By Lee Bautista, Marketing Director, Demand Generation at Jitterbit
With Dreamforce ‘17 quickly approaching, we want to make you San Francisco expert so you know exactly where to go and what to do. Whether this is your first visit or you grew up in the city, we think you’ll learn something new.
Our suggestions are specific to the geographic area around the show, because despite the plethora of Lyft drivers and public transportation, traffic is a constant SF issue—and we have a lot more hills than most cities.
San Francisco Food, Bars & Shopping
Plenty of guides about the culinary inclinations of San Franciscans, local hot spots for libations and trendy shopping spots already exist, so we’ll leave that to the full-time critics. Well, except for a few “outside the norm” suggestions:
- Sears Fine Foods, a San Francisco institution for a quick breakfast without the assault of traditional-yet-overpriced avocado toast.
- Mikkeller Bar, which was the first true introduction of world renowned Danish brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø before Southern California started claiming him.
- A chance to support local business at Britex Fabrics, the visually stunning fabric shop that it offers tours, before it has to relocate.
San Francisco Architecture
We should start with the reason you’re in San Francisco in the first place—Salesforce. The Salesforce Tower will be the second tallest building west of the Mississippi River when it opens. Like another of San Francisco’s icons, Sutro Tower, it can be seen from all parts of the city and across the Bay, when not covered by SF’s famous fog.
The SOMA (South of Market) area of San Francisco, where Moscone Center is located, is surrounded by a few museums, which are sights themselves aside from the art and treasures displayed within them. Many will pass SFMOMA on their way to other sites for Dreamforce. For regulars at Dreamforce, you may remember its previous cylinder-cut-at-an-angle geometrical look, but it now has a new, expanded facade to admire. The immediate area also boasts MoAD, which often displays its works for passing pedestrians, the Contemporary Jewish Museum with its luminous blue steel boxes meeting ground and structure, and the soon-to-be-relocated El Museo Mexicano taking shape right in between.
Enjoying the architecture doesn’t have to be all about modern design; the St. Patrick Church is a visual delight that stands out among the surrounding buildings as prime example of Gothic Revival architecture. It is a San Francisco landmark right in the middle of everything that is Dreamforce.
Lastly, the dome of the nearby Westfield San Francisco Centre is a sight to be seen with many local events, such as yoga and light shows or even early-evening drinks and dining, happening under the regal ceiling.
San Francisco Entertainment
Dreamforce is very close to San Francisco’s Theater District. Many musicals, plays, and independent theaters have shows in the surrounding area. Here’s a good place to start; many shows, like Disney’s Aladdin, start just in time for Dreamforce.
For those looking for buzzworthy ephemeral events, the Museum of Ice Cream arrived in San Francisco and immediately sold out of tickets. If you are dedicated to exploring a Pop Rocks cave or being blinded by pink, tickets can always be found for the diligent.
Aside from the green patch in Yerba Buena Gardens, if you want to decompress from the largest cloud tech conference, check out the Alice Street Community Gardens, which is tucked away between high rises and offers a great place for some peace and quiet.
Lots of casual activities are available in the surrounding blocks, from bowling and ice skating right on top of Moscone Center to an IMAX screen, classic pinball and arcade games in a bar setting to plenty of pool tables and even a two-story Plinko wall.
San Francisco History
It’s hard to wander around San Francisco without coming across a spot of historical significance. A good place to start is The Palace Hotel, famous for many reasons, but perhaps most notably for President Warren G. Harding sudden death in 1923 in room 8064.
Lotta’s Fountain, commissioned by 19th-century vaudeville performer Lotta Crabtree, was bought in part using the gold gifts bestowed upon her from all of her admirers. After the Great 1906 Earthquake, many residents used the fountain as a meeting place for loved ones. The cast-iron fountain has been rebuilt, affixed with a bronze tower, and slightly relocated but remains a symbol for the city as a place where people of all kinds can come together in spite of any travails they are experiencing.
The cultural history of Chinese immigrants in North America is perhaps best represented by the oldest Chinatown in North America as well as the largest outside of Asia. Many historical facts are found alongside the modern experiences of traditional food and architecture, meandering alleys, gift shops and hidden gems that become great bits of trivia. And the iconic Chinatown Gate is not too far.
Also hidden in the area around Dreamforce is the story of Filipino immigration to North America. While not having the same recognizable landmarks as Chinatown, many marks of Manilatown still survive in the area around the show. If you need a reminder of it, all you need to do is look at the street names.
The US Mint San Francisco Branch is rather inconspicuous in its appearance. San Franciscans call it “The Old Mint,” even though it’s the second version of the branch building and the current functioning building doesn’t have the same charm, because it was built to be a figurative fortress. But it represents much for San Francisco, both the investment from the United States government into the burgeoning western economy in the mid-1800s to the continuous efforts to keep the history of the city alive.
So while you’re busy planning all of the sessions you will attend and companies to visit on the expo floor, don’t forget about all of the attractions around you as you walk from hotel to conference space.
And don’t forget to visit Jitterbit at Moscone South Booth #1112 or schedule a meeting with us now!
Lee Bautista has more than 18 years of marketing experience, beginning with gigs in radio and television before moving into tech. Lee has primarily lived in or within walking distance of San Francisco since he was 10 years old and can be seen enjoying a craft beer or an independent movie around the city when he’s not embarrassing himself on a basketball court.