Stanford’s Cool Surroundings

Spread across some 8,180 acres and situated in the northwestern Silicon Valley, Stanford University of Stanford, California ranks amongst the most prestigious colleges in America – and across the globe, for that matter. Of course, with the mention of any significant academic institution comes the consideration of reputable social and after-school life – one of the many factors prospective university students take under advisement when planning their graduate-to-beyond education journey. Fortunately for Stanford, there exists plenty to do and see, ranging from the conservative and humble to the let-your-hair-down rambunctious.

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The Pioneer Saloon, located at 2925 Woodside Road in neighboring Woodside, CA, offers live music, beers and shots and maybe even spot a movie star, rock star or billionaire. The Stanford Theatre, located at 221 University Avenue in Palo Alto, shows classic films on the big screen and on that charm alone deserves a spot on this list. Often referred to as a “living tribute to many of the greatest films ever made,” the Stanford wows with a throwback ambience and architecture, classic theatrical posters and even a Wurlitzer organ, all reminders that this was Palo Alto’s centerpiece of entertainment since 1925.

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On the corner of El Camino Real and Page Mill Road, also in Palo Alto, is a massive grass and recreational area known as the Palo Alto/Stanford Community Playing Fields. Here, two sprawling soccer fields are drenched in plenty of light for any type of activity, along with plenty of parking. The Stanford Athletics Shop at 269 Galvez Street in Stanford carries a boatload of Stanford apparel, and is actually an offshoot of the school’s campus bookstore; a relatively small size for a retail shop and an attentive staff have made this a favorite of Stanford fans as well as its student body.

Sunken Diamond baseball stadium sits on Nelson Road in Stanford, playing host to an array of college baseball matchups. One of the most appealing draws of the venue is the way in which its positioning tends to put spectators “much closer to the action” than most pro baseball stadiums, leading to its reputation of being one of the most adored venues in the Bay Area to watch a game.

From out-of-the-park home runs to classic cinema shown amidst a backdrop of legendary charm, these attractions are merely scratching the surface of what the Stanford University surrounding area has in store.

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Why Tourists Love San Francisco

When it comes to San Francisco, what’s not to love? It’s a beautiful city rich with iconic sights from the Golden Gate Bridge to cable cars running along hilly streets to the island prison Alcatraz that have embedded themselves in the imaginations of people who have never even visited through movies, televisions and photographs. Therefore, in many ways, it feels familiar to visitors on arrival.

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In addition to the familiarity of some of its most famous sights, San Francisco has attractive and walkable neighborhoods that are appealing for tourists. In North Beach, they can wander from the City Lights bookstore made famous by the Beat Generation poets and writers to one of the many excellent Italian restaurants in the area. At Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s seafood to eat, sea lions to watch on piers and a ferry to Alcatraz.

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The Haight is famous for being a central spot for hippies to gather in the 1960s and for the Summer of Love in particular. Nob Hill is lined with Victorian houses and gorgeous views of the city while San Francisco’s Chinatown is justifiably famous as both the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Each of these districts and several others are good places for tourists to simply wander and take in the atmosphere.

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San Francisco also has much to offer tourists who enjoy museums, sports or the outdoors. Some of the more popular museums include the Asian Art Museum, the Exploratorium and the exhibits at the California Academy of Sciences. A number of museums can be found in SoMa or the South of Market area. Also in SoMa is the AT&T Park, home of the legendary San Francisco Giants baseball team. Finally, outdoors enthusiasts enjoy the many parks in the area particularly the sprawling Golden Gate Park that includes an arboretum, a conservatory and a Japanese tea garden.

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Known for its eclectic, funky locals and a long history associated with counterculture art and politics, San Francisco is a fun and fascinating city for tourists. It’s easy to get around the place using public transportation or by walking and there is something to do for nearly every interest. It is justifiably one of the popular tourist destinations in North America.

San Francisco cable car view from back

These photos are royalty free images with no charge generously donated by Caminoinn(dot)com.
We grant anyone the right to use those 5 pictures for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

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Best Locations in San Francisco for a Wedding

A wedding is the most important ceremony for a couple because it signifies their everlasting love; therefore, making sure that the event is memorable is highly important. San Francisco is the perfect place to get married because it is filled with beautiful venues, and it has a pleasant climate.


