If you’re a history buff with a penchant for travel, you’ve probably at least considered spending a few days in San Francisco. The city is a vibrant historical hub — a place where stories can be found emblazoned across monuments and tucked into hidden nooks. But if you’re new to the area, you might find such an expedition a tad intimidating. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this blog, we’ve covered five historical sites that all historically-minded visitors (and residents!) should know.
Since July of 1984, Alamo Square has been an official historical site in San Francisco. The buildings in the Alamo Square date back to 1870, when they provided homes to the city’s then-burgeoning business class.
The site’s hillside houses almost exclusively featured retaining walls and basements that set them apart from the surrounding homes. Most of these houses were made of wood and featured elaborate ornaments marking the property’s entrance. The most prominent building in Alamo Square is the Westerfield House, which dates back to 1889. As an Italian style Villa, it boasts bay windows and a tower. The home was once possessed by John Ja Mahoney, who was known for building the Palace Hotel and owned the University of California at Berkley’s on-campus Greek theater.
Located on the grounds of San Francisco Maritime National Park is the Aquatic Park Historic District. In development between 1936 and 1939, the park was a passion project of the Works Progress Administration in California. Its purpose was to help ease the burden of the Great Depression by making jobs available for local artists and architectures.
The park’s main attraction is a structure that holds a lounge, bathhouse, and concession stand. The building features porthole windows, recessed stories, and railings constructed with tubular steel, in a nod to ocean liners. A pier and seawall complete the park.
Hunters Point Naval Shipyard
Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has historical significance to the people of San Francisco. During World War II, the U.S. Navy acquired a marine repair facility and a dry dock from Hunters Point and used these acquisitions to construct the West Coast’s largest-ever graving dry dock.
When the war ended, the dry dock was still put to good use. The Navy continued to use it for their capital ships and occasionally even welcomed vessels from foreign nations. However, the Navy stopped using the shipyard in 1974.
During the 1850s and 1860s, the vast majority of San Francisco’s businesses were located in Jackson Square. Those businesses were run by a cohort of prominent business leaders, including Colonel Jonathan Stevenson, Mayor Charles Brenham, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Paxton Dean Atherton, and Alexander Grogan.
Another significant part of Jackson Square is the Barbary Coast. Ravaged by an earthquake in 1906, many of the buildings in the area had to be reconstructed. The reconstructed buildings were meant to memorialize what the place was like before 1906. The Barbary Coast has received worldwide attention as a historical site since the 1850s.
The Northeast Waterfront warehouses date back to the 1850s, where they were first put to use during the Gold Rush. Today, the warehouses have been retrofitted to suit retail needs; however, locals recognize the warehouses as representations of maritime activities that have historically taken place in San Francisco.
Following the 1906 fires, the Northeast Waterfront became home to several prominent businesses such as the Italian-American Canning Company, Cudahy Meat Packing, American Biscuit Company, and Petri Italian-American Cigar Company. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the area was home to Security Lithograph, and the Sunset Press, among others. All contributed to the city’s economic development and helped San Francisco evolve into the urban hub it is today.
So, what are you waiting for? Regardless of whether you’re a visiting history buff or a city resident with an interest in city stories, you can build a diverting day trip around these local landmarks. Go out and enjoy them!
It’s no understatement that COVID-19 has changed the way the world functions. Our expectations for how we should work and play have been utterly changed — but our needs as working employees and community members haven’t. Inconvenient or not, some people need to move during a pandemic. At Mosser, we’re ready to give you a few tips on how to do so safely.
Use Online Rental Listings
It may not be the best time to walk around town and make impromptu visits to advertising rentals, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t conduct a thorough search! Take some time to go through home search platforms like Zillow, Trulia, and Padmapper. Each of these options provides home pictures, neighborhood maps, and lists of amenities that a given apartment might offer. Best of all, engaging with landlords on digital rental properties requires no in-person contact — so you don’t have to worry about compromising your social distancing habits!
Take Advantage of Virtual Tours
Virtual tours are an excellent tool for anyone moving during the pandemic, as they allow prospective renters to see apartments from the comfort of their current homes. Virtual tours are not only socially distanced and contagion-free; they’re also a great way for people to make sure they are interested in a building.
Virtual tours come in a variety of forms. Some landlords may offer a 3-D digital exploration that allows viewers to “click” through the apartment at their own convenience and speed; others will provide a one-time tour over Zoom. Whatever kind of tour you end up taking, you can rest assured that you’ll have a clear and socially-distanced view into the space before you sign any formal paperwork.
It is possible to book an in-person visit after the virtual one if needed. However, it should be noted that leasing offices are taking social distancing and reduced revenues into account when staffing. Often, there’s only one employee in the building, and you must schedule an appointment to see them. Like all businesses, leasing offices are trying to avoid crowded waiting rooms! Call prospective landlords to make a formal appointment if you’re planning on taking an in-person tour.
Prepare for a Self-Sufficient Move
Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to call up a horde of friends to help you move. With matters the way that they are, people may not feel comfortable spending hours helping you pack up your apartment and load an even-smaller truck — regardless of whether you try to bribe them with pizza.
