The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the fourteenth-most populous in the United States, with a 2006 estimated population of 744,041. San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in the U.S. San Francisco is located on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, the San Francisco Bay to the east, and the Golden Gate to the north.
In 1776, the Spanish settled the tip of the peninsula, establishing a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush in 1848 propelled the city into a period of rapid growth. After being devastated by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt.
San Francisco is a popular international tourist destination renowned for its chilly summer fog, steep rolling hills, an eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture, its large LGBT population, and its peninsular location. Famous landmarks include the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the cable cars, Coit Tower, and Chinatown.