Exploring San Francisco

San Francisco is a city that is steeped in history dating back to the 1700s and has grown over the years to be as dynamic in character as its residents are diverse. During your down time at the Conference, be sure to explore some of the neighborhoods and unique experiences this city has to offer.  Below are some of our favorite places that will give you a glimpse into the true character of the city.



Hayes Valley – A short distance from Civic Center lays the Hayes Valley neighborhood boasting the SF Jazz Center, art galleries, antique shops, trendy restaurants and bookstores. Ler Ros brings you authentic Thai food in a modern setting. Afterwards try Smitten Ice Cream where your refreshing concoction is created to order using liquid nitrogen right before your eyes.

Hayes ValleyLer Ros – 307 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 
(415) 874-9661

Smitten Ice Cream – 432 Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA 
(415) 863-1518



North Beach – Anchored by Washington Square Park, North Beach is rich in Italian heritage and contains a host of cabarets, family style restaurants and gelato parlors.  Stop at Caffé Trieste for a cup of espresso and entertaining people watching or take the 39 bus to the top of Telegraph Hill to take in the amazing views atop the historic Coit Tower.

Coit TowerCaffé Trieste – 601 Vallejo Street, San Francisco, CA 
(415) 392-6739

Coit Tower – 1 Telegraph Hill Boulevard, San Francisco, CA




Mission District – Named for Mission Dolores founded in 1776, San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood is known to have some of the best weather in the city with an abundance of fog-free days. While the Mission is home to a plethora of new artisanal restaurants like Hi Lo BBQ and night spots, it is also host to the largest concentration of murals in the city.

Mission MuralBalmy Alley Murals – Balmy Alley between 24th and 25th Streets

Hi Lo BBQ – 3416 19th Street, San Francisco, CA 
(415) 874-9921

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Bacon Bacon at Brick & Mortar (lunch only) – 1710 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 218-4347

Foreign Cinema – 2534 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 648-7600

State Bird Provisions (reservations well in advance highly suggested) – 1529 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 795-1271

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Local Edition – 691 Market Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 795-1375

Rickhouse – 246 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 398-2827

Novela – 662 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 896-6500

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Things to do and see

SF City Guides – Explore the history, folklore and legends of the city as a SF City Guide volunteer shares the fun of discovering San Francisco and its neighborhoods during a free tour. From the Ferry Building to the Japanese Tea Gardens you are guaranteed to find a tour to pique your interest.

Ferry Building – At the end of Market Street, lies the Ferry Building which was constructed in 1898 as the main transit hub. Today, you can find local businesses selling local delicacies and homemade crafts amid high-end retailers. Thursday afternoons are host to a large Farmer’s Market which boasts over 100 stands selling the season’s best produce, meats and cheese and is a favorite of locals working downtown to grab a quick lunch.

Exploratorium – A global leader in informal learning, the Exploratorium is a home-grown, hands-on museum igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. Explore almost 600 hands-on exhibits and enjoy breathtaking views of the city and bay in the glass and steel Bay Observatory.   

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