ARCHIVES 2008: Archival R/Evolution & Identities
San Francisco has dense local history, a diverse population, and a thriving food culture. Why not explore a little while you're here? This page will help you navigate the city; find local food, museums, and bookstores; and prepare for the nugget of truth in the misattributed utterance, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco."
Trip Planner - The best way to get around the Bay!
SuperShuttle discounts for attendees...
As in any dense, urban environment, visitors should be aware of their surroundings while touring in San Francisco. Be alert and if you are lost, ask for directions sooner rather than later. San Franciscans are friendly and are used to being asked directional questions!
San Francisco is best seen by foot and via public transport, but if you must drive don’t forget to curb your wheels. Turn the tires toward the street when facing uphill and toward the curb when facing downhill to effectively use the curb as a block. Curbing your wheels is the law in San Francisco, and citations can be issued if you do not follow this practice.
Mark Twain might not have been the one to say it, but look out! San Francisco can acutally get cold.... Even though the rest of the country may be enjoying summer weather, San Francisco is notoriously cold and foggy during the summer months. You might wake up, look out the window and think it is bright and sunny, but beware! Chances are it is only slightly warm, soon to be followed by bone-chilling fog. The fog is wet, and as it comes in, there's a wind associated with it. If you aren't prepared with proper clothing, you will most likely be improving our local economy by purchasing warmer clothes from a street vendor you will undoubtedly find along Fisherman’s Wharf.
San Francisco's current weather conditions.
More about San Francisco weather.
San Francisco maps.
San Francisco bicycle map (pdf).
SAA discounts at Hilton San Francisco
Sorted by distance from the Hilton San Francisco.
* Local, English-language bookstores. No national chains; no university, museum, religious, or adult bookstores included.
Aardvark Books, 227 Church Street
Abandoned Planet Bookstore, 518 Valencia Street
Adobe Bookshop, 3166 16th Street
Alexander Book Company, 50 Second Street
Argonaut Bookshop, 786 Sutter Street
Babylon Falling, 1017 Bush Street
Bibliohead Bookstore, 334 Gough Street
Bird & Beckett & Records, 653 Chenery Street
Book Bay, 30 Grove Street
Book Bay, Fort Mason, Bldg C
Books Inc., 3515 California Street
Books Inc., 2275 Market Street
Books Inc., 2251 Chestnut Street
Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Avenue
Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building #42
The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street
Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia Street
Bookshop West Portal, 80 West Portal Avenue
Bound Together, 1369 Haight Street
Browser Books, 2195 Fillmore Street
Christopher's Books, 1400 18th Street
Chronicle Books, 1846 Union Street
Chronicle Books Metreon, 101 Fourth Street
City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Avenue
Cover to Cover Booksellers, 1307 Castro Street
Crown Point Press, 20 Hawthorne Street
Dandelion, 55 Potrero Avenue
A Different Light Bookstore, 489 Castro Street
Dog Eared Books, 900 Valencia Street
Eastwind Books & Arts, 1435 Stockton Street
European Book Company, 925 Larkin
Fields Book Store, 1419 Polk Street
Forest Books, 3080 16th Street
Get Lost Travel Books, 1825 Market
The Great Overland Book Company, 345 Judah
Green Apple Books, 506 Clement Street
Lifetime Books, 1346 Polk Street
Marcus Bookstore, 1712 Fillmore Street
Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia Street
Ocean Avenue Books (West Portal Books), 1735 Ocean Avenue
Pacific Books and Arts, 524 Clement Street
Phoenix Books, 3850 24th Street
Red Hill Books, 401 Cortland Avenue
Russan Hill Bookstore, 2234 Polk Street
San Francisco Center for the Book, 300 De Haro Street
San Franicsco Mystery Bookstore, 4175 24th Street
Socialist Action Bookstore, 298 Valencia Street
Stacey's Bookstore, 581 Market Street
Symposium, 325 Hayes Street
Thidwick Books, 11 Clement Street
Warming Hut Bookstore, Presidio Bldg 983
William Stout Architectural Books, 804 Montgomery Street
Alcatraz Island. No longer a prison for some of America's most dangerous offenders, Alcatraz is part of the National Park Service and is a must-see for visitors to the city.
Angel Island State Park. The largest island in San Francisco Bay features magnificent views of Marin County and San Francisco, while offering a wide variety of recreation for outdoor enthusiasts.
