold rush of 1849 jump-started San Francisco's development. An influx of immigrants from China and the arrival of railroads connecting the city to the eastern US triggered further growth, making San Francisco the west coast's first cosmopolitan city. The earthquake of 1906 and the resulting fires devastated the city; the Panama Canal in 1915 improved the distribution of goods to the city, enabling rapid rebuilding. During World War II, San Francisco was an important supply center to the Pacific.

Today, San Francisco has one of the nation's largest Asian communities and a significant gay/lesbian community. Along with Oakland, San Jose and other communities in the Bay Area, San Francisco is part of one the country's largest metro areas. It has a strong economy, home to thousands of high-tech businesses, primarily in the biotech and silicon industries. Known as Silicon Valley for its prominence in the development of semiconductors and computer-related technology, the area claims the headquarters of industry giants Adobe Systems, Apple, Applied Materials, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, National Semiconductor, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

The area is also home to many postsecondary institutions, from community colleges to 4-year universities. Some of these include San Francisco State University, the University of California at Berkeley, San Jose State University, College of San Mateo and Stanford University. There are also a number of online schools that serve the San Francisco area for people who are interested in learning how to become a registered nurse, earn a degree in English, business or other fields, but may not have the free time to enroll in an on-campus program.

San Francisco Culture

In October and November, the 4-week San Francisco Jazz Festival is a highlight of the city's cultural scene. Throughout the summer, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival offers outdoor performances. The city prides itself on its funky art galleries and a host of museums, including San Francisco Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the M. H. De Young Memorial Museum, the Asian Art Museum and the Museum of Craft & Folk Art. The SOMA (South of Market St) area is a particularly good area to see or buy art. The city is also home to the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, the New Century Chamber Orchestra and the American Conservatory Theater.

For lovers of food and wine, San Francisco is an epicurean paradise. The city is home to some of the most highly regarded restaurants in the world, such as French Laundry. San Francisco's Chinatown is one of the nation's largest, with hundreds of restaurants to choose from. San Francisco's historic ferry building has been remodeled and is now the home of the Farmer's Market and some permanent market shops, cafes and restaurants. Vineyards in Napa and Sonoma to the north supply the country's finest wines, while offering tours, tastings and events to the Bay area's avid wine-geeks.

San Francisco Sports and Leisure

The Bay area is loaded with pro sports teams. Baseball's San Francisco Giants play at 41,000-seat SBC Park, near the Bay Bridge. The NFL's San Francisco 49ers play south of downtown at 69,400-seat Candlestick Park. Across the bay, Network Associates Coliseum is home to both baseball's Oakland Athletics and the NFL's Oakland Raiders. Right next door is the Arena in Oakland, which hosts the NBA's Golden State Warriors. The NHL's San Jose Sharks play at HP Pavilion, affectionately known as "the Shark tank." Twenty miles south in San Matteo is Bay Meadows, which has horse racing throughout the year.

San Francisco Outdoors

While not as warm as southern California, the Bay area has an agreeable climate and a boatload of recreational opportunities. The city's steep hills and walkable Golden Gate Bridge make it one of America's great walking cities. For more variety, dozens of parks are easily accessible. Golden Gate Park, the largest urban park in San Francisco (and larger than New York's Central Park) has lakes, waterfalls, the de Young Museum, the Strybing Arboretum and the Conservatory of Flowers. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, with 75,000 acres on both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge, is loaded with beaches, islands, walking trails and forests with 300-foot redwoods.

Along the Pacific Coast, Pacifica State Beach and Montara State Beach are draw. And about 70 miles south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz is a surfer's mecca. The birthplace of surfing on the American mainland has the first surfing museum and more than 60 surf breaks (including Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point) along a 45-mile, S-shaped coastline. San Francisco is also within a short drive of some of the best golfing in the country. Harding Park within the city is a top-rated course; legendary Pebble Beach is just over an hour away.

