San Francisco is one of the most populated cities in California, as well as in the larger United States. It is the financial, cultural, and commercial hub of Northern California. It is conveniently located on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula within the San Francisco Bay, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Established in 1776, San Francisco has gradually grown to become the economic center as well as a top tourist destination of the United States. San Francisco is home to some of the most beautiful skyscrapers as well as buildings from the medieval times, creating quite an attractive contrast. For instance, the beautifully designed and colored architecture of the famous Victorian Houses contrasts deeply with the modern architectural touch of the Transamerica Pyramid, the most prominent skyscraper of San Francisco located in the Financial District. San Francisco is home to beautiful scenic views emanating from its all year round foggy episodes, especially from atop the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, where beautiful observatory spots are set. These can all be seen from the cable cars, a common way of moving around in San Francisco. At the San Francisco Bay, visitors partake of the beautiful view of Alcatraz Island, the location of a famous, notorious prison sometimes back. The busy Fisherman's Wharf is known for its many shops that stock various attractive souvenirs. All kinds of seafood can also be found here. Fisherman's Wharf is also a favorite spot for sea lions colony. The famous Russian Hill provides for another excellent tourist attraction point, as Lombard Street is found within it. Here, tourists flock to enjoy the view of the eight dramatic, sharp, downhill turns. Nearby, the Presidio reigns - a beautiful national park that was once a military base, and it attracts tourists from across the world. The famous Golden Gate Park is home to the outstanding de Young Museum, where visitors get to view the displayed beautiful artwork and pieces from renowned artists. Within the same park, the California Academy of Sciences exhibits a natural history of the people of San Francisco. Within the Castro area, the history of gay culture can be accessed by the public. Chinatown attracts visitors as it features the oldest community in entire North America, and has preserved the rich culture and history within it evident even from the architectural designs of the buildings. The Mission District stands out with its artistic-themed surroundings. Beautiful murals have been integrated into the walls of the district's buildings, with several tacos restaurants lining the streets.
San Francisco enjoys a warm, summer Mediterranean climate, characteristic of dry summers, and mild winters. The weather is influenced by currents from the Pacific Ocean primarily. During summer, the temperature is high during the day and cool at night, and the early mornings and evenings are damp, moist, and foggy. Most tourists land in San Francisco between April and December, when the weather is quite mild and festivities at their best. The peak of the travel season is in summer when the temperature is warm, and most days are dry but beautifully misty and foggy. During summer, there are many festivals and parties within San Francisco, as well as many street fairs and numerous free outdoor entertainments. During winter, visitors enjoy the numerous performances by opera and ballet shows in a bid to recognize and appreciate the industry, as they are common during the season. In February, San Francisco celebrates the Chinese New Year amid many feasts and parties across town, complete with decorations and music and dance shows. In May, the people of San Francisco participate in a footrace commonly known as the Bay to Breakers footrace, which begins from the northeastern end of San Francisco and completes at the Great Highway. Then there is the San Francisco Pride parade and festival that is held every June amid attractive color and pomp, attracting huge crowds from across the region. One other event visitors like to attend is the San Francisco Fleet Week in October, aimed at celebrating the security forces of San Francisco. It is dotted with live performances, ship parades along the bay, and air shows across downtown San Francisco.