At Global Alliance, we take the “Worldwide” in our company name very seriously. We pride ourselves in offering premium limousine services to our clientele not only in our home base of Toronto but around the globe. Through our sophisticated network of trusted worldwide affiliates, Global Alliance can provide professional chauffeured services in hundreds of international cities. We will discuss many of the major worldwide destinations served via our affiliate network on this blog. Today, we travel west to the urban jewel of California, the great coastal city of San Francisco.
Founded by Spanish colonists in 1776, San Francisco began as a Presidio (Spanish term for a military fortress) on the north end of a strategic peninsula commanding the entrance to a large sheltered bay. Both this fortification and the Mission a few miles away were named for St. Francis of Assisi, and the city eventually took on the name as well (it was called Yerba Buena upon initially settlement, after a local plant). San Francisco grew rapidly through the 19th Century, as the settlement gained independence from Spain, joined Mexico, and then was ceded to the United States along with the rest of California in 1847, following the Mexican-American War.
Still a small settlement of about 1,000 inhabitants when it became part of the U.S., San Francisco would grow rapidly in the wake of the California Gold Rush of 1849, counting 25,000 residents by the end of that year. Unlike many boom towns, San Francisco consolidated the wealth of the gold and later silver frenzies, founding major banking institutions, attracting the transcontinental railroad, and becoming a major Pacific coast port and centre of trade. By the time the Great Earthquake of 1906 destroyed much of the city, San Francisco counted a third of a million residents. Rebuilding in grand style after the quake, San Francisco continued to grow throughout the 20th Century, becoming famous for its architecture, culture, technological innovation, and civic engineering projects.
Today, San Francisco carries signs of its relatively brief but eventful history while continuing to evolve as an exciting and dynamic modern city. A famously vertical city, San Fran is well-known for its steep hills and old-fashioned cable cars in the downtown core, as well as its modern skyscrapers. The water barriers of the San Francisco Bay are spanned by magnificent modern bridges, the Bay Bridge to Oakland and the city’s predominant icon, the Golden Gate Bridge, to Marin County to the north. The infamous former prison of Alcatraz, now closed to inmates but open to the curious public, sits on a rocky island in the Bay.
San Francisco’s neighbourhoods retain their own particular flavour and heritage, and many of their names are recognized the world over. San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the oldest, largest, and most historically important in North America. North Beach, Haight-Ashbury, and The Castro were vibrant cultural centres of the Beat Generation, the Hippie counterculture, and the gay rights movement in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, respectively. San Francisco is home to many green spaces, including the former Presidio site, now part of Golden Gate Park.
The larger San Francisco Bay Area also features many attractions for the business and pleasure traveller alike. The major cities of Oakland and San Jose also ring the Bay a short distance from San Francisco; Silicon Valley, a major hub for technology, internet, telecommunications, and innovative research companies, is located near the latter, at the south end of the Bay Area. Berkeley, bordering on Oakland, is home to the highly-regarded main campus of the University of California, a centre for progressive politics and research alike for decades; Stanford University, a prestigious competing school, is located in Palo Alto, not far from Silicon Valley. San Francisco International Airport, commonly known by its code of SFO, is located south of the city, along the bay.
Numerous regional, state, and national parks, reserves, wildlife refuges, and conservation areas ring the Bay, offering many options for lovers of the outdoors. North of the Golden Gate is Napa Valley and Sonoma, the pre-eminent wine-producing region in the United States. Numerous wineries, inns, and fine-dining restaurants are scattered across this pretty and comfortable area, which is very popular with vacationers and wine and food aficionados alike.
Please feel free to contact Global Alliance Worldwide Chauffeured Services for all of your transportation needs in San Francisco, California, the surrounding Bay Area, and Napa Valley and Sonoma.