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Category: Things to do in SF (30)

Football lovers who are new to Bay Area or football, this read is for you! Everyone knows that the San Francisco 49ers game is a must-see attraction in the Bay Area.

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We prepared essential tips to make your football game unforgettable and most important, enjoyable!

Best Tickets

When looking for tickets it is important to keep in mind the layout of Levi’s Stadium (where the Niners play). If it is a day game the sun can be beating down furiously and the shade will be your best friend.

Make sure to grab tickets on the Westside of the stadium to block out the sun. The last thing you want is to be roasting in the heat during the football game.

Also, keep in mind that at football games, the middle of the field provides the best views, so if you can try and sit as close as you can to the 50-yard line. If you have to sit a few sections higher than you wanted to, that is better than watching from the endzones.

As you actually buy your tickets make sure to look at a couple of different sites before you buy to compare prices. TickPick is a great place to score tickets as they have no hidden service/buyer fees!

Getting to Levi’s Stadium

Wherever you are in the Bay Area there are plenty of options for getting to the game. Whether it’s the highways, VTA Light Rail, VTA Bus, Capitol Corridor or Caltrain, you will be assured to arrive timely on those Sunday afternoons.

If you are bringing your car to the game, Highways 101, 237, 880, as well as the Lawrence Expressway and the San Tomas Expressway can get you there. Make sure to leave 20 minutes earlier than you usually would account for game-day traffic.

The VTA (Valley Transportation Authority) Light Rail provides the most direct route to Levi’s for residents of the greater South Bay Area. Trains stop at Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Campbell.

The VTA Bus is another alternative for South Bay residents. The bus services cover the greater San Jose area, Mountain View, Cupertino, and Sunnyvale. 

For residents of the North and East Bay Area the Capitol Corridor Trains provide full service to the Stadium from Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento, Davis, Suisun, Fairfield, Martinez, Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Hayward, Santa Clara, Fremont, and San Jose.

And for everyone in our co-living properties or student housing in San Francisco, the Caltrain can take you to South San Jose and stops all along the Peninsula. Once in San Jose, passengers should buy a separate ticket to ride the VTA Light Rail to the stadium. For a cheaper option, there is a joint Caltrain/VTA Adult Day Pass available at Caltrain ticket station machines, which is perfect for a game day!

Carsharing services such as Lyft or Uber are also a very convenient option. But like we mentioned before, leave a little early,- traffic will be there.

Food

Once you are in the stadium and the halftime whistle blows, you are going to want to fill your stomach with something delicious to fuel your second half cheers and enthusiasm.

Levi Stadium does not have your typical stadium food. Bourbon Steak is a delicious American steakhouse serving the classics with their own innovative twists. Try the Morrow Bay Halibut with Moroccan couscous, Delta Farms asparagus, and sauce Cacciucco.

For a more casual meal, head over to the Bourbon Pub serving fan favorites like the Gold Rush Burger or Buffalo-style wings.

Things To Do

The stadium has lots of other interesting elements so feel free to arrive early before kickoff or stay late after the game ends.

One of these elements is the 49ers Museum. Visit the Augmented Reality exhibit to place yourself next to the best current and former 49ers. Walk amongst life-sized statues of the 27 Hall of Fame players all hitting their signature pose. That’s just the start! There are plenty of other fascinating exhibits to visit in the 20,000 square foot facility.

Well now that you know everything about the San Francisco 49ers gameday and stadium, it is time to grab your roommate, buy some tickets, and head to the game. Don’t forget to cheer for your favorite team!

Every so often you may want to break free from the hectic nature of The City. Well, right across the bay, about 5 miles over the Bay Bridge is San Francisco’s frisky young sibling, The Town.

Oakland can be a perfect place to experience a change of pace from the bustling, crowded streets of SF. After a short 15-minute Bart, bus, or drive, you will arrive to see the vibrant and expanding downtown to your right and in front of you, the Oakland Hills with residential houses speckled throughout bundles of trees.

Morning

Brown Sugar Kitchen is perhaps the most impressive breakfast place in all of the Bay Area. The magnificence is all due to the creator and Executive Chef, Tanya Holland. She uses her French-trained culinary expertise and her passion for hosting people to create a homey vibe. With her new style of California-influenced soul food, Tanya attracts customers from all over the East Bay to enjoy BBQ Shrimp and Grits or the always-classic Fried Chicken and Waffles. Right on Broadway, the restaurant is centrally located in Oakland’s downtown area.

