“One day, if I go to heaven...I’ll look around and say ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.’”- Herb Caen
Caen’s words, spoken years ago, hold true today just as they did in their first incarnation written many moons ago. As an outsider, originally from Louisiana and looking in, I can vouch and credit Caen’s anecdotal quip as being more relevant than ever in 2016.
Sure, we get a lot of slack for our affinity for pricey cold brew coffee, green pressed juice (kale yeah!), and craft cocktails with the most absurd ingredients...but even the most critical of cynics have to admit, San Francisco is a city that has a lot to offer out-of-towners- if you know where to look.
Which is why I’ve created this list of my favorite (non-touristy) places to check out for those of you traveling to San Francisco for DoubleDutch’s inaugural industry conference, LIVE 2016. Hey, even if you’re from the Bay Area you may find a few new gems to check out!
For the Info-Junkie
Detour - Ok, so my top pick isn’t necessarily a place, but I’ll do you one better by letting you in on my favorite way to explore the city and new places. If you’re a history minor that also likes exercising but not that much, then this is right up your alley- trust. Detour is an app that has a slew of self-guided tours that take you through famous neighborhoods in San Francisco. Guided by locals that know the city like the back of their hand, these tours will take you on a historical journey back in time.
Not To Miss Tour: Cool Gray City- starts during the Ice Age and takes you through present day in North Beach- prepare to spend at least 2 hours...comfy shoes preferred.
The Sycamore - Who doesn’t love bottomless mimosas!? If you raised your hand, it is very unlikely that a friendship between us would ever work out. I think the reason I like The Sycamore so much is because it reminds me of a divey New Orleans bar. Being from the south myself, it just feels like home. Their service is top notch (in the divey kind of way)- they have someone on staff whose literal only job is to refill EVERYONE’S mimosas every 5 minutes. YAS.
Not To Miss Appetizer: Pork Belly Donuts with Makers Mark glaze- no further explanation needed, clearly.
The View at The Marriott - Are you afraid of heights? Do you loathe beautiful views and fun times? I wouldn’t add this to your list of “must dos” if you're nodding your head while reading the previous questions. The View is a bougie bar at the top of The Marriott- just as the name would lead you to believe. The panorama view is a great place to pose for an Instagram picture that’s sure to make all of your #eventprof friends jealous that they aren’t attending LIVE with you.
Not To Miss Drink: Skyline Punch- a beefed up, pricier version of your favorite high school party drink...red solo cup not included.
Need a Pick-Me-Up?
Philz Coffee - Snoop Dog is an investor in Philz Coffee- and if it’s good enough for Snoop, it’s definitely good enough for you. If you need another reason to check out one of the many Philz locations around SF, I’ve got one for you: their coffee is absolutely nuts. It always makes me feel like I’ve chugged a gallon of pre-workout, downed a 5-hour energy, and could run the Boston Marathon with no previous training. So, yeah, it’s pretty good.
Not to Miss Coffee: Most would say Mint Mojito, sweet and creamy, but I say ‘nay!’ Try the Philharmonic, sweet and creamy, I promise it does not disappoint.
Roll Up a Fatty… Burrito That Is!
El Farolito - I’m not even going to lie, before you check out this spot, I highly suggest pre-gaming with a few shots of Pepto. The first time I came to El Farolito, one of the Mission’s best burrito spots, I actually had heartburn for over 1 month. It was extremely unpleasant and extremely worth it and I would urge you all to head there immediately and ask the nice staff to help you out and roll you up a fatty.
Not To Miss Burrito- The monster that put me into a month of pain and despair was the Super Carnitas Burrito on Whole Wheat (for health…) muy muy delicioso!
Get Me Bodied
ConfiDance FItness - I haven’t technically been to ConfiDance fitness, so I’m really depending on Yelp to be right on this one. I found this gem while Googling “Beginners guide to Beyonce dance moves” like every other Basic B on the planet. The internet, as it tends to do, did not lead me astray. Apparently, you can learn to dance just like Beyonce at this studio in under an hour’s time...check it out and report back to me with your thoughts (yay- crowdsourcing!)
Not To Miss Class- The internet recommends not missing out on two classes here 1) “Don’t Worry, Be Yonce” and 2) “Twerk it Out”. I’m probably not the most qualified person to make suggestions since I quit dance class when I was 7 because 1) I’m a quitter and 2) I’m an awful dancer...you’re on your own for this one.
If attending the premier conference for #eventprofs and #eventmarketers, while learning from the best in the business, isn’t enough to make you drop everything you’re doing ASAP and register your entire network for LIVE 2016 ...then perhaps one of the aforementioned “must dos” will help sweeten the pot.
In all seriousness, I hope any out-of-towners have now secured their flights (check out Hopper if you haven’t) to join the DoubleDutch team for a day of mindblowing content with some of the brightest minds in our industry.
As always, feel free to reach out directly with any questions ...or for more recs on local places to check out. See you in November!