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Checkout the list of the best wedding locations in San Francisco:

1. San Francisco City Hall: This building is absolutely stunning: its grand staircase is the perfect backdrop for the ceremony, the flooring glistens in the light and the details in the building are splendid. This venue is available for rentals from 4pm in the afternoon until midnight.
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2. Bently Reserve: The Bently Reserve was built in 1924, so it has details from that era. This venue is perfect for a wedding because of the glamorous feel of the building. Some of the features of this venue include the following: 34-feet tall ceilings, a stunning marble staircase and several nearby churches. In addition, this venue is capable of hosting 600 guests for the reception.

3. Swedenborgian Church: This church is the best option for a couple who prefers a low-key wedding instead of an over-the-top ceremony. This venue is perfect in its simplicity, and it has plenty of charmand character thanks to the rustic architectural touches and homey details. The church was built in 1895 by a group of talented professionals. This venue can’t hold a lot of guests, so it’s perfect for a smaller scale wedding.

4. The Legion of Honor: Truly a work of art, this venue resembles an enchanted forest thanks to its array of lighted tree sculptures. In addition, there are rooms in this venue where there are plenty of gorgeous sculptures. This venue can seat 225 guests in the indoor area and 400 guests in the outdoor area.

5. Maritime Museum: The Maritime Museum is a great option for couples who want to put a nautical touch to their wedding. The building was built in 1931, and it has a unique design concept: it was made to mimic an ocean liner vessel. This venue is in close proximity to water, so it has wonderful views from the interior of the building. Other selling points of this venue include a lovely outdoor patio, unique details and plenty of nearby churches. The Maritime Museum is capable of fitting 430 people in seating arrangements, and it can hold 700 people standing.
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San Francisco Real Estate Market in 2014

The real estate market in San Francisco is trending towards recovery. The inventory is dwindling, and the home prices are increasing, but pundits warn potential investors that the housing market, in general, will not recover until 2014. According to a survey conducted, Americans believe that the recovery of the overall housing market is two and half years away. Here is what potential investors should know prior to making an investment.

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Foreclosures and the San Francisco Real Estate Market

The housing market is in jeopardy because of foreclosures primarily. This crisis has discounted houses by 46 percent in California and 35 percent all over the nation. When there are a significant number of foreclosures on the market, this forces the prices down on other properties.

In general, there is a two-year supply of bank-owned properties available. Typically, California homes require 600 days before foreclosure occurs. Since the process takes a considerable time, home buyers will begin witnessing homes in foreclosure that began the process almost two years earlier. This is why pundits speculate that the housing market will not show strong signs of recovery until 2014.

The large number of foreclosures is what keeps the prices low and also, keeps new construction at a minimum. San Francisco’s problems stem from the lack of inventory and the inability to find affordable properties. Inventory has reduced by 57 percent, and prices have increased by 25 percent. When cash buyers come into play, finding an affordable property becomes even more difficult. Short sales are also growing in popularity, but it creates a problem in the San Francisco housing market.

Future Housing Expectations and Policy Changes

Pundits are expecting to sell the rest of the distressed inventory in 2013 and into 2014. Then, there will be signs of recovery. One circumstance that may impede this process is the housing policy changes. Currently, 96 percent of all mortgages are originating from FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. There is also a considerable number of cash-paying investors.

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The conversations on Capitol Hill may affect the number of mortgage arising from these organizations. The Dodd-Frank bill is one to watch. Without mortgages, there will be no housing market. The United States housing market is close to hitting rock bottom. Thus, this is the best time to buy before the prices start to recover and remain steady, but pundits do not expect the entire market to recover for another 18 months.

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The Alembic @SanFrancisco Is A Great Place For Dining

At least once a month my girlfriend and I go to The Alembic for lunch or dinner. We’re both ‘foodies’ and we consider eating there to be a consistently satisfying and exciting experience. We love the Haight neighborhood and sometimes friends and/or family members come along with us to The Alembic and they’re always happy that they joined us.

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The authentic retro feel and tasteful decor make us feel comfortable and the staff members always extend very good service. The place is hugely popular and the restaurant/bar isn’t terribly large but the staff makes sure that crowd sizes don’t become unpleasantly big.

The Alembic  is known as a cocktail bar although they also serve an very extensive selection of beers and wines. The bar staff there regularly creates and serves new cocktail drinks in addition to the many drinks they already serve. All of the cocktails served at The Alembic are ample in size and there’s no skimping on the alcohol.

