Make the most of SF!
The San Francisco Scoop
For locals who want to experience San Francisco like a visitor and visitors who want to experience San Francisco like a local.
The San Francisco Scoop is designed by us to take you inside SF, whether you’re visiting or you live here. From current-affairs inspired articles on California history, to our suggestions on the best things to do in SF every month, via inside information on authentic experiences and events, we give you the essential scoop on the Bay Area.
And if you’re a visitor looking for more specific information related to your trip here, such as locations at which famous movies have been filmed, to a list of the best family activities in San Francisco or how to navigate the city using public transport, don’t forget to check S.F. Info.
The Great Fire is one of the most cataclysmic moments in the history of San Francisco. In many respects it’s the big “before and after” event here. Some buildings survived – the St Francis Hotel, the Flood Mansion, the Fairmont Hotel and the Ferry Building were amongst the few – but so much of the city was…Read More
If you look at a map of the West Coast of the U.S. it seems logical that there would be a port in the Bay Area. It’s far and away the best natural harbor between San Diego and Seattle, so it seems entirely natural – almost ordained really – that San Francisco exists. However, like…Read More
San Francisco has the oldest Chinatown in the U.S. and one of the oldest in the West. Chinese first began moving to the city in 1849, as news of “Gam Saan” (Gold Mountain) spread around the world and reached China, firing the imaginations of thousands of young men who were struggling after years of prolonged…Read More
On May 12, 1848, Mormon pioneer and businessman Samuel Brannan walked onto Portsmouth Square, shouting “Gold! Gold from the American River!”, while holding aloft a phial full of gold flakes. He hadn’t discovered the gold and he never attempted mining it, but it fired the starting gun for the great California Gold Rush. He owned…Read More
Today Maiden Lane is an upscale, boutique-lined, pedestrian street running east off Union Square, notable chiefly for its gates and for being the home of San Francisco’s only Frank Lloyd Wright designed building. However, the narrow, quiet, street has a scandalous past as one of old San Francisco’s main red-light districts, in the late nineteenth…Read More
In the center of Union Square, on a very high column, is a statue of Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory. If you read the inscription at the base you’ll find that it’s dedicated to Admiral George Dewey, the victor of the Battle of Manila Bay of 1898, in the Spanish-American War. Big deal, you…Read More
ORIGIN OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE In the mid-1960s, San Francisco exploded with a counterculture movement. A tremendous spontaneous expression of youthful enthusiasm, loving life, allied with opposition to the Vietnam War, attracted an estimated 100,000 young people to San Francisco. More than ten years earlier, in the early 1950’s, another counter-cultural movement, also against…Read More
ST FRANCIS HOTEL Long before the Fatty Arbuckle scandal the St Francis Hotel opened in 1904 on Union Square, built as an investment vehicle for Charles Crocker’s grandchildren. Crocker was one of the ‘Big Four’ that had dominated San Francisco in the nineteenth century and, although he had died ten years before, his enormous mansion…Read More
For Black History Month this article will highlight the influence of one of our most famous former inhabitants, Maya Angelou, and show the indelible mark she left on San Francisco. Angelou was born in St Louis, Missouri, but while still young her family moved to Oakland and in 1944, aged just sixteen years old, she…Read More
A “Chinatown” is defined as an ethnic enclave of people of Chinese background, that is outside China itself. From the 1830’s onwards a large, and growing, number of them have popped up all over the world, in cities like New York, London, Los Angeles and Melbourne. The oldest in the Western world is considered to…Read More
San Francisco is one of many cities around the world that claim to be built on seven hills (for some reason it’s always seven), going back all the way to ancient Athens and Rome. In our case the ‘The Seven Hills of San Francisco’ are Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill, Twin Peaks, Mount Davidson and Lone Mountain or Mount Sutro. At…Read More
North Beach is one of San Francisco’s most storied and picturesque neighborhoods. It’s chiefly known nowadays for being our ‘Little Italy’ and most visitors want to see it while they’re in the city, to eat at one of the many Italian restaurants and cafes that line its streets. It was also the west coast epicenter…Read More
Almost everybody visiting San Francisco is going to make a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf at some point. It’s our Times Square or Hollywood Walk of Fame. However like those other attractions it can be a little underwhelming for the visitor – too many tourist traps and well… tourists. Nevertheless, again like the aforementioned icons, a…Read More
One of the first things that pops into most people’s minds when they hear the words “San Francisco” is an image of a cable car. It’s considered an indelible element of the city. Many visitors coming here already want to take a ride on one, to experience some of its romance. And why not? They…Read More
Barbary Coast was the name given to a neighborhood of San Francisco, more or less encompassing Pacific Avenue (then known as Pacific Street) between Montgomery and Stockton Streets, from the 1860’s to the early 1900’s. Roughly bound by today’s Chinatown, North Beach and the Embarcadero, the area was infamous for the easy availability of almost…Read More
September is perhaps the best month to be in San Francisco weatherwise. It’s about the warmest it ever gets here, the weather’s just a tiny bit more predictable, and when the Bay Area is like that you just have to make the most of the opportunity. With the objective of helping YOU make the most…Read More
August is a great month to be in San Francisco, it’s usually warm, the weather’s just a tiny bit more predictable, and here in the Bay Area you just have to make the most of those opportunities. In pursuit of helping YOU make the most of said time we’ve put together this list of the…Read More
There are always a ton of things happening in the Bay Area during the summer and as “things gradually go back to normal” that means lots of events this month. From marathons to murder mysteries, via nights at the museum and mermaids, we’ve brought you the ten best things to do in SF in July…Read More
June is LGBTQ+ month, so SF Pride has to take pride of place in our line-up of the best things to do in SF, June 2022, but there are plenty of other good options. From street festivals, to true crime tours, via concerts and night tours of Alcatraz, we’ve brought you the inside scoop on…Read More
From Cinco de Mayo celebrations, to the Bay to Breakers run, to Giants games, to the ballet – there are some really cool events happening in San Francisco this month. However, as you consider your options, be sure to read our list of the best things to do in SF in May 2022, so you…Read More
As Spring descends on San Francisco the green shoots of events are popping their heads up – or something like that… Some very special things are being planned and organized in April, so now is the time to get out there and have some fun! However, as you consider which ones to pick you need…Read More
As San Francisco continues its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more things are starting to happen. Events are being planned and organized, like flowers pushing their heads up as Spring arrives. So, now is the time to get out there and have some fun! However, as you scan the newly thawing landscape you…Read More