Aquarium of the Bay at Fisherman's Wharf. Meet 20,000 amazing marine animals as you walk through 300 feet of crystal clear tunnels. Touch sharks and rays. It's like skin diving without getting wet.
Cable Cars. Moving historic landmarks, the Cable Cars of San Francisco operate seven days a week along century-old routes. For a unique tour of the city, take the California Street line, which runs from the Financial District, through Chinatown, and over Nob Hill. The Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde lines both terminate near Fisherman's Wharf. Board in San Francisco wherever you see a brown-and-white stop sign.
Picture-postcard-worthy views include Alamo Square, where San Francisco's circa-1900 Victorian homes are juxtaposed against the towering backdrop of downtown's skyscrapers (Webster, Broderick, Oak, and Golden Gate streets), and Lombard Street, the world's crookedest. Its vertiginous path winds past ornate houses and descends steeply (between Hyde and Leavenworth streets).
Chinatown. The largest Chinatown outside of Asia.
Coit Tower. Monument built in honor of the city's volunteer firemen, with an observation deck that provides a great view of San Francisco.
Conservatory of Flowers. A spectacular living museum of rare and beautiful tropical plants from around the world that will engage visitors physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
Ferry Building Marketplace. A city landmark transformed into a gourmet food emporium and farmers market.
Ghirardelli Square. Shopping and dining opportunities abound at this 2.5-acre site where the historic San Francisco Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory was saved from destruction to become one of the nation’s first showcase examples of adaptive reuse.
Golden Gate Bridge. Stretching 4,200 feet and towering as high as a 65-story building, the world's most famous bridge is the gateway to San Francisco.
Grace Cathedral. The largest Gothic structure in the West, the church is famous for its gilded bronze doors created by Lorenzo Ghiberti for the Baptistry in Florence.
Haight-Ashbury. Center of the long-gone hippie culture of the 1960s, this trendy neighborhood is now a whole new scene with upscale boutiques, Internet cafes, and hip restaurants.
Japanese Tea Garden. The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is the oldest public Japanese garden in California and was originally developed for the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. This complex of paths, ponds, and a teahouse features native Japanese and Chinese plants, as well as sculptures and bridges.
Lombard Street. Known as the "crookedest" street in the world, the steep hills and sharp curves of this one-way road pass by grand Victorian mansions and attract millions of tourists each year.
Metreon. Metreon is the first-of-its-kind entertainment center located at Fourth and Mission streets in the heart of downtown San Francisco. This 350,000-square-foot complex features an eclectic mix of the Bay Area's best restaurants, shopping venues, theatres, and entertainment destinations, including the West Coast's largest IMAX theatre.
Mission Dolores. Misión San Francisco de Asís was founded June 29, 1776, under the direction of Father Junipero Serra and is both the oldest original intact mission in California and the oldest building in San Francisco.
Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. This third-most-visited attraction in the U.S. is a hive of activity with rides, entertainment, restaurants, shops, and lively street entertainers. You can easily hop a ferry across the bay to Alcatraz or Tiburon, but don't miss the celebrated sea lion colony that inhabits the nearby abandoned docks.
Presidio of San Francisco. Formerly a military post, the Presidio is a national park and recreational paradise featuring spectacular vistas, meandering trails, and historic and architectural treasures. Come for a hike, a walking tour, a picnic, to view an exhibit or take a stroll back in time. Entrance to the park and most programs are free. The park is open daily, year-round.
Telegraph Hill. A 179-foot tower from which you can see the entire San Francisco Bay.
Twin Peaks. A twenty-minute ride from downtown, this is the best place to catch a San Francisco sunrise.
San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park. There is always something new at San Francisco’s Botanical Garden. Stroll through New Zealand, the Mediterranean or Central American rain forests. The garden is a beautiful, calm oasis.
San Francisco Zoo. Northern California's largest zoological park features "a stunning and important botanical collection as well as more than 250 species of animals, many of which are highly endangered."
Submarine USS Pampanito. This authentic, World War II submarine - with near-perfect restoration - offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Individuals and groups will feel history unfold, seeing how the crew of 80 men lived for weeks on end in amazingly tight quarters. Many original artifacts are on display.
Yerba Buena Gardens. An award-winning public facility, features a children’s garden, public art, museums, a historic carousel, and ice-skating and bowling centers.
Selection of museums and attractions for children:
List of San Francisco playgrounds: http://www.ggmg.org/Playgrounds/playground_summary.html
Playgrounds in the vicinity of Hilton Hotel: