What should we (tech startup guys) do when visiting/scouting San Francisco for two weeks in August?
June 18, 2010 1:51 PM   Subscribe

A coworker and I will be in SF from August 17-29th to meet people, look around, and in general get a feel for the area. What should we do?

Some background:
It's a German web startup.
We're planning on opening an office in SF next year.
My coworker has never lived in the US before. His first trip was to NYC earlier this year.
I've been to SF (just last month actually) but don't know it well it all.

Any suggestions of interesting/fun meetups, where to meet cool people (I've found some hackerspaces already but anything nerdy/techy/startupy/geeky would be awesome), interesting events going on, places to hang out would be very welcome.

(Also, I'll be relocating eventually from Philadelphia, so any random tips regarding moving to SF would be welcome as well, though that's a whole other AskMe so maybe restrict it to things I could do in August while visiting for an late winter/early spring move.)
posted by polexa to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Borderlands Books is an incredible SF/fantasy bookstore in the Mission. I can spend all day there.

The Fog City Diner is more of a restaurant than a diner, but it offers the best cheeseburger in the city and is one of the few "tourist traps" that turns out not to be a trap at all.

The Ferry Building is a treasure trove of farmer's markets, great lunch spots, and gorgeous views of the bay.

Bay Area Theater Sports puts on above average improv comedy shows every weekend.

The Castro Theatre is something to behold and might be my favorite place in the city. While there, stop by Hot Cookie.

There are amazing coffee shops everywhere.

Oh, and I moved to San Francisco from Philly 2 years ago. I miss good cheesesteaks, but am otherwise happy with the decision. Feel free to hit me up with any questions.
posted by eugenen at 2:25 PM on June 18, 2010

Looks like there's a Hackers and Founders meetup in that time interval.
posted by harmfulray at 4:33 PM on June 18, 2010

Check out the Squid List for interesting events.

in general get a feel for the area"

WALK across the city a few times. It only takes an afternoon. There are lots of urban hikes posted on the web. I like going from Coit Tower to Sutro baths from East to West, but there are lots of other routes.

The Goethe-Institut may have some German-specific suggestions for overcoming culture shock.
posted by benzenedream at 5:51 PM on June 18, 2010

To add to benzenedream's suggestion, walking the Barbary Coast trail is a great way to spend the day. It starts south of Market, and takes you through Union Square, up to North Beach via Chinatown, loops near Coit Tower, and ends at Hyde Street Pier. Lots of good places to stop and admire the views, take pictures, eat, and get coffee along the way.

Speaking of North Beach, be sure to check out City Lights, the coolest bookstore in the City (owned by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti) and have something to eat. I've never had a bad meal from any of the many Italian restaurants that line Columbus Street.

Less touristy and also a nice little walk, go out Point Lobos and do the Land's End Trail. Breathtaking views of the bridge, the Marin Headlands, and Seal Rock.
posted by smirkette at 7:48 PM on June 18, 2010

Go on MeTa and organize a meetup?
posted by kthxbi at 8:01 PM on June 18, 2010

Suppenk├╝che (Yelp review) in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, and Speisekammer (Yelp) in Alameda.

Take a ferry from the ferry building to Oakland and back. Great views of the Bay Area from the Bay. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Take a cable car (if you're pressed for time, take the California Street line, which has no lines but a more boring view).

The Castro Theatre is something to behold and might be my favorite place in the city.

The Castro's nice, but Oakland's Paramount Theater (by the same architect) is a staggeringly beautiful Art Deco cathedral.

restrict it to things I could do in August while visiting for an late winter/early spring move

Bring warm clothes. August is the coldest month of the year in San Francisco. Long sleeves plus a jacket. Layers are key due to microclimates, but it will probably be foggy and cold.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:16 PM on June 18, 2010

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