Monday, Sep. 29, 2008


I'm a big believer in geographic determinism, and I suspect the clement weather in San Francisco has a lot to do with its pervading buoyant mood. That's why I disagree with the standard observation that San Francisco is the most European of American cities. People smile a lot here. (Do Europeans?) Traffic jams tend to be caused by drivers insisting the other guy go first. (Been to Italy much?) And have you ever seen a place more tolerant of alternative lifestyles? (Greece? Ha.)

Even better for visitors, San Francisco is a manageable size — about six miles square — and the traffic isn't nearly as bad as it is in New York or L.A. So it's possible to do 10 great things in a day, and see most of the city. Here's a one-day itinerary that will take the first-timer methodically through some of the most interesting places San Francisco has to offer.