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Unsplash | A woman overlooking the Golden Gate bridge
Source: Unsplash | A woman overlooking the Golden Gate bridge

47 San Francisco Quotes Showing off the City’s Beauty and Spirit

Dayna Remus
Jan 14, 2023
08:00 A.M.
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Those who are familiar with the counterculture of the 1960s will know the lyrics, "If you're going to San Francisco; Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair,"; a nostalgic representation of an arguably peaceful time in the city. However, many more beautiful quotes exist to give one a wider perception of this place. Read the 47 quotes below.

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The city of San Francisco is synonymous with the iconic event referred to as "The Summer of Love" when in 1967, young adults, who were and are still referred to as "hippies," made their way to this city in droves.

This mass pilgrimage happened in service of experimenting outside the bounds that society had set on them; San Francisco had become the place to do so. These experiments included political activities such as environmentalism, living communally, artistic expression, and much more.

Of course, the city has changed a lot since the 1960s, but the artistic ambiance and counterculture live on. Read the 47 quotes below to find out more.

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Scott McKenzie’s quote:  "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair." | Image: AmoDays

Scott McKenzie’s quote: "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair." | Image: AmoDays

Quotes about the Beauty of San Francisco

"San Francisco is poetry. Even the hills rhyme." — Pat Montandon

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"I love San Francisco, and it offers spectacular scenery of the city, and it adds to the uplifting quality of the movie." — Tommy Wiseau

"San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth." — William Saroyan

"The morning, like all San Francisco mornings, promised spring. In California, the seasons come daily: spring, the dewy mornings draped lightly in gray mist; summer, when the sun burns through and rises directly overhead at midday; afternoon autumns, crisp breezy, when colors show off and the air smells clean into twilight; winter is the night." Elizabeth Stark

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"I've always had a connection here in the city from the first day I arrived. I stayed in the city. I made San Francisco my home. I was seen in the offseason at a lot of different functions, and people liked that." — Willie McCovey

Pat Montandon’s quote: "San Francisco is poetry. Even the hills rhyme." | Image: AmoDays

Pat Montandon’s quote: "San Francisco is poetry. Even the hills rhyme." | Image: AmoDays

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"You wouldn't think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight there, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes." — Dylan Thomas

"San Francisco is the only city I can think of that can survive all that thing you people are doing to it and still look beautiful." — Frank Lloyd Wright

"The light of San Francisco is a sea light. An island light and the light of fog blanketing the hills. Drifting in at night through the Golden Gate to lie on the city at dawn..." ― Lawrence Ferlinghetti

"The Bay Area is so beautiful; I hesitate to preach about heaven while I'm here." — Billy Graham

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Quotes about the Love for San Francisco

"I don't like San Francisco. I love it!" — Dorothy Lamour

William Saroyan’s quote: "San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth." | Image: AmoDays

William Saroyan’s quote: "San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth." | Image: AmoDays

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"San Francisco has only one drawback: 'tis hard to leave." — Rudyard Kipling

"No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living." — William Saroyan

"I will sing in San Francisco if I have to sing in the streets, for I know that the streets of San Francisco are free." — Luisa Tetrazzini

"My first holiday to San Francisco in 1998-99 was supposed to be a two-week vacation, but I ended up staying five weeks and nearly didn't come home." — Johnny Vegas

“I went to San Francisco. I found someone's heart." — Steven Wright

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Rudyard Kipling’s quote: "San Francisco has only one drawback: 'tis hard to leave."  | Image: AmoDays

Rudyard Kipling’s quote: "San Francisco has only one drawback: 'tis hard to leave." | Image: AmoDays

"Every morning in San Francisco was a bit like waking up on the edge of the earth." — Elizabeth Percer

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"One day if I do go to heaven... I'll look around and say, it ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco." — Herb Caen

"Perpetual spring, the flare of adventure in the blood conspired to make San Francisco a city of artists." — William Henry Irwin

"Anyone who doesn't have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me." — Anthony Bourdain

"It's simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn't be anywhere else." — Julia Child

Elizabeth Percer’s quote: “Every morning in San Francisco was a bit like waking up on the edge of the earth." | Image: AmoDays

Elizabeth Percer’s quote: “Every morning in San Francisco was a bit like waking up on the edge of the earth." | Image: AmoDays

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"San Francisco in shades of blue, a city in a dream, and I was filled with a tremendous yearning to live." — Rebecca Solnit

"San Francisco always has had a warm welcome for human beings from all over the world." — Duke Ellington

"If free speech and individuality are American characteristics, there is no place more American than San Francisco." — Desi Del Valle

"If you're alive, you can't be bored in San Francisco. If you're not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life." — William Saroyan