In a quieter section of town, the Montclair Egg Shop is famously praised among locals. Each Sunday, the quaint restaurant is chock-full of hungry customers, in awe of the model trains and other neat trinkets that are on display throughout the eatery. Keep an eye out for Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as they make frequent trips to the brunch spot.

Day

With cheap tickets and new amenities in the stadium, an Oakland A’s game is a great way to spend a day. The Treehouse is one of their latest additions, which is equipped with two full-service bars, standing-room and lounge seating, a TV-wall, and pre and postgame entertainment.

The A’s have also added the Championship Plaza, which is home to six rotating food trucks, beer stands, music, and lawn games. Arrive early during batting practice for a great chance to catch a homerun ball and get it signed by your favorite player.

One of the Oakland’s main attractions is Lake Merritt, but few people actually take full advantage of the prestine body of water. For less than $10 per person you can rent a canoe, row/pedal boat, or kayak. Or if you are looking for a more romantic activity, there are gondola rides available for couples.

Floating in the middle of the lake is a great way to take in the city, as the surrounding bikers, picnickers, and residents enjoying the scene. Views of the hills and the skyline make this adventure a perfect late afternoon excursion.

For those looking to explore the luscious greenery of Oakland, the Redwood Regional Park offers miles of hiking and biking trails as well as great picnic/BBQ spots. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to check out some of the world’s largest trees!

Night

There is an endless list of fun things to do at night in Oakland, but First Fridays are indisputably at the top of the rankings.

Every first Friday of the month, the city shuts down Telegraph Ave from West Grand to 27th Street at night from 5 – 9 PM. Thousands of residents from all over the Bay Area come to experience the community’s artistic collectives and galleries, local culinary artisans, musicians, dancers, DJ’s and more.

It is free and open to the public and is a great way to spend the evening grabbing a bite to eat and taking in the exciting Oakland culture. (Reminder that for July, First Friday will be pushed back a week to July 12 to accommodate 4th of July festivities).

Just one street parallel to where First Fridays take place is perhaps Oakland’s most bustling street, Broadway. Here you can explore one of Oakland residents‘ favorite place to spend dinner and a night-out with friends, the beer gardens.

At places like Lost and Found and Drake’s Dealership, beer drinkers young (over 21 at least) and old gather under outdoor lights and comfortable garden décor to enjoy tasty food, relaxing lawn games, and of course, a variety of delicious brews.

After a couple drinks or before you head out for a night on the town, you may want to catch a flick at the nearest theater. Well, for a full Oakland experience you have to take a visit to the New Parkway Theater. With couches for comfortable sitting, a café and bar with local beer and wine that delivers to your seat, and special non-film events like World Cup watch parties, this theater is one of the most unique cinemas in the Bay Area.

It also prides itself on its sustainability; almost everything they use is reusable and the staff and management strive to create as little waste as possible.

So while you may think to yourself: “I live in awesome shared housing facility with a  community of great friends in one of the liveliest cities in the world, why would I ever want to leave?”, you can now see the great adventures that lie just 9 miles East in…. The Town.

There are many sights to see around San Francisco such as Lombard Street, The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Coit Tower, but those places are always crowded with tourists. Sometimes you need to explore the places that many people haven’t heard of. Whether it’s a restaurant or an amazing view, there are locations around the city that will give you a new perspective on what it’s like to be a local.

Mission Dolores Park
This amazing park resides within the Mission District and is a great location for relaxing, getting some work done, or having a picnic. Dolores Park is one of the most famous parks in the city since it is large and is in one of the more festive sides of town. On nice days, the park will attract many people who are looking to share the sun and enjoy the vendors who go around with food and drinks. There are also many great restaurants and bars surrounding the park so you’ll never run out of things to do on that side of SF.

Chestnut street
This long stretch of shops and restaurants is in the Marina district and it is always full of life. There are many great lunch spots such as Super Duper Burger, Squat & Gobble, or Glaze. These restaurants plus many more great dinner spots are all within a couple block radius and offer delicious, cost friendly meals. During the evening or night, this street is full of locals visiting all the great bars and different nightlife scenes.

