While many of the largest cities in the U.S. hold their own in terms of places to go and things to do, few rival the eclectic assortment available in San Francisco. In fact, you might say only New York City hosts as many options as The Bay Area in terms of dining, entertainment and window-shopping.
But, if you’re working with limited time during your stay in the city, getting the most out of your trip can be somewhat daunting. That’s why we’ve pieced together 10 great ways to ensure you enjoy every moment of your San Francisco business trip, and get a taste of all the city has to offer.
1. The Quickest Way to Travel
Like New York, the city of San Francisco boasts a considerable mass transit system known as BART, or the Bay Area Rapid Transit
. Not only does BART take you to and from the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the Oakland International Airport (OAK), but the system also gives you access to the far reaches of the surrounding area.
2. Try the Trolley
Often imitated, but never duplicated, San Francisco still runs a fairly small, but unmistakably entertaining cable car system in the downtown area. Truthfully, this is the quintessential San Francisco experience, so if you’re looking for a fun way to make it from the Financial District to Chinatown, why not take the trolley
3. Dress like a San Francisco Socialite
It may not be the fashion capital of the United States, but San Francisco has a style all its own, often putting a bohemian spin on even the most elegant attire. Whether you’re looking to refine your business wardrobe or acquire something more casual, San Francisco-based fashion blogger Tamryn
offers tips on apparel for women traveling to the area, while men should take a look at David Ou’s blog
4. Dig into SF’s Diverse Dining Scene
Well known for its wide selection of eclectic eateries, San Francisco will satisfy the palate of even the most discerning foodie traveling to the area. In many ways, you will have a difficult time steering yourself wrong by picking one of the area’s restaurants out on your own. However, our suggestions include places such as The House
for its Asian fusion menu, or Chapeau!
for a set of French-inspired options. Just be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
5. Update Your Tech
Being just a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley gives San Francisco a serious advantage when it comes to accessing the latest and greatest tech in the world. Coming here, you may even get a chance to try out some gadgets before they hit retailers anywhere else in the U.S. For Apple product enthusiasts, be sure to visit the Apple Store on Stockton Street
, but for a more unique addition to your tech catalogue, try out Dijital Fix
6. Get the Perfect Picture
If you’re interested in sharing your business trip via Instagram or Facebook, you’ll definitely want to include images of the iconic San Francisco skyline, which is best viewed from the San Francisco Art Institute’s rooftop
. Another great location for photographing Bay Area hotspots includes Crissy Field
, where you can get an up-close snapshot of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as a nice view of Alcatraz.
7. View Local and Global Artists
From ancient works of art to contemporary creative pieces, San Francisco is home to a diverse spectrum of timeless designs and creations. And with so many destinations available, it really comes down to what moves your aesthetic needle, so with that in mind, here is a list of the most prominent art galleries
located in the downtown area.
8. Put in Time at the Park
San Francisco has a lot of really great outdoor areas, but they pale in comparison to Golden Gate Park
, where you could easily spend an entire day (or a week) enjoying the best of the Bay Area’s beauty. The park hosts lush gardens, on-site attractions and a variety of tours covering its 1,017-acre grounds, so be sure to bring your camera and a good pair of walking shoes.
9. Get a 2-for-1 Entertainment Experience
The San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center
is a two-fold package for business travelers searching for a supreme cultural experience. First off, the site holds tours of its location on Mondays, taking you through some of the most stunning architecture available in the city. Second, the number of high-end performances held at its location easily matches those taking place in New York City, so be sure to book at least one of these shows well before your visit.
10. Visit Valencia Street
Should shopping become a top priority, Valencia Street between 14th
streets plays as the ideal corridor for unique San Francisco bargain hunting. Our picks for the best in the area? Readers will definitely enjoy Green Apple Books
, vintage clothes hounds will love Painted Bird
, and anyone looking for distinctive cards or gifts will certainly want to shop at Serendipity
– after fueling up at the area’s most highly regarded coffee house Four Barrel
, of course.