Saturday, December 26, 2009

San Francisco's Latin Quarter ~ Tony Bennett "I Left My Heart In San Francisco"

brought to you by: AHMTRAVEL.COM
By James V Cook

The Mission District or commonly referred to as the "Mission" is one of San Francisco's neighborhoods that have a large Latino population. The district was so named because of the sixth Alta California mission, Mission San Francisco de Asis that was built in the area, prior to urbanization the area was land settled by Mexican American ranchos.

Prior to the arrival of Roman Catholic Spanish missionaries the area was inhabited by Ohlone Indians for almost two millennia. The peaceful tribe of Indians who lived at the edge of the lagoon was later used as slave labor by the Franciscan friars and the period marked the end of Ohlone culture.

The mission became increasingly identified as a Hispanic neighborhood during the 50's and 60's and today it is the nexus of Hispanic and Chicano cultures and its residents include a variety of artists, hipsters while a number of Mexican, Salvadoran and other Latin American restaurants are plentiful. In the heart of the Mission District is Mission Dolores one of the oldest buildings in San Francisco, and was the site of the Spanish mission. In recent times this unique district has upgraded itself considerably, expensive restaurants and work spaces for street artistes were put up to facilitate a better tourist experience.

Among the popular attractions in the district is the Balmy Alley, which is an alley full of murals on 24th and 25th street. The murals were initiated by a Chicano Art Mural Movement in 1970's while traditional Mexican paintings by the famous artist Diego Rivera can be found on Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley.

Located close to the Mission District is Bernal Heights which is referred to as a smaller version of Castro District that is a popular LGBT hangout. The area is very popular with the lesbian community and is an eclectic neighborhood with pretty row of houses. The major attraction here is the "Hill" which is basically an expansive grassy area that offers breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, Mount Diablo and the urban downtown area.

San Francisco Hotels can be found located quite close to the eclectic Mission District. San Francisco hotels offering great travel packages for guests are an excellent place to start exploring this city.

James Cook is an executive working for Hotelseye, which is a popular online reservation portal with a wide collection of San Francisco hotels and also this portal also it provides services links to San francisco travel such as car rentals and flight reservations. For more info please visit http://www.sanfranciscohotelseye.com.

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