So you’ve come to visit San Francisco and you’d like to hit the town, but you’re also traveling on a budget. The good news is when you stay at HI San Francisco hostels, there are plenty of ways to experience the City by the Bay on the cheap, including during our activities like the weekly pub crawl where you get to visit excellent local bars and make friends with fellow travelers. Then once you’ve made friends, you can go out and explore San Francisco’s nightlife on the cheap at some of our favorite spots.
Winter in Northern California means cool, bright days and crisp, chilly evenings. It also means always having a great excuse to duck into someplace cozy for a pick-me-up. From fire-lit bars, to brick-oven-warmed bakeries, to restaurants chock-full of cozy ambiance, we asked the staff at our seven Norcal hostels for their favorite local spots to warm up. Read on for their picks, and get ready to settle in for the winter.
It's easy to know when you've reached the heart of San Francisco's Castro Street; it’s a place that boldly proclaims that you've arrived. Rainbow flags line the road and a giant art deco marquee that reads "Castro" announces the name of the theater it adorns and lets you know what neighborhood you’re in. Shops and businesses along the street entice customers with quirky names and humorous or provocative window displays. This part of town has a spirit of its own; one that is integral to the larger culture of San Francisco.
'Tis the season for free film events in San Francisco! Get classy at the iconic Top of the Mark restaurant while enjoying free wine tastings and watching the glamorous Audrey Hepburn. Or perhaps it's time to relive that favorite oldie on the big screen (The Goonies!), with an outdoor screening in one of the city's best parks.
Honing in on another sliver of the City by the Bay for our series, Streets of San Francisco, I set out to comb Fillmore Street and explore the intersection of the city's historic jazz age and current culinary eon. There's a lot of talk in this town about the vacillating temperature of neighborhoods, and although micro-climates are totally a thing in San Francisco, I'm referring more to sociocultural climates than meteorology here.
The San Francisco Bay Area has a lot to boast about. We're World Series champs, we produce world-class wine, and we're world leaders in innovation and technology. #werethebest. (Also, we invented hash tags.) You wanna know what else we do? We distill spirits. The SF Bay Area can now add local distilleries (find them on this map) to the list of things that make us awesome.