California Kate’s Guide to San Francisco
So you’ve made the trip all the way to San Francisco for Dreamforce? Great, you’re going to have a blast! Whilst there are plenty of Dreamforce expos, sessions, parties, and events to inundate yourself with from the wharf to the Ballpark, San Francisco is an amazing city with heaps of other fun things to do. Might as well make the most of it and explore!
Here are my top picks:
- Hike Muir Woods - would you believe that just over the Golden Gate Bridge are massively beautiful redwoods and great hikes? Muir Woods is only about a 35 minute drive and will not disappoint. You can do a short loop hike or go for the day. Here is a quick guide of the hiking trails, so you can pick one that suits. My favourite is Muir Woods to Muir Beach and back. :)
- Oyster shucking at Point Reyes - Point Reyes is a bit more than an hour drive, but if you have the time and a little sunshine, you should absolutely get there. There are unreal hikes to be had throughout Point Reyes, my favorite being Alamere Falls. Here is a hiking guide to find one that suits you. Hiking or not, you’ll absolutely want to pack a picnic, some vino and head to Hog Island for freshly shucked oysters and wine. Reservations are required, so call early in the week for this weekend. Another gem is the cheese at Cowgirl Creamery. Trust me, I am a cheese lover and Cowgirl is the real deal.
- Stinson Beach day - looking for more of a beach vibe but realised that Ocean Beach (the beach in SF) is covered in clouds 85% of the year? Stinson beach is where you’ll want to head! You can rent a surfboard or just chill on the sand, check out the cute little one street town and get your Cali beach fix whilst you are in SF.
- Bike the Bridge to Sausalito - You think biking the bridge is too touristy, don’t you?! Well, let go of that stigma and get a bike. Once you get over the bridge and snap some shots of the bridge from the other angle, head through to Sausalito. My favourite is grabbing a cocktail and a bite at Barrel House Tavern. Tell them you want to sit outside and you’ll be sitting right on the water looking back at Coit Tower.
- For a hip brewery vibe with lots of space, a legendary spot is Southern Pacific Brewing Co in the Mission. I would head there on a Saturday or Sunday day and try to grab a table outside. The beers are fabulous and vibe is nice and chilled but also really lively.
- For a fun bar with one of the most delicious cocktails around in the Marina, you’ll want to get to Tipsy Pig and order a Strawberry Fields (beware: they are stronger than they taste). If you are hungry, they have great food and an epic burger.
- For the real beer connoisseur that is up for a very hipster dive bar feel (I know it isn’t for everyone), check out Tornado in the Haight. They have heaps of delicious beers on tap that a beer lover will be all over. Warning that it is a cash only kind of place so tap your cards elsewhere. ;)
- You could call me a bit of a foodie... but I would just say I love good food. I’ve never ordered something at Loló that didn’t melt in my mouth including the cocktails and the sangria. You’ve never even had sangria until you’ve tried it at Loló. The food is inspired by flavours of the Western Pacific Mexican district, Jalisco. You’re in Cali, you’ve got to eat some good Mexican and this is the place.
- Beretta is one of my favourite restaurants in San Francisco. Everything from the vibe to the dessert is next level yummy. My recommendation would be to start with an old fashioned, order the eggplant caponatina with burrata and gnocchi to start, arugula & fennel salad, the mission fig pizza, and you MUST have the panna gelato.
- Leopolds may not be your jam if you’re a veg only eater (although they do also have amazing vego options) but for all others, you cannot beat this place. Classic Austrian food and you can get your beer in a massive boot. You will feel like you are in Europe rather than on Polk Street. Warning, if you break the boot, you have to pay for it so keep that in mind whilst you are glugging. Start with house made sausage and sauerkraut, get a schnitzel, and wrap it up with some dessert or my favourite dessert, another boot.
Other Fun Stuff
- I know Dreamforce has its own concert, but the Greek Theatre has some killer bands on and the venue is tucked away on the Berkeley campus, which gets you a trip to Cal and an epic musical experience. Here is the schedule. I’ve seen The National live and he is unreal at an outdoor venue and tickets are still available if you can make it out to Cal Tuesday evening.
- Mission Dolores Park is an SF must on a sunny Sunday. You’ll see everything from acro yogis to SF hippies having drinks in this lovely park. You’ll get a rad view of the city and the best people watching in SF (better than Dreamforce).
After writing this, I am super jealous of all of your over in my former city. Have fun and get out in SF.