10 Places to Explore in San Francisco During Conference & Expo

The National Association of REALTORS® is excited to be in San Francisco, November 8-11, for the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. There are a number of things to see and do in one of America’s greatest and most beautiful cities. We couldn’t possibly list them all here, so here are a few of our favorites.

Alcatraz Island

One of the world’s most famous and notorious prisons and a San Francisco landmark, Alcatraz Island is an essential stop. The quick ferry ride across the bay offers wonderful city views, and the tour itself of the creepy and historic prison doesn’t disappoint. The audio tour lets visitors explore at their own pace, complete with the voices of actual correctional officers and prisoners who lived and worked on Alcatraz.

Learn more about the NAR-organized Alcatraz tour.

Golden Gate Bridge & The Presidio

Completed in 1937, this Art Deco masterpiece is an engineering marvel. Walk across its 1.7-mile span or take a guided history tour to enhance your experience. The Presidio itself offers stunning views, historic Crissy Field and plenty of wildlife. Why not take a walk along Baker Beach, too? November in San Francisco is usually pleasant, while much of the nation prepares for winter. This may be a highlight on the NAR-organized Mayor for a Day – City Tour.

Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39

This waterfront area is still worth a visit despite the crowds, and it has played an important part in San Francisco’s marine history. There are plenty of seafood restaurants and shopping opportunities (including the famous Ghiradelli Square), plus it’s easy to hop on a celebrated San Francisco cable car and head back downtown. Enjoy viewing the sea lions basking in the sun on Pier 39 and watch out for the World Famous Bushman! These stops may be a highlight on the NAR-organized Mayor for a Day – City Tour.


San Francisco’s Chinatown is the world’s largest Chinatown outside of Asia, and there is much to see and do here. Attractions include plenty of fine restaurants and shopping, The Bank of Canton, Sing Chong Building, plus numerous events throughout the year. It’s a great place to take in San Francisco’s varied culture and history.

Explore Chinatown with the NAR-organized tour.

Lombard Street

This crooked street is famous the world over, built that way because of the steepness of city’s terrain. It’s a great street to wander down (or up, if you’re feeling brave), offering stunning bay views and an ideal opportunity to gape at some of the most valuable real estate in San Francisco. Lombard Street may be a highlight of the NAR-organized Mayor for a Day – City Tour.

Coit Tower

This slender tower in Telegraph Hill was completed in 1933. It affords wonderful panoramic views from its observation deck (reachable via elevator) including the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Angel Island, plus the Financial District, Lombard Street and Russian Hill.

Golden Gate Park

To the north west of the city lies Golden Gate Park. This 1,000-acre space includes a Japanese Tea Garden, peacock meadow, golf course, lakes, plus plenty of beautiful flower gardens and an arboretum. The De Young Museum and California Academy of Sciences are situated within the park itself and are both well worth a few hours of your time. This may be a highlight of the NAR-organized Mayor for a Day – City Tour.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

With SFMOMA closed until 2016 for extensive renovation, YBCA is a nice alternative for visitors short on time who want to remain close to the Moscone Center (home of the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo). There are film/video programs, art exhibitions and installations, performance art (including music and dance), plus plenty of community engagement opportunities. Need some fresh air? Check out the tranquil Yerba Buena Gardens with its waterfall and grassy meadow.

Muir Woods National Monument

For lovers of trees and nature in general, Muir Woods contains 6 miles of trails as well as longer hikes into the surrounding Mount Tamalpais State Park. All walks afford views of thousands of old-growth coastal redwoods, among the tallest and most majestic living things in the world.

Explore Muir Woods with the NAR-organized walking tour.


Sausalito is a wealthy and artistic enclave sporting some high-price real estate with some of the best views in the world. With its shopping, restaurants and beaches, it’s a good place to relax away from the bustling San Francisco streets.

Enjoy Sausalito after Muir Woods on the NAR-organized tour.

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