Since its inception, CompCloud has been hosted in San Francisco. There have been a few years when another city or destination was suggested during our early planning process – but we always come back to SF. Can you blame us? San Francisco is a city built on rich history, nestled among incredible natural backdrops. There are the tried-and-true sight-seeing activities visitors (and long-time residents) must check out, but there are also hidden gems in various pockets that are worth finding. Whether you’ve frequented the City by the Bay many times, or this will be your first trip, we’re sharing five things you cannot miss during your trip to San Francisco:
Walk on the Golden Gate Bridge – and say “Hi” to Karl the Fog
I was born and raised in the Bay Area and I have never walked on the Golden Gate Bridge! It’s a tradition that stands the test of time. Arguably one of the most famous bridges in the world, its size is breath-taking. Its iconic “international orange” paint both stands out and blends in with the natural backdrop surrounding it. It’s said that 120,000 cars and trucks cross the bridge daily. The bridge is often accompanied by its long-time friend, Karl the Fog. Famous for literally “throwing shade” – Karl the Fog is a sassy persona that all San Franciscans love and cherish. After all, it was Mark Twain who said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.”
As the Alcatraz Cruises website says, “Beauty. History. Infamy.” Truer words were never spoken. Once a notorious former prison now turned National Park, Alcatraz Island attracts visitors year-round. Hitch a ride on an Alcatraz Cruise ferry off the pier and explore the eerie structures. You can follow along with recorded cell-house tours and learn about the vast history. This is an activity to reserve for the tail-end of your trip - reservations are recommended!
Shop ‘til you drop
If you have some time to kill and cash to burn – head to Union Square to peruse the many shops. From larger department stores to smaller boutiques, the square is a great place to do some serious people watching, find a souvenir or two, and get some extra steps in! The Westfield Shopping Centre in SF houses the largest Bloomingdale’s outside of New York.
Wine and Dine!
Are you a big foodie? Want to find a quiet spot to unwind and relax after a full day of breakout sessions? (Uh, I do!!) San Francisco is home to some of the most fabulous dining experiences in America. Simply choose which cuisine you’re in the mood for – Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Moroccan, Malaysian, Mexican, Russian…Here are some must-try restaurants in the Embarcadero area.
For the culture aficionados
If you type “Museums in San Francisco” into Google, you get over 20 different results. San Francisco is a diverse community. To honor its rich culture and creative spirit, there are many museums showcasing the inventiveness of the community’s artists. Some museums to check out include:
- The De Young Museum
- Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
- Legion of Honor
- SF MOMA
- California Academy of Sciences
- Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
- San Francisco Cable Car Museum
- Cartoon Art Museum
- Madame Tussauds Wax Museum San Francisco
Like with most museums, be sure to call ahead and check on hours and ticketing options. Of course, there are millions of other smaller exhibit options if you’re seeking some fine culture during your off hours in San Francisco. That’s the best part of the city – there are millions of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. This year - CompCloud is going to be our best event yet. Our attendees will learn something new, connect with their peers, and get inspired! And if you have time to explore the city – we highly encourage it!