The best part of coming to the west coast to play Oakland is that we stay in San Francisco. Its one of the top cities in America with great history and natural beauty. The streetcars still make their way up and down some of the biggest paved inclines you will ever see. On the way from San Francisco to Oakland you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz while crossing the famous Bay Bridge.
When staying in San Fran I highly recommend staying at the historic St. Francis Hotel located in Union Square. Following the famous earthquake of 1906, the St. Francis was the only thing left standing in Union Square and has been a city landmark for over a century. Presidents, Kings and Queens have all laid their heads on the goose feathered pillows at the St. Francis. During World War II the invasion of the Pacific was planned by Admirals Halsey and Nimitz from a suite inside the hotel.
Just across the street from the Hotel you will find Lefty O’Doul’s, a great place to grab a sandwich and a late night beverage after the ballgame. The late O’Doul was inducted into baseball’s hall of fame and was the only outfielder in the 20th century to bat .398 in a season when he played for the NY Giants. After his playing career he continued to promote the game of baseball while coaching and managing. His most famous protege was Joe Dimaggio who played for O’Doul in the Pacific Coast League. The Yankee clipper is best known for his incredible 56-game hitting streak set in 1941 that ended at Cleveland Stadium. But did you know that the Professional Baseball record for most consecutive games with a hit was set by Dimaggio 8 years earlier while playing for his hometown San Francisco Seals? In 1933 Dimaggio hit in an amazing 61 straight games in the Pacific Coast League.
Downtown San Francisco also has plenty of shopping for every taste imaginable. There is also a diner located just about on every block. My personal favorite is Cafe Mason, located on Mason Street near O’Farrell. Try the eggs sardou with bay shrimp and dungeness crab. Its outstanding with just the right amount of spice.
Before coming to San Francisco you might want to rent a movie or two to put you in the mood. There are plenty to choose from as Frisco has always been a favorite shooting spot for Hollywood. If you’re feeling gritty go old school with Dirty Harry which was shot on location throughout the city. If you want a few laughs then go with Foul Play (starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase) or try something different and check out The Conversation with Gene Hackman.
Another spot to check out is John’s Grill on Ellis Street. This is where Dashiell Hammett penned one of his most famous novels. The Maltese Falcon is loaded with San Francisco references including John’s Grill where private detective Sam Spade went to eat regularly. Spade favored the grilled lamb chops. John’s Grill is a registered landmark and serves lunch and dinner. The Maltese Falcon is also a great old black and white movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Sidney Greenstreet (for those of you from the generation that doesn’t realize there were films before the advent of color photography!).