Cool Hangouts & Cocktails In ‘The City’
Every visitor to San Francisco knows, of course, about the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, driving down crooked Lombard Street and the Cable Cars.
These are must-do things on any first-time tourist’s list.
But there is so much more to see and do in San Francisco and if you’re there for Super Bowl 50, here’s PubClub.com’s suggestions of how to really see what locals call “the City.” Because this is a PubClub.com article, most suggestions involve tipping a drink. Or two.
5 Things Unique Things To Do In ‘The City’
1.) Visit The Sonoma County Wine Lounge
You will, of course, be spending time at Super Bowl City, the public gathering and party place in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. There are free concerts – some featuring big names – fans of both teams and game-related activities. Yet to get a true taste of San Francisco, you must visit the wine country. Or in this case, let the wine country visit you.
The Sonoma County Lounge is a wine tasting area by the Ferry Building that features more than 50 wines from the Sonoma County wine country. Large windows look out over the bay and things don’t get much more “San Francisco” than that around Super Bowl City.
Also in this area, check out some of these local watering holes near Super Bowl City.
2.) Have The Cable Car Cocktail
This is to San Francisco what the Hurricane is to New Orleans, and that is to say the city’s signature drink. It’s orange and rum-based and is available at a few select restaurants and bars. One of the latter is a long-standing city landmark with a view high over the city.
3.) Take A Tour Of Alcatraz
This one requires advance planning because it sells out during normal times and is going to be a very popular tour during Super Bowl week. Besides getting you onto the famous rock and into the cells that housed big-time criminals, the tour also gets you on a ferry boat in San Francisco Bay. Currently Alcatraz is running a very popular photo exhibit called “Prisoners of Age.”
Link: Alcatraz Tours
4.) See The Cable Cars From The Original Irish Coffee Bar
End your Cable Car ride down one of the biggest hills in San Francisco, Hyde Street. (At the peak of it, if you’re on foot, you can walk down famous Lombard Street, by the way). At the bottom of Hyde Street is a turnaround for the Cable Cars and you can watch all the activity through one of the huge bay windows of the Buena Vista bar.
This is a typical San Francisco bar in that it’s small, serves good food and has bartenders dressed in white shirts and aprons. But this particular one is famous as the place that created the Irish Coffee drink. Since it’s likely to be cool if not cold during Super Bowl week, Irish Coffee is the perfect cocktail to warm the body.
You can get from the Buena Vista back to Super Bowl City via a street car, which has a stop at Beach Street and Jones ($2.25, exact change required). Cable Car rides, by the way, are $6, or $15 for an all-day pass.
5.) Visit The Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood
While it’s nothing like in its heyday in the ’60s as the country’s premier hippie hangout, this area of San Francisco is still a culture center for the off-beat and retains the personality of the people who have spent a large part of their time devoted to smoking weed and playing guitars.
There are vintage clothing shops, the famous Zam Zam bar once described by a San Francisco Chronicle columnist as “the Holy Shrine of the Dry Martini” (1633 Haight St.) and a pretty good Irish bar of all things. The Grateful Dead house, the one the band lived in during the height of the hippie movement, is at 710 Ashbury St.
If you get hungry, Cha Cha Cha (1801 Haight St.) is a good Cuban restaurant with great sangria.