When it comes to the food served at The Alembic, it is not only delicious and artfully presented but it is also like nothing else served in San Francisco.

During the four or five years I’ve been coming to The Alembic the menu has changed some offerings a few times and I love the way the menu is now. The kitchen there regularly produces dishes with the most creative ingredient combinations I’ve ever heard of.

We ate lunch there about a week and a half ago and our meals were spectacular. For some time now my girlfriend has been enamored with a drink they make with bourbon, mint and peach brandy and she started off with one of those. I was perfectly fine with one of their spectacular Bloody Mary’s.

The lunch menu features an appealing assortment of dishes including Brisket Sliders, Beer Battered Rockfish Sandwich, Crispy Duck Confit, Caramelized Pork Ribs and an incredible bacon-studded hot dog.

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During our recent lunch my girlfriend ordered the rockfish sandwich and I had the scrumptious pork ribs. She raved about the sandwich and the Old Bay potato chips that are served with it and I kept eating the savoy cabbage that also accompanies the sandwich. As for the pork ribs, they were sublime and the spicy green papaya salad that is served with them was beyond delicious.

Our waiter provided us with excellent service during our recent lunch and we got to meet a charming couple from New Jersey who were visiting San Francisco for the first time. That’s another great thing about The Alembic. We usually find ourselves meeting new people, sometimes local residents and sometimes tourists who are visiting the city whenever we go there.

The Alembic’s dinner menu offers Kampachi Sashimi, Grilled Lamb Shoulder, Blue Prawns with Ink Cavatelli, Applewood Smoked Sturgeon, Crispy Pork Belly and a very popular plate of bone marrow served with caper gremolata and garlic confit.

Whether you’re a longtime resident of San Francisco or just visiting the city for the first time, please let me recommend eating and drinking at The Alembic. The establishment is open late seven days a week and prices are actually reasonable.

More #SanFrancisco restaurants reviews:  Parada 22 – Pork Store Cafe

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Embark to the Embarcadero San Francisco experience

The Embarcadero San Francisco is the choicest place to visit in the beautiful city of San Francisco. The Embarcadero is San Francisco’s destination extraordinare that shows of all of what San Francisco is truly about. Culture is evident with a wide presence of almost every nationality known on the Planet. A large presence of Asian culture is alive and thriving in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district. The name Embarcadero in Spanish means,”Warf”. The Warf is exactly what the Embarcadero is all about. Starting in the year 1860 this section of San Francisco saw the influx of prospectors seeking their fortune in the gold fields of the Nevada and Placer Hills. Fortune and the choice of pursuing a dream, often left the prospector seeking the enjoyment, of the many pleasures that San Francisco’s Embarcadero district could offer.

Warf is exactly what the EmbarcaderoFrom Second Street and the intersection of King Street the Embarcadero district makes its way up under the megalithic Oakland Bay Bridge. This monstrosity of human architecture achievement is a site to behold. The Bridge is really a testament to what man really can accomplish. For a fantastic view the are shows of the Bay Area’s waterways like no other area of San Francisco. This Area is truly a must see part of the San Francisco site seeing tour. Imagine the many Piers like pier 1,1½,5 all these make up the Warf. In the beginning however, these piers didn’t exist. The Embarcadero sits on what’s known as reclaimed land. This is to say that the original coves and docks were much different than they are currently. Imagine the history of the Sea going vessels like the Star of India that once sailed and docked these waterways of the Embarcadero. The tales of sea gong vessels and rich trade that came through this very area is what made California the Golden State.

King Street the Embarcadero districtThe famous Pulitzer prize winning Author Herb Caen once walked these very streets of the Embarcadero. The Embarcadero has Rincon Park,Pier 39, The trolley station and almost every facet of hat makes San Francisco destination a must. Rincon Park famous in the Embarcadero district for its sculpture created by the two famous cultures Class Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen. The majestic culture is a statement of true passion. Seeing this sculpture that resembles Cupids Bow and arrow going through park is a real treat. Pier 39 is were it all began. Here the heart of the Embarcadero is truly presented as the festive, sea going, trade route orientated place of interest. This area will give the tourist the experience of a life time. Culture and the life of sea trade is still present on this very pier. Standing on Pier 39 will bring a feeling of being the Captain of a a great sailing ship from years gone past.

