San Francisco is located in San Francisco County and is the county seat. It lies southwest of Sacramento along U.S. Highway 101, on the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. The bay is among the world's foremost natural harbors.
A presidio (fort) and Spanish Christian mission were established in 1776 near the bay, which was named after Saint Francis of Assisi by Spanish explorers several years previous. Located near the eastern part of today's attraction, the Presidio, the Spanish post was erected to protect the bay's entrance.
Today, San Francisco is the state's fourth largest city and a major center of finance, technology, culture and tourism. The city boasts several noted universities, among them the University of California at San Francisco. One star in its cultural crown is the San Francisco Symphony. The city is imbued with numerous museums that reflect its cosmopolitan character. Golden Gate Park is world-famous.
San Francisco is part of the San Francisco, California metro area.