"Money lives in New York. Power sits in Washington. Freedom sips cappuccino in a sidewalk cafe in San Francisco." — Joe Flower

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Billy Graham’s quote: "The Bay Area is so beautiful; I hesitate to preach about heaven while I'm here." | Image: AmoDays

Billy Graham’s quote: "The Bay Area is so beautiful; I hesitate to preach about heaven while I'm here." | Image: AmoDays

"I thought of the cool, fresh air of the city I'd always dreamed of living in—the art museums and trolleys and the mysterious fog that blanketed it. I could almost smell the cappuccinos I'd planned to drink in bohemian cafes or hear the indie music in the bookstores I would spend my free time in. I pictured the friends I'd make, my kindred art people, and the dorm room I was supposed to move into." ― Heather Demetrios

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"He hasn't been in San Francisco for a number of years. He's looking forward to being in the city again. It's a town that knows how to have a good time but without all the mess and craze of New York. San Francisco always does things with a touch of class." ― William J. Mann

"I don't think San Francisco needs defending. I never meet anyone who doesn't love the place, Americans or others." — Doris Lessing

"In all my travels, I have never seen the hospitality of San Francisco equalled anywhere in the world." — Conrad Hilton

Rudyard Kipling’s quote: "San Francisco has only one drawback: 'tis hard to leave." | Image: AmoDays

Rudyard Kipling’s quote: "San Francisco has only one drawback: 'tis hard to leave." | Image: AmoDays

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"I left my heart at the Golden Gate in San Francisco." — Tony Bennett

"San Francisco is one of the only cities I like to visit." — LeRoy Neiman

"It's an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world." ― Oscar Wilde

Quotes about the City of the Summer of Love

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." ― Mark Twain

"San Francisco is a lot like Amsterdam – free, open-minded and casual – though I expected better weather." ― Marcel Wanders

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Doris Lessing’s quote: "I don't think San Francisco needs defending. I never meet anyone who doesn't love the place, Americans or others." | Image: AmoDays

Doris Lessing’s quote: "I don't think San Francisco needs defending. I never meet anyone who doesn't love the place, Americans or others." | Image: AmoDays

"If you're going to San Francisco, you're gonna meet some gentle people there." — John Phillips

"The best tattooists are in San Francisco, and they're kind of like my family now. I'm always excited to come back to San Francisco." — Margaret Cho

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"If civil disobedience is the way to go about change, then I think a lot of people will be going to San Francisco" — Rosie O'Donnell

"Twenty-four years ago I was a strangely handsome boy; in San Francisco, in the rainy season, I was often mistaken for fair weather." Mark Twain

"My parents were both from the East and had moved to San Francisco only so my father could go to law school there." — Carre Otis

 Herb Caen’s quote: "Isn't it nice that people who prefer Los Angeles to San Francisco live there?" | Image: AmoDays

Herb Caen’s quote: "Isn't it nice that people who prefer Los Angeles to San Francisco live there?" | Image: AmoDays

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"The extreme geniality of San Francisco's economic, intellectual and political climate makes it the most varied and challenging city in the United States." — James A. Michener

"San Francisco is a city with the assets of a metropolis without the disadvantages of size and industry." — Jack Kenny

"San Francisco is perhaps the most European of all American cities." — Cecil Beaton

"'What brings you up to the City?' he said when we were inside. To San Franciscans, there's only one city." ― Ross Macdonald

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"There is more grace per square foot in San Francisco than any place on earth." ― Fulton J. Sheen

 Mark Twain’s quote: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  | Image: AmoDays

Mark Twain’s quote: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." | Image: AmoDays

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"Isn't it nice that people who prefer Los Angeles to San Francisco live there?" ― Herb Caen

"The city is changing, and she missed the very best parts... the hippies are just homeless." ― Chloe Benjamin

"If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair." — Scott McKenzie

 Chloe Benjamin’s quote: "The city is changing, and she missed the very best parts... the hippies are just homeless." | Image: AmoDays

Chloe Benjamin’s quote: "The city is changing, and she missed the very best parts... the hippies are just homeless." | Image: AmoDays

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While these perspectives on the Golden Gate city make it sound like heaven on earth, you have to become much more practical if you or anyone is thinking about actually moving to the city.

Not everything about San Francisco is perfect. One is that it is hard on the pocket; in fact, it is said to be the most pricey city in the whole of America, with rent at exorbitant rates. The weather can sometimes also be challenging, with a constant threat of wildfires.

These are just some cons, alongside some pros, including lots to do, diversity, beauty, nature, fantastic culture, and lovely food.

To read about another amazing city, scan through these quotes about Miami.

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