San Francisco, the Bay Area, and Northern California offer many lifestyle and recreational alternatives. Surrounded on three sides by water, San Francisco is 49 square miles of as varied an urban milieu as can be found anywhere in the United States. Because of her Victorian and contemporary beauty, spirit, and reputation for individual tolerance, San Francisco has always attracted an eclectic and colorful population. This has resulted in a community living and working together with a deep appreciation and respect for cultural diversity.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, and excellent public transportation systems connect the city with neighboring Marin County, East Bay communities, and the Peninsula. Within a few scenic hours are Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, the Redwoods, the Wine Country, Monterey and Big Sur, to name just a few attractions. In addition to easy access to spectacular outdoor experiences, San Francisco boasts an active performing arts community, numerous museums and galleries, great shopping, an array of professional sports teams, and restaurants to fit every taste and budget. Golden Gate Park is just steps away from the main UCSF campus, and offers many athletic and cultural venues.
In addition to the programs, faculty, staff, and facilities already described, UCSF has many resources and informal mechanisms that promote a sense of personal well-being and team spirit. For instance, a wide range of extracurricular classes is available, covering everything from Spanish to wind-surfing to wine tasting. A state-of-the art fitness center includes a pool, gym, and extensive health club facilities.