The time is almost upon us, Dreamforce 2018 is next week! For all those lucky enough to have a ticket, and are travelling to San Francisco here’s our recommendations of sights to visit, spots to eat and great places to explore in the nearby area.
1.The Golden Gate Bridge
The ultimate shorthand in knowing whether a film is set in San Francisco, the bridge stands across the bay as the gateway to the vast Pacific ocean. Be sure to catch it at sunset or when the morning fog (the fog is affectionately known as Karl) rolls across the hills.
Funnily enough, the bridge was originally going to be painted black and yellow as suggested by the US Navy to ensure the bridge was easily visible, however, the designer liked the international orange colour of the protective primer paint so much that they stuck with it.
2. Fisherman’s Wharf
If sitting by the sea and dining on fresh seafood is up your street then Fisherman’s Wharf is the place for you. Even better many places offer the chance to go sportfishing yourself, while for the more adventurous souls, you can charter a seaplane to get a fantastic aerial view of the city.
Make sure you stop by Pier 39 and visit the other locals, sea lions. They have made the pier their home since 1989, in 2009 1,701 of them were all crowded on the pier! The pier provides security from predators such as sharks, while the bay itself provides them with plenty of food. There’s a livestream so you can meet them before you arrive!
History buffs and Nicolas Cage fans will want to take a ferry out to one of the most famous former prisons in the world, The Rock, or Alcatraz. Having been decommissioned in 1963, the island now is a museum and wildlife sanctuary. See the cells of its most notorious prisoners such as The Birdman, George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly and Public Enemy No. 1 himself, Al Capone.
For those who like the scarier side of things, make sure to book tickets for one of the night tours. Only a few hundred can visit per evening but the island really comes to life at night as you creep down the dimly lit halls and hear the creaking of the barred doors.
4. South of Market
If you want to explore the area around the Moscone Centre where Dreamforce is based, we recommend checking out South of Market, there’s lots of great bars and an active nightlife. In particular the team recommends checking out Nihon’s Whiskey Lounge with its pairing of local fresh sushi and over 500 different blends of whiskey, all of which are paired professionally to give a unique taste not found anywhere else.
Another one of San Francisco’s most famous sights, Chinatown is a bustling community located in the heart of the city. Upon walking through the famous gates guarded by stone lions, you will be forgiven for thinking you had left the US. The architecture is a unique fusion of Chinese and San Franciscan architecture, with red lanterns hanging across the streets. The delicious smell of Dim Sum shops makes walking through the area without stopping for a snack difficult.
We particularly recommend visiting the Fortune Cookie Factory, where you can see the fresh handmade cookies in production. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chinatown so expect things to be busy.
6. California Academy of the Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is the perfect place if your passions lie in the natural world, boasting a simulated rainforest exhibit enclosed in a 27m high dome, an aquarium stocked with various tropical fish along with a resident penguin colony, the world’s largest digital planetarium and the museum where you can get face to face with the mighty skeleton of a T-Rex.
7. AT+T Park
For sports fans, AT & T Park is the perfect destination. Home of the San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball franchise, with a capacity for 41,000 fans. You can book a tour of the grounds to see famous memorabilia, get up close to the batting cage, walk on the pitch and see the luxury suite. The stadium itself has a spectacular view of the coast and also hosts American football, football (some apparently call it soccer?) and many concerts.
8. Mission District
One thing you might not realise about San Francisco is that each neighbourhood has its own individual climate, due to the city being built across 50 different hills. The Mission District is the warmest and sunniest, with the buildings and walls certainly reflecting it! Adorning the walls are a variety of beautiful murals inspired by various famous Mexican paintings by Diego Rivera, with others adding their own unique twist.
The Mission is the best place to dig into some great Mexican and Salvadoran food, if you haven’t tried the absolutely massive Mission Burrito you are in for a treat! The music scene offers both contemporary and traditional Latin American music which really helps to complement the liveliness of the area.
If you want to get away from the more touristic areas, then perhaps Sausalito is the place for you. A short ferry ride will bring you to one of the most picturesque spots in the area. A seaside town nestled in the cove, with top quality restaurants and views of the entire bay region. After the crowds at Dreamforce and the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s the perfect way to end your trip to get that last quiet contemplative view of a beautiful landscape.
We’re having our own Dreamforce party at the B Bar! Come and meet the team for drinks and light hors d’oeuvres! Sign up here: https://buff.ly/2xl7pBv
Dominic Whaley, Digital Content Specialist based at K2 Partnering Solutions HQ in London.