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February 14, 2017

The Best San Francisco Love Stories: How Did You Fall in Love With the City?

We love a good love story, especially one that's set in our own 49 square miles. A few weeks ago, we asked you to tell us about the first time you fell in love with San Francisco, and you delivered. So grab the popcorn or your favorite glass of wine and get ready to laugh, cry and plan your next trip to San Francisco so you can fall in love all over again.

"I fell in love with San Francisco as a child because there's just something in the crisp ocean air that rolls through the city. However, for the life of me, I can't pinpoint what it is, not even in adulthood. Perhaps it's the distant bellow of foghorns of ships on the bay, the aroma of fresh Boudin sourdough, or the refreshing mist Karl brings on his yearly visits. Maybe it's the energy of Chinatown shopkeeps, Giants fans in an even-numbered year, or Fleet Week revelers along the Embarcadero. Maybe it's the sense of optimism and the never-ending desire to escape the dreary confines of the ordinary that has driven countless multitudes through the Golden Gate over the 167 years of San Francisco's existence as not merely a city, but the city. I don't know what's in that cool, crisp ocean air, but I do know that I feel much more alive when I breathe it in." - David A

"I grew up in Germany and used to watch The Streets of San Francisco as a kid, always dreaming of visiting one day. There is something about the city that took my breath away the first time that I saw it. I moved to the Bay Area in the early 90s and even though I live in Sacramento now, my love for San Francisco never faded." - Barbara H.

"The first time I saw San Francisco, it was a foggy night and we had just crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, driving down Van Ness Avenue. I was 18 and just out of high school. I was so in awe of the houses and buildings. I just fell in love with this city at first sight. I thought it was the most beautiful and romantic city in the world. That was in 1960. I still feel that way about you San Francisco." - Janet B.

"My beautiful sister Kathy moved to San Francisco in 1970. I got married that September and next spring we went to visit her. I loved it. We went on a boat ride in the Bay. Tony Bennett sang us in: "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." That was it for me. I've been in love ever since and I go back at least twice a year. My sister still lives there happily! I will be there in February! Best city in the world!" - Milana W

"I love San Francisco for so many reasons. I looked out at the city from Alcatraz. On our drive to the Golden Gate Bridge, when we took pictures, the energy was amazing. Love that there were beaches in all directions." - Irene M.

"Favorite trip to San Francisco of many involved spending a week there with my Italian boyfriend, who was visiting the U.S. under the VWP. His last week, after a long U.S. vacation where he spoke nearly no English, we ended up in North Beach on day one and never went anywhere else the whole week! I will never forget how overjoyed he was to find other people from Italy, who spoke fluent Italian and cooked authentic Italian cuisine! Overjoyed is an understatement. It was a cultural experience for me! Best trip to San Francisco ever. Immigrants help make this city the best in the world. And a shout out to Mona Lisa. Grazie!" - KT S

"I'm originally from Belgium and back in the day, I was reading a French book about a love story taking place in the neighborhood of Russian Hill. It made me want to go there. A few months later, I was on a plane. I cried when I landed. I knew this was my place. I've stayed a month in a language school to confirm this feeling and I could feel the love that happened in the book. I am coming back in a month with my boyfriend and hope to live a love story similar to the one in my book and live happily ever after in San Francisco." - Lesley L

"My boyfriend and I took a week-long trip to San Francisco in July 2014 and took in all your city has to offer. We stayed in a beautiful home in the Castro, took in a ball game, saw Alcatraz and Napa Valley, and got to experience the city through an open-air bus tour. It's the one place we can't wait to return and we know there's still so much to experience. We stayed on Hill Street and it was there he asked me to become "Mrs. Hill." Now we have a beautiful little boy and celebrate our third year of marriage this September. The city has our heart." - Mandy H

"My sisters went to USF in the 70s. I was allowed to visit them for the first time when I was eight years old. I fell in love with the fog first and then the city life on the bay. I remember waking up early in the morning just to venture outside alone in the mysterious fog. I can still feel the mist on my face walking to that perfectly stocked little corner market to buy milk! There was something magical in the air of San Francisco and it made me feel alive and very grown up! We took buses and cable cars, ate chocolate and clam chowder. My sisters had jobs while in school, so my brother and I pretty much ran around on our own. From my first visit, San Francisco became my favorite place to go. Forty years later, my husband proposed to me on the Golden Gate Bridge! My son is now a permanent resident and my daughter may well be, too! I can honestly say I have never had a bad time in San Francisco." - Michelle G.

"I fell in love with someone from San Francisco first. With me being from the East Coast, he told me about the places he loves in San Francisco and I fell in love with the city through him. He took me on long walks, went sightseeing and night touring with his friends when I visited. He proposed to me at the Japanese Tea Garden, then we drove to the Golden Gate Bridge. Those two places were part of the inspiration for our wedding, as we hand-painted them for our souvenirs. Much more exploring to do, as I live in the Bay Area now!" - Amor K

"San Francisco. One word: Wow. We popped in to San Francisco on our way home to Australia from New York and Orlando, expecting to have a few days rest before our long flight home. Little did we realize how amazing this place was! Our three days were filled with a night tour of Alcatraz and hop-on-hop-off bus tours to squeeze in as much as we possibly could. Our accommodations at The Argonaut Hotel along Fisherman's Wharf was most definitely an amazing memory of our holiday. Definitely hoping to return for my partner's 50th birthday in three years time and spend a lot longer than three days. There's so much more I want to see. San Francisco, thanks for the memories." - Leah B

"I don't know when. I always did. Growing up in Sweden, I loved watching Full House when I was a teenager. First time I went was when my youngest was a year-and-a-half. Now living in Norway, I have been back many times. And I just have to ask: what's not to love about San Francisco? Can't wait to come back in a few weeks!" - Catharina H.

Are you ready for your love affair with San Francisco to begin?

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