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The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the fourteenth-most populous in the United States, with a 2005 population of 739,426. It is located on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula and is the focal point of the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in the United States.
San Francisco is renowned for its often chilly summer fog, steep rolling hills, an eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture, and its peninsular location surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Famous hallmarks and landmarks include the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the cable cars, the Transamerica Pyramid, Coit Tower, and Chinatown.
Colleges and Universities:
The University of California, San Francisco is one of the ten campuses of the University of California system, and is San Francisco's second largest employer.
The University of California, Hastings College of the Law, founded in Civic Center in 1878, is the oldest law school in California and claims more judges on the state bench than any other institution.
Visual arts are served by the San Francisco Art Institute, an accredited school of contemporary art, and Academy of Art University, the largest private school of art and design in the U.S. The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the only school of its kind on the west coast, grants degrees in orchestral instruments, chamber music, composition, and conducting. The California Culinary Academy, associated with the Le Cordon Bleu program, offers programs in the culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, and hospitality & restaurant management.
San Francisco's War Memorial and Performing Arts Center features some of the longest operating performing arts companies in the United States. The War Memorial Opera House houses the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet, while the San Francisco Symphony plays in Davies Symphony Hall. The Herbst Theatre stages an eclectic mix of music performances, as well as public radio's City Arts & Lectures.
Fisherman's Wharf is a neighborhood and popular tourist attraction in San Francisco, California, U.S.
It roughly encompasses the northern waterfront area of San Francisco from Ghirardelli Square or Van Ness Street east to Pier 35 or Kearny Street. It is best known for being the location of Pier 39, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Ghirardelli Square, a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, the Musée Mécanique, Wax Museum, and restaurants and stands that serve fresh seafood, most notably dungeness crab and clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl.
The Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) contains 20th Century and contemporary pieces. It moved to its iconic building in South of Market in 1995 and attracts 600,000 visitors annually. The Palace of the Legion of Honor contains primarily European works. The De Young Museum and the Asian Art Museum have significant anthropological and non-European holdings.
The Palace of Fine Arts, originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, today houses the Exploratorium, a popular science museum dedicated to teaching through hands-on interaction. The California Academy of Sciences is a natural history museum and hosts the Morrison Planetarium and Steinhart Aquarium. The San Francisco Zoo cares for a total of about 250 animal species out of which 39 have been deemed endangered or threatened.
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