March 2, 2010

Tuesday’s Travel Tips – First stop, San Francisco!

Welcome to the very first weekly installment of Tuesday’s Travel Tips, the insider’s guide to exploring our BlueCities. Each week we visit a different BlueCity and rely on our Crewmembers as local experts for tips on where to go and what to do. First stop, San Francisco!

goldengateSan Francisco is an eclectic city by the bay (and a darn cute one, too!). With under a million inhabitants, you can easily take a scenic trolley ride or even walk to see many of the city’s beautiful sights. From the historic Fisherman’s Wharf, where 19th Century sailors and fishermen made their living; to the Haight-Ashbury district, North Beach, and Golden Gate Park, where folk music and beat poetry and many things counter-culture manifested;  to the Castro, where the gay rights movement grew its legs, San Francisco is a colorful and diverse town. And speaking of colorful, The Mission District literally has walls that talk. With its multitude of elaborate murals that line the sides of many of the buildings, and Central American culture and food, this diverse neighborhood is shamefully often missed by visitors.

Before you even leave San Francisco International Airport, there’s fun to be found; a taco truck with delectable offerings resides in the center of the domestic parking structure, at the taxicab rest stop. Not far from the airport, Airport Operations Crewmember, Mindy, recommends a stop at the original See’s Candy Factory, where you can tour and taste in the delights of sweet San Francisco. The public transportation system, BART, is a great way to get around, offers Crewmember Paul, but if you’re up for something different, he recommends that you check out Mr. Toad’s Tours, vintage touring cars run on Propane. “We figured “Toads are Green, so are we,” so states their tagline.

castro1Airports Crewmember Esteban recommends that we check out the California Academy of Science every Thursday night for the museum’s special nightlife happenings. To sweeten the deal (as if cocktails and science weren’t enough), entrance is free if it’s within seven days of your birthday! Analyst of Learning Systems, Mary, suggests that an especially worthy stop is the Exploratorium Museum in the Marina District, offering a quirky and hands-on approach to topics that meet at the intersection of, “science, art, and human perception.”

If you like to laugh, “the local comedy scene is great and affordable, and I’m not just saying that cause I’m a part of that scene, either,” jokes Airports Crewmember, Kelly. There are plenty of different places to check out- you can see the full list here.

It would be a travesty to visit San Francisco and not try their savory seafood. General Manager, Scott, recommends Catch, a cute, mid-priced restaurant on Market Street in the Castro. And after a good meal at Catch or any one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood, Crewmember Sebastian suggests hitting the laidback Castro scene with cocktails and people watching at The Lookout, a fun bar perched high above a busy Market Street.

Head to the lookout on the top of the tower at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, where you can see forever (as long as there’s no fog). The tower has amazing, unobstructed views of the Bay and the city, and is even better than the museum itself.

One Crewmember notes, “I usually try to avoid any place that travel writers rave about, but the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero is one exception. The variety of flowers and fruits and veggies and breads and organic everything is just astounding. I recommend picking up a ‘twinkle’ from Acme Bread Co. and an iced coffee from another local company, Peet’s, before perusing the massive farmers market.”

And since we just love blue-everything, our blue pick for this BlueCity is the Blue Angels air show over the San Francisco Bay  if you happen to be around during Fleet Week in October.

For more titillating tidbits on what to do around town, visit our Jet San Francisco CityBlog, authored by writer and local denizen, Eliza Sarasohn. Thank you to all of our Crewmembers who contributed tips. And remember, if you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair.

Join us next week for Tuesday’s Travel Tips when we visit Austin!

Do you have any great San Francisco travel tips to share? Leave them in the comments below, or Tweet them using the hashtag #TTSFO

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