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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9 Comments on “Tuesday’s Travel Tips – First stop, San Francisco!”

  • Posted by Bunni Davis on March 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I flew there with a friend, we did not rent a car, used the wonderful public transportation, got a week pass and was able to go to every part of the city and back to the hotel with ease. Its a wonderful place to visit, so much to do and so many different places, I have to say the wharf was one of my favorites but Haight Asbury was the BOMB

  • Posted by Troy Wheelhouse on March 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    #1 place my wife and I go for aniversary celebrations: Scoma’s. We haven’t had anything we haven’t loved; Great location on Pier 47, Excellent service and food – we’ve gone here several times, every few years since our honeymoon 15 years ago, and it has been consistently memorable – we’ve even had the same waiter the last three times over maybe 6 years and he remembered us. It’s not cheap, but I can’t recommend this place enough.

  • Posted by Matt on March 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Nice article, good tips! Note though that it’s Haight-Ashbury, not Asbury, (as in Asbury Park)…. It’s an intersection, and the manhole cover in the center of it was believed to have special powers back in the day…

  • Posted by JetBlue on March 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks Matt!

  • Posted by Bob Lazar on March 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    OMG…..How can you talk about Blue Cities…. and San Francisco and NOT mention Dottie’s True Blue Cafe?? Ya gotta get there early for one of the most amazing breakfasts you’ll ever have anywhere…. and c’mon! True Blue Cafe?? Seriously… it’s at 522 Jones St…. and you’ll totally enjoy it. If you don’t get there early, you’ll have to wait on a very long line!

  • Posted by Sheena on March 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Definitely check out Blue Bottle Coffee in the Ferry Building!

  • Posted by Rachel on March 2, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    You have mentioned a couple museums here, but i would like to add a few more to your list. If you love museums, besides the ones listed above there are also: the MoMA (SF Museum of Modern Art), the Contemporary Jewish Museum, The Cartoon Art Museum, and the Asian Art Museum. There are also many smaller museums.

    If you are traveling with kids you should be sure to check out Zeum. Zeum offers highly interactive exhibits that focus on five core arts and media subjects: Animation, Video Production, Sound Production, Performance, and Visual Arts. There are two floors and six spaces to explore! Check out their website for more info:

    ***Many, but not all, of San Francisco’s museums are free on the first tuesday of the month*****

  • Posted by Diane on March 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    The SF Museum of Modern Art is an absolute must. I live in NY, so I’m spoiled by the great museums, so when I tout a museum, believe it.

  • Posted by Caitlin on March 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    One of my favorite things to do in/near San Francisco is to head over the Bay Bridge to Oakland. Arrive in the early afternoon, head over to downtown Oakland and take a walk around Lake Merritt. Check out the farmers market (I have no idea how late in the day it goes on the weekends, but this market is beautiful – especially to an east coastie in the winter). Then, head to Art’s Crab Shak (yes, without the ‘c’) for some amazing seafood. Bring friends, because a bucket of crab is a good thing to share.

    The most exciting thing for me is that I could do this trip via BOS-OAK or BOS-SFO! JetBlue, thanks for being awesome!

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