For the most relaxed and accepting place in America look no further than the Californian city of San Francisco, long known as the city where liberal views and acceptance dominate, it has become a melting pot of cultures, religions and sexualities where openness creates freedom and creativity.

Filled with bright lights and fun it is easy to forget the culture that San Francisco has given to the world, inspiration for artists, poets and musicians comes from the heart of this city and gives the freedom that creates greatness no matter how avant garde it may be. Surrounded by beautiful scenery – rolling hills and sparkling waters inspire at every turn, this bohemian city offers the warmest of welcomes and embraces differences.

San Francisco is filled with a range of accommodation as varied as the people of the city, whether you want a ocean facing boutique hotel or a villa in the hills the options are limitless.

The most vibrant part of the city to stay in is Fisherman’s Wharf, although exceptionally busy this tourist hotspot is so vibrant and lively that you feel you are truly in the heart of the city. Luxurious hotels jostle to entice you in, all the big names such as Radisson and and Sheraton have great hotels right on the doorstep of the wharf.

There are no shortage of quirky hotels in the city reflecting the very nature of San Francisco itself, Hotel Triton with its rooms that are bold and kitsch has touches such as rubber ducks in the bath and is a popular choice, as is the Phoenix Hotel with its garish art work and ethos of caring for the wider community by donating a percentage of its profits to local charities. For something with an ecological flavour try the Orchard Garden Hotel which has been awarded the highest accolade for energy and environmental design whilst maintaining the highest standard of luxury.

The food in San Francisco reflects its multicultural history, from champagne and caviar to burgers and beer, it is all readily available. With great seafood and wine on the doorstep, choosing to eat the local produce is no hardship at all, however if you want something a little different San Francisco will never disappoint, with it’s ability to blend the best of the world cuisines and create something truly memorable.

Bar Tartine in the Mission district shows just how good food can be when you take excellent quality seasonal local produce and blend it with a range of international flavours.

Many products are grown or produced on the premises such as their delicious home made butter, and when coupled with the wines from a few select local vineyards creates an exquisite experience.

If you are going to eat international cuisine then there is no better place to do so than SPQR in Upper Fillmore; the menu is unashamedly Italian, all produce cooked in an authentic way with flavour upon flavour. The wine list filled with fine Italian wines compliments the menu and elevates it to a new level.

Any trip around San Francisco has to start with a cable car journey, the trams gliding up and down the hills of the city are both historic and iconic. The cable cars are the only way to see the city in all its glory and nothing will surpass that exact moment that you spot the iconic Golden Gate Bridge for the first time and become aware of just how special these surroundings are.

The must do trip is a ferry ride across to the island of Alcatraz, this once harsh island prison now providing an award winning tour around the cells that once housed some of America’s most notorious prisoners. The cruel beauty and outstanding coastal wildlife of this island is evident from the moment you step onto the ferry, leaving the fun of San Francisco behind and heading into a far darker place altogether.

Fisherman’s Wharf has long been the tourist hotspot of San Francisco and for good reason, visit during the day to see the numerous jugglers, street performers and entertainers doing their thing, or watch the world famous colony of sea lions that frolic around Pier 39, followed by delicious fresh crab at one of the many crab shacks. As night falls watch the wharf light up and become a lively hub of entertainment with good food complimented by cocktails drunk long into the night.

The summer months although the warmest have lots of fog during the evenings; rolling in from the ocean the fog creates a cold damp atmosphere. The winter months suffer from the highest rainfall of the year making the spring and autumn months with their pleasant warmth, dry days and clear evenings the best time to visit.

San Francisco has a huge range of festivals throughout the year celebrating everything from literature to gastronomy and ethnic dance, whenever you choose to visit the weather may not be guaranteed but a fun filled trip of a lifetime most certainly is.