San Francisco Travel


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Sights and scenery, museums, one-of-a-kind events, world-class food, a diverse and friendly culture, and a rich history all come together to make San Francisco one of the most interesting cities on the planet.

Easy to Get To (and Easy to Get Around)

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers nonstop flights from more than 31 international cities on 30 international carriers. SFO connects nonstop with 76 cities in the U.S. The airport is connected directly to downtown San Francisco by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. Once attendees arrive, they will find San Francisco is one of the top walking cities in the United States.

Diverse Culture

According to the U.S. Census, 112 languages are spoken here, making San Francisco the fifth most linguistically varied metropolitan area in the nation. In addition to the most frequently used languages— English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese—thousands of Bay Area residents speak Persian, Portuguese, and Punjabi and hundreds more speak Swahili, Yiddish, and Navajo.

Explore one-of-a-kind neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, The Mission District, Japantown, and dozens of other cities within the city; a thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) culture; an array of art and cultural institutions; theater, dance and musical performances available nowhere else; and ethnically diverse foods that will have WCSJ2017 attendees recalling their San Francisco experience for years.

Green is the City’s Favorite Color

San Francisco is the greenest city in North America by several important measures: energy use, energy efficient building regulations and buildings, green transportation, water conservation, air quality, and waste reduction/recycling. A pioneer in the environmental movement, San Francisco diverts 80 percent of its waste away from landfills and into compost or recycling programs.

Fall is the City’s Finest Season

WCSJ2017 will take place October 26-30 in late fall when San Francisco enjoys the best weather of the year. Days are warm (70° F/21° C) and sunny. Nights are mild (54° F/12° C) and clear.

Gateway to Nature

San Francisco is at the heart of spectacular natural areas and beautiful parks that harbor a rich natural heritage and biodiversity. Foremost among them is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the most visited National Park in the United States, with more than 15 million visitors per year. Within its 80,002 acres (32,376 ha) are 19 separate ecosystems containing 1,273 plant and animal species. More than half of the bird species of North America and nearly one third of California’s plant species are found here.

There are also 700 historic buildings (five are National Historic Landmarks), including one of the country’s largest collections of military installations and fortifications. There are more than 60 recorded archeological sites on the grounds, including sites from the Spanish and Mexican periods. The park’s collection contains over three million historic objects, documents, images, and specimens.


Gateway to the West

San Francisco is just a short distance away from many popular destinations.

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Flight times from San Francisco

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Driving times from San Francisco

Information for Visa Applicants and Other International Travelers

This conference (WCSJ 2017) has been registered by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on their official list of international science meetings taking place in the United States in 2017. The Academies list is maintained for the U.S. Department of State and is available for U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide.
The Academies’ International Visitors Office, which maintains a very helpful resource for travelers, recommends that meeting participants from countries for which visas are required for entry into the U.S. begin their application process at least four months before their travel date. Attendees should bring evidence of their professional accreditation (published work for freelancers) and an English-language CV to their consulate visa interview. Attendees may also request a general letter of invitation from WCSJ2017 during the online conference registration process. Issued electronically as a PDF and general in nature, this letter may take up to two weeks to receive. Please plan ahead.