It’s spring here in San Francisco, which means goodbye to rainy, cloudy days and hello to 60° afternoons. You’ve timed your visit perfectly if you’re headed to San Francisco on April 24 and 25 for our Frontiers conference (and we sincerely hope you are!).
Frontiers: It’s a fast-paced two-day conference designed for leaders and their teams to explore a more agile and innovative way of working, complete with a keynote by Serena Williams—yes, that Serena Williams. There will be plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle on-site but also downtime to bookend your trip.
Here are 10 things—including some local haunts and can’t-miss experiences—to explore while you’re here:
1. Be in the room where it happens
Why go: Broadway comes to San Francisco with our second run of Hamilton, the Tony-winning musical about the country’s Founding Fathers. Head to the Orpheum Theatre on Market Street to see truly incredible performances. Shows are every day from Tuesday, April 23, through Sunday, April 28, and beyond.
Why we love it: Chances are you missed the original production in NYC, but you won’t miss the ticket prices there. Here, they start at a relatively modest $95.
2. Check out the International Film Festival
Why go: The 62nd annual San Francisco International Film Festival will wrap on April 23. For cinephiles who want to catch the work of nearly 200 independent filmmakers, the festival will offer multiple screenings over its two-week run, which begins on April 10. Buying your tickets now will ensure that you get your picks before they’re sold out.
Why we love it: It’s the longest-running film festival in the country. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend, making it one of the Bay Area’s hottest cultural events.
3. Enjoy Golden Gate Park
Why go: This 1,017-acre park is an urban retreat in the heart of the city and favored by locals and tourists alike. You can do tons of things here, from spending a leisurely weekday afternoon reading a book on the manicured grounds to visiting the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers. Several buses and streetcars have stops near the park, so you’ll have no problem getting there from wherever you stay downtown.
Why we love it: From what other urban park can you walk to an ocean beach?
4. Watch the Warriors or the Giants
Why go: Home to the 2014 World Series champion San Francisco Giants and the six-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors—who will soon make the move from Oakland’s Oracle Arena and into S.F. proper—the city has plenty to offer sports lovers. Baseball season will be in full swing, and so will the NBA playoffs, so head to one of San Francisco’s many local bars (try Players Sports Grill & Arcade at Pier 39 or Mad Dog in the Fog in Lower Haight) for some game-day action.
Why we love it: Who doesn’t love a cold beverage, a sports-loving hometown crowd and watching Steph Curry sink a 30-foot three-pointer?
5. Go to an urban winery
Why go: You don’t have to head north to Sonoma or Napa to indulge in some of the region’s best wines. San Francisco has an urban wine trail all its own (in fact, California winemaking originated here and not in Wine Country).
6. Hang out in a speakeasy
Why we love it: A hand-crafted cocktail tastes even better when you have to work to find it.
7. Eat to your heart’s content
Why go: San Francisco is one of the country’s top food towns. In a two- or three-day trip, you won’t even come close to exhausting the diversity that is the city’s food scene, but you can check out several places that’ll put a few notches on your culinary belt, including Tonga Room, an old staple located in the Fairmont hotel; Obispo, a new Caribbean-inspired rum bar in the Mission; and China Live, which serves up seasonal dim sum and Chinese barbecue in a modern marketplace setting.
Why we love it: By last count, there were 4,415 restaurants here. It’s almost impossible to get bored.
8. Visit the Ferry Building
Why go: The Ferry Building is a great destination for food, coffee, cheese, meat, pottery, flowers, ice cream and more, in addition to gorgeous views of the Bay Bridge. Also consider biking along the Embarcadero; options for rentals include local purveyors and the open-air Ford GoBike stations.
Why we love it: Views, views and more views.
9. Get rolling at a local skating rink
Why go: We bet you’ve never gone roller skating in church. Well, with the Church of 8 Wheels on Fillmore Street in Lower Haight, you can cross that off your bucket list. If you plan to stay in the city for a few extra days, visit on Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight for an adults-only skate.
Why we love it: Skating in an abandoned church to the sounds of old-school funk and disco is truly a religious experience.
10. Break out of the Alcatraz Escape Room
Why go: If you’re not up for taking the ferry to Alcatraz, try the next best thing at Alcatraz: The Breakout on Fisherman’s Wharf. The new escape-room game will put your mind to the test as you try to solve puzzles and figure out clues to break free from a simulated version of the well-known prison. Tickets start at $125 for a group of four, and you must reserve your slot in advance.
Why we love it: Can you think of a more entertaining way to spend an hour?
- Try any of the city’s excellent artisanal coffees, including Andytown, Blue Bottle, Saint Frank, Ritual or Wrecking Ball.
- Look into San Francisco’s literary side at City Lights Bookstore (followed by gelato) in North Beach or Green Apple Books (followed by banh mi) in the Inner Richmond.
Want to check out one of these spots? Plan your trip to San Francisco now and don’t forget to register for Frontiers 2019, April 24–25 at Piers 27 and 29, The Embarcadero.