42nd AIC Annual Meeting – 30 Things to do in San Francisco

The upcoming Annual Meeting in San Francisco will surely be educative, informative, and a great opportunity to mingle with colleagues, but its location in the City by the Bay makes this meeting truly unique. As a relatively recent transplant to San Francisco, moving here nearly nine months ago from Chicago, I fell in love with the city’s landscape, food, and cultural heritage but was intimidated by the cost of living and overall expense of exploring. One of my personal missions during my time in San Francisco has been to find activities and places to go that fit within my limited budget as well as let me see and learn about this great city.
This list of 30 Things to Do in San Francisco was compiled by several other Bay Area emerging conservators and me to offer the attending membership to the Annual Meeting a concise selection of accessible and affordable things to do in San Francisco. While there are infinitely more “things” that could be added to this list, these are some of our personal favorites and we hope that you all enjoy them as much as we do!

  1. Sutro Baths, Courtesy of Wikipedia

    Sunday June 1st (first Sunday of the month) is free at the Asian Art Museum

  2. Try local produce and products at the Saturday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building
  3. Check out the SF Public Library’s free walking tours of different neighborhoods in the city
  4. Visit the frescoes at the Beach Chalet and grab a drink while enjoying the incredible view
  5. Take the 38 MUNI bus to Lands End (end of the line) and go for a hike to see the Sutro Bath ruins and great ocean views
  6. Visit Coit Tower and the incredible WPA frescoes
  7. Grab a delicious cocktail roll or mooncake at Eastern Bakery in Chinatown
  8. Visit the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park for free before 10 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (see #3 for a guided tour of the Garden)
  9. Try Burmese food at Burma Superstar (warning: no reservations and the wait can be long during peak hours – but the tea leaf salad is worth it)
  10. Take a walk around Haight/Ashbury and feel the love
  11. Take a boat trip to Sausalito
  12. Visit Alcatraz Island
  13. Ride the cable car from Powell Station to Ghirardelli Square
  14. Need a coffee fix? Try Philz or an Irish coffee at Buena Vista Cafe
    Camera Obscura, Courtesy of Wikipedia
  15. Grab a drink at a speakeasy – the Library at Bourbon and Branch
  16. Experience North Beach, the little Italy of SF, with delicious food at Calzone’s
  17. For delicious Chinese food check out House of Nanking at the edge of Chinatown and be sure to let the owner order for you
  18. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge (take the 28 MUNI bus to the bridge)
  19. Enjoy a chocolate sundae in Ghirardelli Square
  20. Have a sweet tooth? Try some great pastries and ice cream in the Mission between Guerrero and Dolores Streets at Tartine Bakery and Bi-Rite Creamery
  21. Take a walk through Golden Gate Park and check out the paddle boats, grazing buffalo, and hippie hill
  22. Check out the murals in the Mission and pick your favorite burrito joint (La Taqueria, Papalote, El Farolito, etc.)
  23. See amazing panoramic views of the city from the de Young Museum’s Tower in Golden Gate Park
  24. For affordable and tasty vegetarian eats try Loving Hut on Irving St. in the Sunset
  25. Find great music and movies at Amoeba Music on Haight St.
  26. Check out the Sing-Along Movies at the Castro Theater
  27. Go see the Camera Obscura near the Cliff House in Sea Cliff (weather dependent and call ahead!)
  28. Grab a tasty bite at the Off the Grid – a gathering of local food trucks. Check out the schedule of where to catch them at
    Off the Grid at Fort Mason, Courtesy of Off the Grid
  29. Go to the California Academy of Science’s NightLife Thursday from 6-10 pm to see the planetarium, rainforest biosphere, and aquarium
  30. Walk in the shoes of the Beat generation and visit City Lights Books in North Beach


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