The Palace of Fine Arts
This masterpiece of architecture opened in 1915 and sits within the Marina. There is a big lawn in front of the building where you will see people having a picnic or just enjoying the scenery. This is another place where you can get some work done in peace while also being very close to Chestnut Street to get a bite to eat. The Palace offers tours throughout the week if you want the whole experience to see some stunning murals on the top of the dome. Otherwise, it is a great spot to hang out.

Golden Boy Pizza
For some of the best pizza San Francisco has to offer, slide over to Golden Boy. This little pizza joint has been serving square slices since 1978 and it has made a name for itself. It’s located in North Beach area and usually has a a bit of a crowd during the night hours but it is definitely worth the visit if you need a quality slice of pizza.

Ocean Beach
Another great place that many locals go is on the west side of San Francisco. There are many activities to do during the day such as relaxing, surfing, or any sports but it becomes very cold when the sun goes down. At night, a specific part of the beach lights up with many bonfires and it an amazing sight to see. It usually happens on weekends but it is a great outing to have with friends if you want to bring some firewood, blankets, and some food for a couple hours.

Farmers Market
The final spot many locals go to on the weekends is located at the Ferry Building. This is a great event to buy fresh produce and eat amazing food from all the different local businesses and farmers. You can make a day out of going to the Farmer’s Market since it is so close to the bustling downtown with all the shops and restaurants close by.


San Francisco is growing rapidly due to the tech industry and other new developments so it may be hard to find peaceful places in the city or even housing nowadays. Moreover, it can be hard to deal with the stress of so many people coming to visit San Francisco. Luckily, Urbanests offers rooms for students and interns in completely furnished apartments or room shares in San Francisco for the best co-living experience. If you haven’t found a place to stay in this amazing city, check us out on our website! After you get settled in your cozy San Francisco rental, check out the spots above to get the full SF experience.

The Main Transits

Bart: No we aren’t talking about the troublesome Simpson’s character, BART is a lot more than a cool acronym. Bay Area Rapid Transit ranges from SFO through the city all the way out to the East Bay. At times over crowded and a little bit smelly (as most public transit in big cities are), it is still the best way to avoid the horrendous traffic on the Bay Bridge on the way to work. And although you can hear a Bart train screeching to a stop from a mile away it is inexpensive and reliable.

TIP: late flight or partying all night in the city? Don’t rely on Bart because it unfortunately stops running at midnight.

Caltrain: Your safest and cheapest bet for reliable transport may just be Caltrain. Perfect for getting anywhere on the Peninsula, the train runs from downtown San Francisco to San Jose and beyond! Out of all Bay Area transportation Caltrains has the highest and best reviews. Nothing much more to be said.

TIP: it gets very bright on these trains so sit on the west side in the morning and the east side for the evening.

Muni: Looking to get around the traffic-filled streets of San Francisco? Muni has got your back. This historic transit system not only has the best logo in the Bay, but also offers travel by the always-classic Street Cars, Cable Cars, and busses.

TIP: try not to rely on Muni if you are on a time crunch as it can be crowded and sometimes requires waiting for the next cable car, bus, etc.

Ridesharing: We all know how easy Uber and Lyft are, but compared to other public transit the city offers, it is a more expensive alternative.

TIP: if you select a pool ride on each app, it offers a cheaper (but sometimes longer) trip.

VTA: If you are heading out to a 49ers game at Levis Stadium or going for a day of rollercoaster rides at Great America the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is the perfect option.

TIP: visit the 49ers Museum at Levis Stadium, it is opened Fri – Sun, 10:00AM – 4:00PM.

Ferry: Perhaps the most enjoyable transportation system, the SF Ferry Building can take you to Oakland, Angel Island, Alcatraz, and Sausalito to name a few places. Prices range differently depending on where you are going (Alcatraz is more expensive than a trip to Sausalito).

TIP: for the cheapest boat ride in the city, take the “short hop”, it takes about 10 minutes and runs from Pier 41 to the Ferry Building and back. $1.60 for adults/youths, $0.80 for seniors.

Scooters: To limit the reckless scooter riders, the abandoned scooters, and the endless complaints, San Francisco has allowed only Scoot (now owned by Bird) and Skip (both Bay Area startups) to rent scooters. A scooter ride offers a fun and quick way to make shorter travel distance a lot easier. They are also perfect for a cheap way to go sight-seeing in such a wondrous city.