San Francisco at Night

As one would expect of a cosmopolitan city, San Francisco has a vibrant nightlife, with many options in and around the city. The SOMA area (South of Market Street) is loaded with bars, restaurants and places to enjoy live music. North Beach, between Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, is another area known for its niteries. In Oakland, Jack London Square on the waterfront is a popular hotspot, with plenty of bars and restaurants. A half-hour north of the city, Casino San Pablo offers poker, blackjack and live entertainment. 

People

Total Population 840,763
Male Share of the Population 50.9%
Female Share of the Population 49.1%
Senior Citizens 14.2%
Employed Population 16+ 468,350
Age of the Population 39

Families

% of people married 38.8%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 53.8%
Median Earnings25+ $52,143
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,548
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,553

Wealth

Median Family Income $96,336
% Above Poverty Level 86.8%
% Below Poverty Level 13.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 32 minutes
% Working from Home 6.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 14.4%
% Using Public Transportation 33.1%

Housing

People Living Alone 37.8%
Median Gross Rent $1,558
Median House Value $799,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 56.1%
US/American 0.3%
English 5.1%
Irish 8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

San Francisco Almanac

Category Value
County San Francisco
Standard Zip Codes 94102, 94103, 94104, 94105, 94107, 94108, 94109, 94110, 94111, 94112, 94114, 94115, 94116, 94117, 94118, 94121, 94122, 94123, 94124, 94127, 94128, 94129, 94130, 94131, 94132, 94133, 94134, 94158
P.O. Box Zip Codes 94101, 94119, 94120, 94125, 94126, 94140, 94141, 94142, 94146, 94147, 94157, 94159, 94164, 94165, 94166, 94167, 94168, 94169, 94170, 94172, 94188
Company Zip Codes 94106, 94135, 94136, 94137, 94138, 94139, 94143, 94144, 94145, 94150, 94151, 94152, 94153, 94154, 94155, 94156, 94160, 94161, 94162, 94163, 94171, 94175, 94177, 94199
Phone Area Codes 415
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 37.775
Longitude -122.418

San Francisco Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station SAN FRANCISCO DOWNTOWN
Distance 1 miles
Jan Temp 46 to 58 F
Apr Temp 50 to 65 F
Jul Temp 54 to 68 F
Oct Temp 55 to 70 F
Annual Precip 22.2 inches
Station OAKLAND MUSEUM
Distance 8.5 miles
Jan Temp 45 to 57 F
Apr Temp 51 to 66 F
Jul Temp 57 to 73 F
Oct Temp 55 to 72 F
Annual Precip 22.9 inches
Station RICHMOND
Distance 11.3 miles
Jan Temp 43 to 57 F
Apr Temp 48 to 66 F
Jul Temp 55 to 71 F
Oct Temp 53 to 72 F
Annual Precip 23.3 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, San Francisco, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Presidio (94129)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Belvedere 1,992 $212,708
Brisbane 4,496 $96,027
Colma 1,571 $76,953
Daly City 104,930 $82,331
Sausalito 7,094 $181,667
Tiburon 9,158 $185,485

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

San Francisco Public Libraries

Library
San Francisco Public Library
100 LARKIN ST
San Francisco, California
(415) 557-4400
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

San Francisco Hospitals

SAINT FRANCIS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
900 HYDE ST
(415) 775-4321
Emergency Service: Yes

ST LUKES HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
3555 CESAR CHAVEZ STREET
(415) 641-6562
Emergency Service: Yes

SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL HOSPITAL
(Government - Local)
1001 POTRERO AVENUE
(415) 206-8000
Emergency Service: Yes

KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITAL - SAN FRANCISCO
(Government - Hospital District or Authority)
2425 GEARY BLVD
(415) 833-2646
Emergency Service: Yes

PACIFIC CAMPUS HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
2333 BUCHANAN STREET
(415) 600-6000
Emergency Service: Yes

LAGUNA HONDA HOSPITAL
(Government - Local)
375 LAGUNA HONDA BLVD
(415) 759-2367
Emergency Service: No

ST MARY'S MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
450 STANYAN ST
(415) 668-1000
Emergency Service: Yes

CHINESE HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
845 JACKSON ST
(415) 982-2400
Emergency Service: Yes

UCSF MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
505 PARNASSUS AVE
(415) 353-2733
Emergency Service: Yes

DAVIES MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
CASTRO & DUBOCE ST.
(415) 600-6000
Emergency Service: Yes

San Francisco VA Medical Center
(VA)
4150 Clement Street
(415) 221-4810 or (800) 733-0502
Emergency Service:

Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.