The smells of the open bay, and the scents of fresh sea food will make any traveller want to taste of the treats offered here at the Embarcadero Pier 39. Crab, Lobster, Scallops, Fresh fish all find their selves prepared and offered to guests. Prices are very reasonable and freshness is of the very finest quality If you are a individual that enjoys sea food then your right at home in this destination full of the finest restaurants offered any where. Shops with every type of nautical treasure are placed in every corner and nook for the shopper who wishes to pack there bags with memories and treasures of the Embarcadero experience.

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A visit to the Embarcadero would not be complete without a visit to the Embarcadero Centre were a viewing centre sits atop for the tourist who wishes to see the sites like no other place on earth. Imagine that in the early 1900s the ports of the Embarcadero were considered the most busiest with foot traffic in the world, can you imagine that? Today the Embarcadero is still showing that it is still full of sites and experiences that can be had no other place in the World. Large skyscrapers dot the skyline of the Embarcadero. Lavish amounts of art and sculptures are presented for the tourist. There is never any end to the experience of the Embarcadero. Each time a visitor returns there is something new to be seen in the Embarcadero district.

More information: http://embarcaderocenter.com

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San Francisco’s Majestic Maritime Destination

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is a place that will allow the visitor seeking the enjoyment of Maritime exposure a place to remember for a lifetime.

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The park is composed of over 100 small crafts that have historical Maritime history values. A tourist that views these vessels will not be able to forget the experience. There are also the grand fleet consisting of the following vessels:

Balclutha, was built in 1886 as a square rigged sailing ship. Built in the year 1886 by Charles Connell & Co. Ltd this ship has been renamed many times and has had the name Star of Alaska as her name during her 1930s voyage and service the Alaskan Salmon Fleet. In 1933 she was once again renamed the Pacific Queen. The pacific Queen is famous for its star role in the movie with Clark Gable as the movie,” Mutiny On The Bounty”. This ship is a large masted sailing ship that will give the visitor a real feeling of what it is like to be aboard a ship of this era.

C.. Thayer, was built in 1895 as a schooner. At 213 feet in length displacing 453 tons of water this ship is no small ship. Launched in 1895 and serving for 55 years up till her decommission of service in 1950. This ship served as a vessel that transported timber and other trade goods as far away as Hawaii. This ship is three masted and is considered state of the art in its day of conception. Walking o this vessel is an experience that will leave the tourist wanting more.

Eureka, Built in 1890 this steam ferryboat was one of the first steam powered vessels to transport people and goods with the use of a steam powered engine. Her primary cargo was tourist in the day and rail cars at night. This ferry was well capable of moving some freight even in these modern times the cargo hold was well capable of delivering volume goods.

Alma, She was a built scow schooner. From the year 1891 and built by Fred Sieme the Alma was 80 feet long displacing 40 thousand tons of water. The Alma was two masted and constructed locally in a shipyard at Hunters Point, California. The Alma has served many needs she was once even a Oyster dredger. In 1957 she was given a new heart with the addition of a gasoline engine. This vessel is well preserved at the ripe age of only 113 years old. She still is capable of sailing the seas.

San Francisco Hercules Maritime Photo 2013Hercules, She was constructed in 1907 as a steam tug. The Hercules is 153 feet in length and powered by three cylinder steam power plant. The Hercules displaces 409 gross tons. She has seen service as a barge hauler transporting goods as far as Hawaii. She is now a historic landmark. The ship is a fabulous e educational experience for the maritime enthusiast who wishes to see the modern age adapted to sailing and ship building.

Eppleton Hall, Constructed in 1944 a few years after Pearl Harbour Attack this vessel saw great use as a paddle wheel tug. This tug was destroyed and left on a mud bank to decay. After a number of years the Maritime museum purchased and refurbished this majestic tug. The ship was refitted with diesel engines and made the voyage across the Atlantic sea. In 1970 the Eppleton Hall crossed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Today she sits at the Hyde Street Pier waiting to enjoy the curiosity of the maritime enthusiast.
Along with all these wonderful, educational, and jaw dropping historic vessels there is the museum offering up its maritime treasures.

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A gift store offers every type of Maritime souvenir available. Even restaurants are close by for the tourist who needs a bite to eat. Prices are very reasonable for this all day adventure in maritime history. A trip to this destination will be remembered by children, family and ,friends for life. Nothing is a pleasurable as seeing the vessels of the age docked in a setting that lets them be viewed timelessly. Best San Francisco Destination for  the whole family.

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