June 17, 2016

The Destination: San Francisco, CA

The romantic city by the Bay is a visitor's paradise

This month, in an ongoing series called “The Destination,” we’ve been profiling cities with historic attractions that are appropriate for Memorial Day-themed getaways. Most of these feature articles have focused on East Coast or Southern cities, but the West Coast offers its own fair share of history—perhaps most notably in the City by the Bay, San Francisco.

Situated on one of the world’s best natural harbors, San Francisco transformed into a major city following the Gold Rush of 1848, and it became known as “Paris of the West.” It remains the cultural and commercial center of Northern California. There’s far too much to do and see in a long weekend, but here’s a summary of the city’s major attractions that might appeal to a first-time visitor, with an added emphasis on historical points of interest.

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Golden Gate Park

One of San Francisco’s greatest treasures, the 1,017-acre Golden Gate Park draws 13 million visitors each year. Its gardens, playgrounds, lakes, walking trails, and museums place it among the world’s most impressive urban parks.

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Bay Cruise

A traditional San Francisco bay cruise will take you sailing around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a great way to give your feet a break if you’ve been scaling the city’s hills all day, and it’ll offer you breathtaking views of the area. You can also take cruises to other locations, such as Angel Island or Sausalito. Some cruise lines offer included drinks, champagne brunch, or dinner.

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Fort Point

Located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point defended San Francisco from naval attacks from the Gold Rush through World War II. You can take a guided history tour of the fort to learn about its unique architecture and the lives of soldiers stationed there.

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Crissy Field

This former airfield is located at the northernmost tip of the city, and it’s one of the best spots to view the Golden Gate Bridge. Parking can sometimes be hard to find, but locals nevertheless consider this park a great place to walk, run, or cycle.

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Carnaval San Francisco

If you manage to make it to the city for Memorial Day, be sure to catch the 38th annual Carnaval San Francisco, a beloved Memorial Day Weekend event that “cultivates and celebrates the vibrantly diverse Latin American and Caribbean roots of the Mission District and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.” The two-day family festival takes place on May 28th and 29th, and features a grand parade with more than 50 music and dance groups.

Many individuals and local authorities have already jumped on the opportunity to remind users to drive safely. There are even signs popping up on highways to encourage safer driving.

Luckily, there are tools out there to help the tech-obsessed (or the poke-obsessed) improve their driving. One of our favorites is an app called TrueMotion Family! The app analyzes your driving in order to provide you with a score - and insights as to how you drive. It's perfect for parents who want to monitor their teen drivers. The app gives parents the power to see where their kids drive, and produces a 'report card' on their driving in addition to an assessment of whether they were driving distracted (using their cell phone). Plus, families have access to roadside assistance on-demand from right within the TrueMotion app.

I don’t remember Ash, Misty, or Brock driving cars in their quest to be the very best, like no one ever was. And there aren’t vehicles any in PokemonGO. At Urgent.ly, we love the game and just like you, we’re prepared to travel across the land searching far and wide to catch 'em all, but we encourage you to put safety first in your travels! Remember that the power of Pokemon is awesome in augmented reality but automobiles are a powerful tool meant for use in the real world and require optimum focus to operate safely. In a world we must defend, you can start by driving safely, and catch and train ‘em all when you’re not operating a vehicle.

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