San Francisco, USA

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The hippies are long gone but San Francisco's scenic beauty, laid-back ambience and more than 3,000 restaurants make it a joy to visit. The famous Fisherman's Wharf harbourfront restaurant and multi-coloured boats complex, where seals happily sunbathe on its wooden decking, faces out towards the former island prison of Alcatraz which is now a major tourist attraction just like the city's colourful Chinatown district and upmarket shopping centre in Union Square. And no visit to San Francisco would be complete without a trip on the city's 130-year-old tram system carrying you up and down the improbably steep streets made famous by that stomach-churning Steve McQueen car chase in the movie Bullitt. From the city, you can also visit the pretty resorts of Sausalito and Monterey.