Friday, May 29, 2009

Geeky things to do on a first-time visit to the Bay Area

A friend of mine is making plans to visit the Bay Area for the first time, and asked me to recommend some things to do here. I explained that now that I have (young) kids, all I could recommend are toddler-friendly places not too far from home in Scotts Valley. (My memory of life pre-kids in San Francisco and San Jose is pretty cloudy.) But I had what turned out to be the good idea to ask for suggestions on the "fun-list" mailing list at work.

I don't think my friend would mind if I described him as a geek. (I'm one too, and I believe we both wear the label with honor.) And he doesn't have a driver's license. Not having a car limits one's choices in the Bay Area. But my co-workers (many of them also geeks, and not into cars) responded with many good ideas:

First a list of places to go or things to see...

In San Francisco:

Recommended San Francisco walks:

  • Hippie Hill (or DeYoung Museum) <-> Haight/Ashbury
    • hippies! druggies!
    • Giant Robot
    • Kid Robot
    • Amoeba Records
    • Thrift stores
    • If he wants a *long* walk, go all the way to Lower Haight for the urban / hip hop scene and Indian Oven
  • Castro <-> Dolores Park
    • gays! lesbians!
    • upper class shopping
    • The Castro Theater, as seen in Milk
    • dogs & sunshine in the park
  • Valencia St
    • hipsters! indie kids! moustaches!
    • The Pirate Supply Store (826 Valencia) (this is a must)
    • Four Barrel Coffee
    • Ritual Roasters
    • Spork, Dosa, Herbivore are good dinner places
    • Burrito joints

Napa Valley:

On the Peninsula:

In San Jose:

Web sites with ideas:

Some recommended books:

Did I leave anything out?

Update: added The Cartoon Art Museum

Update #2: added Segway Napa


pyDanny said...

Thank you so much Daryl!

Segway Napa said...

I'd like to add-
Segway Napa to the list of things to do in the wine country- tours of Napa and Youtville!