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A popular tourist destination,[41] San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridgecable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal PenitentiaryFisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and a wealth of other companies.

The city, and the surrounding Bay Area, is a global center of the sciences and arts and is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco (USF), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the SF JAZZ Center and the California Academy of Sciences.

Within the past 10 years, San Francisco experienced some of the nations highest appreciation rates of any community at over 89%, an average annual home appreciation rate of 6.58%, putting San Francisco in the top 10% nationally for real estate.

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