TIP: in CA you can NOT ride your scooter on the sidewalk. Stick to the bike lanes and the roads.

Taxi: Tax? I? Never heard of one

Car: The reason this article needed to be written

Payment

Clipper Card, Clipper Card, Clipper Card. That’s all you need to know. Every transit system in the region accepts Clipper Card for payment. All you need to do is load money or select a monthly pass on your card and press against the card reader as you hop on.

And of course, you can always use cash or card to buy a single ticket, but who wants to go through all that hassle? Not me

Leaving Town?

The International Airports in Oakland and San Francisco are easily accessible from Bart and make the traveling process a lot less stressful. Additionally, if you are heading down to SoCal, the Megabus can get you there and has frequent stops in SF, San Jose, and Oakland. Lastly, for all those powder shredders, the Bay Area Ski Bus will take you straight to the slopes in Tahoe and also offers discounted lift tickets!

Hello June! In the blink of an eye, Summer is already upon us. The rainy weeks are over and the weather is starting to warm up, which means it is time to get out there and have some fun in sunny San Francisco! Lucky for you, you are living in one of the best cities when it comes down to the amount of diverse activities around the area. San Francisco is also the center for co-living or community housing, which means that if you choose to live in our affordable San Francisco rooms, you are sure to meet new friends and buddies that are happy to go on some Summer adventures with you! Without further ado, here are some of our hand-picked activities that are going to be happening in San Francisco this Summer!

 

Music Festivals

1San Francisco is known for its diverse population and therefore has a wide variety of music all around the city. If you are a Jazz lover, the Fillmore Jazz Festival will be taking place on July 6th and July 7th this year covering twelve blocks in the Pacific Heights district. If you are an opera fan, the famous SF Opera will be having several shows both in June and July at the War Memorial Opera House. This year, there will be performances including Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, and many more!

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There will also be several live music festivals featuring bands, singers, and more throughout the summer. One of the festivals is the Stern Grove Festival at the Stern Grove Park. These concerts will be happening every week starting in the middle of June all the way to August, and will have many popular singers and a different theme every single week! Best of all, admission is completely free! Another one of the biggest San Francisco music festivals is the Outside Lands Music Festival that will be happening during August 9th to August 11th. There will be over 70 bands performing for 3 days, including Twenty One Pilots, Childish Gambino, and blink-182!

 

Street Festivals

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When we talk about festivals, we can’t forget about all the amazing street festivals that San Francisco has that features all different kinds of food and entertainment. The North Beach Festival is one of the biggest street fairs that has been taking place taking place for more than sixty years. This year, it will be happening on June 15th-16th and will have more than 20 food vendors, over 100 arts and crafts vendors, a kid’s chalk area, and Italian street painting. There will also be live music and entertainment at four different stages at the festival.

If you fall in love with North Beach and would like to have a place to stay, don’t forget we have many single rooms and double co-living rooms available in North Beach today, and you can check them out on our website!

3-1 New Hardwood Floors
371 Columbus Residences at North Beach -provided by Urbanests
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524 Columbus Residences of North Beach -provided by Urbanests

If you are more of a fan of Union City, then head over to Union Square Live, which is happening now until October! The diverse street fair will be featuring free dance, theater, music, and other performances and entertainments in San Francisco’s Union Square Plaza every Wednesday at 6pm and Sunday at 2pm. Since this part of the city is close to all public transit, the fair is only a bus or BART ride away! Urbanests also has many housing options available near Union Square, check out these rooms!

8 Double Room - New Hardwood Floors
1010 Bust St, walking distance to Union Square -provided by Urbanests
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Pyramid Residences, walking distance to Union Square -provided by Urbanests

Another fun and diverse festival is the Haight Street Fair of San Francisco! This year marks the 41st Anniversary of a festival that celebrates the diversity and history of the Haight-Ashbury District and will be happening on June 9th. There will be more than 200 booths with food and crafts for sale as well as live music for everyone to enjoy while at the fair.

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Fill you Summer with fun from all around San Francisco this year by checking out some of these amazing fairs and festivals! Whether you want to go somewhere with live music, food vendors, or just a place to hang out with your friends, San Francisco definitely has it all!