Arts & Culture

Arts & CultureGlobal City, Neighborhood Values

San Francisco has a distinct, multi-layered charm that has made it one of the most beloved cities in the world. Ask any San Franciscan what makes their City so special; you’ll get answers as diverse as the population, from “its breathtaking waterfront location” to “its rich and vibrant culture” to “its tradition of risk-taking.” The most often-cited response, though, has to do with its rich heritage of openness and tolerance. San Francisco has an international reputation as one of the most welcoming places on the planet—and it’s these qualities that residents prize above all others.

Arts, Culture, and Character

San Franciscans actively support a wide range of cultural institutions, making the arts the fourth largest growth industry in the City. The elaborate War Memorial Opera Center hosts both the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet, America’s oldest ballet company. Nearby Davies Symphony Hall is home to the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. The nationally recognized American Conservatory Theater reaches more than 250,000 Bay Area residents annually with its performance, education and outreach programs. Founded in 1895, the de Young Museum's state-of-the-art new facility offers an in-depth, prominent collection combining contemporary art and historical works. The Asian Art Museum has a permanent collection spanning 6,000 years of cultural heritage, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is second only to New York’s MOMA in the depth and breadth of its collection. World-class cultural developments underway include the Jewish Museum, the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, the Presidio's Contemporary Art Museum and the Mexican Museum.

Beaches, Parks, and Open Space

San Franciscans are adventurous by nature—and when it comes to recreation, the world-famous “City by the Bay” does not disappoint. Beautiful Golden Gate Park contains more than 1,000 acres of open space for jogging, hiking, skating and biking, right in the heart of our vibrant city. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the largest urban national park in the world; Crissy Field, a 100-acre park of windswept seaside meadows in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, is just a small part of what this diverse area offers. Providing a welcome respite from our bustling business sectors, you’ll find a variety of tranquil inner-City retreats like the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, and the National AIDS Memorial Grove.

World-Class (And World-Spanning) Cuisine

San Francisco is a food-lover’s mecca, where some of the world’s most accomplished gourmands and truly eclectic menus court a sophisticated, enthusiastic audience. Though the City is home to just 2% of California’s population, over 5% of the State’s eating and drinking establishments are here, and San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any other metropolitan area in the country. Since San Francisco’s residents represent hundreds of nationalities, you’ll find this diversity reflected in our award-winning cuisine; it’s not uncommon to find restaurants offering fare from far-flung regions of the world, just steps from one another. Add to this the award-winning wines from the nearby Napa and Sonoma valleys; it all adds up to an uncommon range of dining adventures.