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Ten Things to do in San Francisco
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NCBP's own Tom Elligett has traveled to San Francisco many times, for work and for pleasure with his family and friends. To get ready for the 2019 NCBP Annual Meeting in San Francisco this summer, Tom shares with us some of his favorite things to do while in the City by the Bay. Of course, there are many more than ten things.  But here are some obvious and not so obvious – that may be of interest while you're in San Francisco.  In no particular order:


1. Go back in time.  Haight-Ashbury contains an  eclectic mix of new, old, traditional, and not so traditional shops.  This revitalized neighborhood is home to what is now high-end housing, including the former Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane houses. Refreshments are available at Ben & Jerry’s near the corner, and elsewhere. And while you are there...

2. Pick up some vinyl.  Haight-Ashbury can help you enjoy the vinyl renaissance. Stores along Haight include the large Amoeba Music, toward the southern end of Haight, near Golden Gate Park.  To the north are other shops, including the much cozier Rooky Ricardo’s Records at 448 Haight, which features both albums and a vast selection of 45s.

3. Take a ride. The famous cable cars will be crowded in the summer, but provide some great photo ops.  Also don’t miss a drive down Lombard Street – the aptly name “crookedest” street in the world. 

4. Entertain and educate the kids. Lots of choices, but a favorite of our kids was the Exploratorium, located at Pier 15. It features hands-on science related exhibits for children.  Closed most Mondays, the website is The California Academy of Sciences houses a planetarium, an aquarium and a natural history museum under one “living” roof--you’ll see what they mean.  The web site has a section on tips for taking kids:

5. Go to jail. Take the boat ride to Alcatraz Island – site of the former prison, featured in numerous films.  Wear good athletic or walking shoes, and bring a light jacket.  Even on a nice day, the wind on the water can be chilly.  Draw your own conclusions as to whether anyone escaped from The Rock – alive.

 6. See a show. There are many and at the last meeting we caught an innovative dual stage time shifting production.  The long-running Beach Blanket Babylon continually updates its local and national material.  Not for the easily offended or kids (because they serve adult beverages, one must be 21+ other than the Sunday matinee).  You will laugh, even at things you know you shouldn’t.

7. Enjoy the Pier entertainers. The Pier 39 area typically has myriad street artists and performers.  Entertaining without expecting remuneration are the seals and sea lions on the water side of the Pier – but keep your distance.

8. Catch a concert. BBB is a musical, but there are plenty of venues of various sizes to enjoy all types of popular (and other) music.  Check online for who is playing where.  The iconic Fillmore is again featuring live performances ( Look if Lydia Pense and Cold Blood are in town as they enjoy their 50th anniversary (

9. Eat. This may seem obvious – as well as necessary. But the variety of outstanding cuisine does not stop.  Reviews can help navigate the choices. And for those inclined, there is Ghiradelli’s (founded in San Francisco in 1852), and Godiva shops. To be clear, we are inclined.

10. Take another ride. After all that eating, this time rent bikes and ride north across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. You can return by Ferry. Known for art galleries and souvenir shops, Sausalito is a popular day trip from San Francisco.  The bridge has bike lanes so you should feel safe from traffic. For those with acrophobia, there are more grounded bike friendly trails.


But the #1 thing to do in San Francisco this summer is attend the 2019 NCBP Annual Meeting, August 8-10--register now!