San Francisco: Throwing touchdowns year-round

The highly anticipated celebratory activities surrounding Super Bowl 50 finally arrived in the Bay Area last weekend — and the early reviews are in: The extravaganza is delighting enormous crowds across our region exceeding all expectations.

“Hometown Weekend” at Super Bowl City, the free fan village located at Justin Herman Plaza, attracted people of all ages to open the fan zone featuring family-friendly activities. The event stretched into the night with the ceremonial relighting of the Bay Bridge, a concert by the Bay Area’s own Chris Isaak and spectacular fireworks.

All week City Stage is showcasing a variety of live musical, cultural and performing arts entertainers. At the Fan Energy Zone, locals and visitors are celebrating the Bay Area’s technology leadership. At Moscone Center, the NFL Experience is bringing pro football’s interactive theme park to our city.

These downtown SB 50 events provide a central location where exciting activities celebrating the Big Game are integrated with many San Francisco traditions and cultural activities. The week’s success is testament to Super Bowl 50’s Host Committee and government, community and business leaders who worked so hard for so long planning this epic celebration. Of course, none of this would be possible without San Francisco-based businesses stepping up to sponsor these activities, including Levi Strauss, Macy’s, Dignity Health, GAP, VISA and many others.

San Francisco is also a collection of small towns, so in addition to events downtown, we highlight some of our distinct neighborhoods that truly make SB 50 a civic celebration.

The Bayview, which rightly claims to possess the warmest weather in The City, is an ethnically diverse neighborhood with family-owned coffee shops, blues clubs, murals, gardens, dining options and historic landmarks — and just a short T-Third line trip from downtown.

The Castro is encouraging visitors to explore the diversity of this famous neighborhood via a campaign made possible by The City and local merchants. The Castro welcomes “friendly people of all stripes” to see its historical sites, shop and dine, and learn why the unique neighborhood is “simply super.” While the F-Market line historic streetcars aren’t running this week, buses and Muni Metro run to the Castro every few minutes.
Some locals refer to Clement Street as “the other Chinatown” with dim sum, herbal markets and Southeast Asian restaurants on every block. Fillmore Street is a shopping and dining district in one of The City’s finest neighborhoods.

The salt air and impressive views are just the beginning of the offerings of Fisherman’s Wharf — including some of The City’s freshest seafood at world-class restaurants. Geary Boulevard in the Richmond district is the “right place” for shoppers to find special offers for fun and savings, while Hayes Valley is a fashionable neighborhood featuring pop-up restaurants, cool boutiques and independent bookstores.

Colorful Latino markets and the aroma of fresh roasted coffee beans at comfortable cafes entice pedestrians along the Mission district’s main streets.

Try North Beach, historically home to Italian immigrants, Beat poets and the famous City Lights bookstore, and experience the sights and sounds of Chinatown nestled next door. Polk Street is a mix of retail, locally owned restaurants, bars, music venues, cafes and specialty stores. Potrero Hill is home to laid-back local haunts and casual music venues, while South of Market (SoMa) boasts the Giants’ ballpark and has a multifaceted character that brings together tech-savvy entrepreneurs, bohemian types, museum curators and others.

Go to www.sanfrancisco.travel to learn more about our tapestry of neighborhoods that makes San Francisco the unique destination the NFL chose to host its biggest Super Bowl celebration ever. Our city is geographically cozy, and our public transportation system makes getting around a breeze.

Enjoy the many events and activities during the days ahead. And, after the Lombardi Trophy is awarded to Sunday’s victorious team, remember all that San Francisco has to offer to residents, businesses and visitors each day of the year.

Bob Linscheid is president and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

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