This is a guest post from Trevor Calvert, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for Annual 2015 in San Francisco.
San Francisco in the summer is beautiful. Clear, warm days and cool (okay, sometimes windy and cold) evenings make is a perfect city for the contemporary flaneur. Some may recall the “coldest winter was summer in S.F.” quote often attributed to Samuel Clemens, and while the authority control on that is in doubt, the sentiment is not. Make sure to pack light-yet-warm clothes that you can stuff into a knapsack during the day, and later don at night. it’s a gorgeous city, and you’ll want to walk it. Luckily, it’s not terribly large!
San Francisco is only seven by seven miles, but that area includes Gold Rush-era architecture, beautiful Victorians, breathtaking parks, pleasing urban parks , and lots of hills to trolley or walk. If you want to spend money here, it’s really easy–but if you like to travel a little lighter, and perhaps see the city as many of its residents do, then read on for a list of inexpensive and free activities in San Francisco (culled from an informal Facebook survey to ensure authenticity and from this writer’s experiences).
Of course the San Francisco Public Library is a must, but you may also want to visit the Prelinger Library: “an independent research library located in San Francisco’s South-of-Market neighborhood. It is open to anyone for research, reading, inspiration, and reuse.”
The library is primarily a collection of 19th and 20th century historical ephemera, periodicals, maps, and books, most published in the United States. Much of the collection is image-rich, and in the public domain. The library specializes in material that is not commonly found in other public libraries.
Center for Sex and Culture Library
From the site: “The Center for Sex & Culture Library and Archive was born from, and is sustained by, donated collections of books, magazines, journals, zines, comics, dissertations, works of art, videos, memorabilia, and the personal papers of key members of the community. The collection is unique in the world in its dedication to collecting and preserving information about sex as we have known it, do know it, and continue to learn about it, worldwide.”
The Library at the Interval
A crowd curated collection dedicated to long-term thinking is one reason to visit, another is the original artwork by Brian Eno, their 10,000 year clock, or if you are thirsty, their coffee by day and cocktails by night.
One of the best drag clubs around! See great themed musical reviews in a club that is LGBTQ and hetero friendly.
Empress of China
While this is not free, the happy hour on the rooftop cocktail lounge (with views of Nob Hill, Coit Tower, North Beach, and more) offers 50% off drinks from 3:00 to 6:00.
San Francisco Ghost Hunt
Ever wanted to go looking for ghosts? Maybe San Franciscan ghosts? The SF Ghost Hunt is relatively inexpensive ($20 a person) and offers not only a chance to check out what goes bumping around in the evening, but also offers a great way to see the city.
We’re adding more and more things to do and know on the YALSA wiki all the time. Be sure to bookmark it and keep checking back!