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Some key info to help you plan your visit!

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 29, 2016

NCTA is excited to be the host chapter for ATA57. Here are some ideas on how to make your visit more memorable, but keep checking back as we continue to update this page!

Planning your trip

Exploring the city

Looking for something different?

Top 100 restaurants

25 things to do in SF for $10 or less

A $1,000 Day in SF for $100

Free and Cheap Events and Things to Do in San Francisco


A couple of "cheap eats" options near the conference hotel

- Eatsa: San Francisco's only fully automated restaurant! No staff - you just place your order on a tablet and collect it from a box when it's ready. Worth going for the novelty value alone. But be warned - everything is vegetarian and quinoa-based! It's only two blocks from the Hyatt on the other side of Market Street. (Open for lunch only.) And yes, the food is delicious!

- Fuzio: a (relatively!) inexpensive restaurant featuring fusion cuisine. Dishes range from pasta and pad thai to steak and fries and burgers. Nothing fancy but consistently good food. It's next to the movie theatre in Embarcadero 1.

Walking/Offbeat stuff

If you don't have much time, there are good opportunities for nice walks starting right from the conference hotel. Cross over The Embarcadero to the Ferry Building, which itself is worth a visit, and then head along the Bay either south or north. Both directions have bike and pedestrian paths, beautiful views and lots of fresh air. Following the northern route will eventually take you to Fisherman's Wharf (1.8 miles), Fort Mason, Crissy Fields and Golden Gate Bridge (5.5 miles).

You can make a nice little loop by heading north from the Ferry Building for about half a mile, crossing back over The Embarcadero to Sansome St, turning right on Sansome and then left on Filbert St (or Greenwich St). These two streets look like dead-ends but there's a staircase at the end of both streets. Take the Filbert Street steps (or Greenwich Street steps) up to Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower. These are lovely, quiet staircases that lead through green backyards all the way to the top with beautiful views. Check the views at the tower and the murals inside on the ground floor. You can also take an elevator to the top of the tower.

Then continue by heading down on Greenwich or Filbert towards North Beach (west) where you can find several coffee shops, restaurants and bars for refreshments. Columbus Avenue takes you back near the conference hotel. It's about a 20-minute walk from North Beach to the hotel.


Macondray Lane

This was the inspiration for Barbary Lane in Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and is not too far from the conference hotel (1.5 miles), but it does involve a stiff uphill walk when you get to Green Street. It’s nestled between Green and Union and Leavenworth and Jones. But it’s beautiful and unique, and definitely worth checking out if you are nearby.



Pacific Heights/Mrs Doubtfire’s house

As soon as news broke of the tragic death of Robin Williams in August 2014, the Pacific Heights home featured in the movie Mrs Doubtfire quickly turned into an enormous shrine to the late actor, with flowers and remembrances strewn up the steps of the house and along the entire sidewalk. Today, there are still two little “rock gardens” outside the house, bearing poignant messages to Robin Williams, while messages can be found written on leaves in the trees.

The neighborhood itself is worth exploring if you have time. It has a “walk score” of 96/100 (the four points presumably being deducted because of the hills!) and some of the most beautiful (and most expensive) homes in the city. Nancy Pelosi lives in Normandy Terrace, between Broadway and Vallejo, Larry Ellison lives on Broadway near Broderick, while Dianne Feinstein has a home on Lyon Street at Vallejo, along the famous “Lyon Street steps.”

Getting to Mrs Doubtfire’s house from the Hyatt is easy. Just walk one block up Sacramento Street, hop on the number 1 bus (the “1 California”) to Fillmore Street, then cross back over the road to transfer to the “22 Fillmore” and ride it half a dozen blocks or so to Broadway and Steiner. Or walk up Fillmore Street (it’s not too steep at this point!), past trendy boutiques, bars and restaurants, until you reach Broadway, then turn left for one block (downhill!).By the way, you get a nice glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge if you go a few steps down Fillmore Street at Broadway.


The Presidio

This national park is only a few miles from the Hyatt but when you’re there, it seems a world away. What’s more, you can get there by free shuttle from near the hotel! The PresidiGo downtown shuttle picks up at the Embarcadero BART station at regular intervals, seven days a week.

The Presidio boasts 24 miles of easy hiking trails and offers spectacular views of the Bay, Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and even the Pacific Ocean. You can also visit Crissy Fields on the same trip. Walk along the waterfront and have coffee and a snack in the Warming Hut, which is at the Golden Gate Bridge end. (You might even want to visit Fort Point while you’re there, or walk a mile or so back towards the city and visit the Wave Organ.)



If you’re interested in visiting some of our museums, the conference couldn’t be better timed since many of them offer free admission at the beginning of each month.


Click here for the full list.

Unfortunately, the newly reopened SF MOMA doesn’t have a free day, but it is home to the largest collection of modern art in the US and is an absolute must if you’re a modern-art lover.



Classical: During conference week there are four different concerts being performed at the SF Symphony, while the SF Opera will be performing Aida (Nov. 5) and Madame Butterfly (Nov. 6 matinée). You might also want to check out the SF Opera Lab, an intimate space (with a bar!) near the Opera House that offers innovative programming and pop-ups in alternative venues in the Bay Area.

Blues: Two of the best clubs in San Francisco are The Saloon (one of the city’s oldest bars) in North Beach and Biscuits & Blues, close to Union Square.

Jazz: San Francisco has its very own Jazz Center, located in Hayes Valley.


San Francisco’s Secret Bars

The most famous “speakeasy” is Bourbon & Branch in a rather seedy part of town (take a cab or ride share), but here’s a list of 15 secret bars (including Bourbon & Branch).



There are plenty of places to rent bikes to cycle along Crissy Fields, out to the ocean or across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito or Tiburon. However, if you are a serious cyclist and want to rent a road bike to discover some of the more challenging routes, some of NCTA’s road-cyclist members will be leading a tour of Marin, which has some of the most spectacular riding in California. For details, see the above blog page: "Pre-Conference NCTA Tour de Marin."



Tags:  Activities  Bars  Bikes  Culture  Cycling  Music  Tourism 

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