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San Francisco’s Chinatown

Whether on a short visit as part of a convention or meeting, or enjoying a longer stay during an incentive program, all of our clients love checking out San Francisco’s Chinatown during their stay in the city. Packed with cultural and historical significance, it is certainly not to be missed.

The Chinatown district of San Francisco is the largest outside of Asia, and the oldest in North America. The first Chinese immigrants arrived in San Francisco in 1848, and in the ensuing years many more came in response to the Gold Rush, as well as to work for major companies such as the railroad. Chinatown was their port of entry, and the one area in the city where they were allowed to live.

Even though it is a major tourist attraction, (San Francisco’s Chinatown draws more annual visitors than the Golden Gate Bridge, if you can believe that!) it is still quite easy to find authenticity along its lively streets. Entering by way of the Dragon Gate on Grant Avenue, you will soon find yourself transported to another place. Pagoda-style rooftops, hanging lanterns and traditional temples are just some of the calling cards of this Little Asia.

San Francisco’s Chinese restaurants are easily some of the very best in North America, and are often credited for bringing this type of cuisine to the Western palate. A traditional dim sum meal is one great way to get a taste of the Chinese culture, but the area also boasts many Asian-fusion restaurants bringing East and West together on the plate.

Souvenir shopping can be especially entertaining here, as kitschy Asian trinkets vendors side up with Chinese herbalists and bazaar shops. Local guides can share fascinating stories about the area’s storied past, and for a truly unforgettable experience, take a rickshaw ride through Chinatown’s alleyways!

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