 
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San Francisco High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

LOWELL HIGH
1101 EUCALYPTUS DR.
415-759-2730
Serves 2,570 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.2

ABRAHAM LINCOLN HIGH
2162 24TH AVE.
415-759-2700
Serves 2,511 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.4

GEORGE WASHINGTON HIGH
600 32ND AVE.
415-750-8400
Serves 2,302 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.8

GALILEO HIGH
1055 BAY ST.
415-749-3430
A Magnet School.
Serves 2,006 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.8

BURTON (PHILLIP & SALA) ACADEMIC HIGH
400 MANSELL ST.
415-469-4550
A Magnet School.
Serves 1,904 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.5

MARSHALL (THURGOOD) ACADEMIC HIGH
45 CONKLING ST.
415-695-5612
A Magnet School.
Serves 1,005 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.5

O'CONNELL (JOHN A.) HIGH
2355 FOLSOM AVE.
415-695-5370
A Magnet School.
Serves 932 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.7

BALBOA HIGH
1000 CAYUGA ST.
415-469-4090
Serves 925 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.3

MISSION HIGH
3750 18TH ST.
415-241-6240
Serves 889 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.1

RAOUL WALLENBERG TRADITIONAL HIGH
40 VEGA ST.
415-749-3469
Serves 663 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.9

SPECIAL EDUCATION
300 SENECA AVE.
415-242-2670
A Special Education School
Serves 647 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 24.4

SCHOOL OF THE ARTS (HIGH)
555 PORTOLA DRIVE
415-695-5700
A Magnet School.
Serves 577 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.4

SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY COMMUNITY
1950 MISSION ST.
A Non-traditional School
Serves 483 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.1

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ACADEMY
693 VERMONT ST.
415-695-5866
Serves 476 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.8

GATEWAY HIGH
1350 7TH AVE.
415-242-2654
A Charter School.
Serves 430 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.4

NEWCOMER HIGH (LEP)
2340 JACKSON ST.
415-241-6584
A Title I School.
Serves 419 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 27.9

INDEPENDENCE HIGH (ALTER.)
1000 CUYUGA AVE.
415-282-2528
A Non-traditional School
Serves 382 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 33.5

LEADERSHIP HIGH (CHAR)
300 SENECA AVE.
415-841-8910
A Charter School.
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 375 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.4

DOWNTOWN HIGH (CONT.)
110 BARTLETT ST.
415-695-5860
A Non-traditional School
Serves 273 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.8

WELLS (IDA B.) ALTERN./CONT. HIGH
1099 HAYES ST.
415-241-6315
A Non-traditional School
Serves 262 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.7

SMALL SCHOOL FOR EQUITY
1600 HOLLOWAY
415-405-2465
Serves 97 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.4

AIM HIGH ACADEMY
1351 HAIGHT STREET 3RD FLOOR
415-355-7695
Serves 91 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 26.8

CROSS CULTURAL ENVIROMENTAL LEADERSHIP (XCEL) ACAD
682 SCHOFIELD ROAD
415-561-6715
A Charter School.
Serves 76 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.2

LIFE LEARNING ACADEMY CHARTER #140
651 8TH STREET BLDG. 229
415-397-8957
A Charter School.
Serves 59 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 4.5

ALTERNATIVE/OPPORTUNITY
135 VAN NESS AVE.
415-241-6121
A Non-traditional School
Serves 56 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14

SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY COURT
1950 MISSION ST.
415-753-7792
A Non-traditional School
Serves 24 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 1.7

Additional Details
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Historic San Francisco

photo

Palace Hotel c1906.

Select a photo to view (Source):

Palace Hotel c1906.

Union Square and St. Francis Hotel c1906.

Fairmount Hotel c1906.

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