When preparing for your move, focus on self-sufficiency. Try to pack and move as much as you can by yourself, and if you need to hire movers, don’t be afraid to ask them about the precautions they’re taking! Movers should be open to wearing masks and gloves and using plenty of hand sanitizer during the moving process. If you rent a truck, remember to clean the steering wheel, door handles, and other high-touch surfaces before the move.
Thoroughly Clean Your New Apartment Before You Move
Once you have the keys to your new apartment, it’s a good idea to clean it yourself. Hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and other everyday household products can all be used to eliminate the novel coronavirus. The CDC has published extensive guidance online about cleaning during the pandemic — so do your research beforehand!
If you’re lucky, you may be able to negotiate with your landlord for a thorough pre-cleaning before you even move in. Many hotel chains are starting to use UV light to help clean rooms. Some apartment management companies may be open to this, too.
Moving apartments during COVID-19 is an intimidating prospect, but not an impossible one. If you take on the process thoughtfully and with safety in mind, you can facilitate a quick and successful transition!
Who doesn’t have a seasonal appreciation for the spooky? Halloween is only a few short weeks away — and as it approaches, Bay Area residents have the chance to take part in some of the scariest, creepiest, and most shiver-down-your-spine fun attractions in the Golden State. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to attractions that offer Halloween experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.
Pirates of Emerson
For the last 29 years, the Pirates of Emerson Haunted Theme Park Drive-Thru has been widely regarded as Northern California’s premier haunted house attraction. Pirates of Emerson takes place in the Alameda County Fairgrounds, which spans an impressive 10 acres.
The event is only open to regular cars and excludes vehicles such as top-down convertibles, motorcycles, golf carts, campers, bikes, and motorcycles. Everyone must be in a car, with a fee of $95 per car. The staff advises you to keep your car windows rolled up the whole time you are in the attraction. Reservations are required; the drive-thru operates every Thursday through Sunday, starting October 2nd, and ending November 1st.
Ultimate Terror Scream Park
Located in Sacramento, the Ultimate Terror Scream Park captures the very essence of Halloween. On select nights between September 25th and November 1st, the park is open to the public and offers attractions including the House of Undead, Voodoo Bayou, and Midnight Asylum.
In the House of Undead, you assume the identity of someone who was kidnapped. When you wake up in a room you don’t recognize, you find that you have been placed in a maze of horrors. The Voodoo Bayou is a walk-through with a New Orleans theme; it immerses you in the lair of an angry witch that has placed a curse on the locals, as well as on the city itself. The Midnight Asylum is a walk-through that finds you trapped in an insane asylum. Your goal is to find your way out of the asylum and back to freedom.
With so much to do, this attraction can be overwhelming. Because of this, you have the option of following the interactive audio storylines throughout the park.
For an extra treat, be sure to make plans for the night of November 6th or 7th to attend the park’s GlowStick Fright Nights. Ultimate Terror Scream Park is not for the faint of heart. It has been named “The World’s Scariest Museum Walk-Thru Ever.”
Dead Time Dreams
In San Jose, you can scare yourself silly at the Dead Time Dreams. This open-air Halloween attraction includes Horror Alley and the Midway of Terror. The attraction is open only from October 16-18, as well as the 22-25, and then again the 28-31st. It opens at 7:30 PM each night and closes promptly at midnight.
Winchester Mystery House Hallowe’en Flashlight Tour
Also in San Jose is the Winchester Mystery House Hallowe’en Flashlight Tour. This attraction is open during certain nights in October, ending on the 25th. Winchester Myster House’s flashlight tour is self-guided and allows you to explore a mansion that is known to be haunted. Along the way, you will hear stories told by all of the people who previously lived there. Tour hosts are strategically placed to guide you through this attraction.
Fear Overload Scream Park
You will find the Fear Overload Scream Park in San Leandro. One of the few haunted parks in San Francisco, it is open only on select dates starting September 25th and ending November 1st. Just like the Ultimate Terror Scream Park, this one also has GlowSticks Fright Nights on the same dates. Fear Overload features attractions such as The Demon and Descend the Basement.
These are the spookiest Halloween attractions that San Francisco has to offer. If you have the guts and gumptions, we encourage you to start exploring one (or all)!
Your visit to the Bay Area should be fun-filled and memorable — but often, the sheer number of attractions and unique sightseeing spots available can make planning a trip feel overwhelming. Whether you want to take a relaxing drive through the majestic Redwood forests or spend time at an amusement park, you’ll find everything you need in the Bay Area. Your trip should include a hiking adventure; try taking advantage of one of these hiking havens!
About 30 miles Northwest of the Bay Area, Point Reyes is a must-see adventure. Part of the US National Parks System, the Point Reyes National Seashore offers unbeatable views of the shore, lighthouse, and a host of other historic structures. Archaeological finds are on display for history lovers, and hikers will enjoy miles of pristine trails. If your party has mixed physical activity levels, Point Reyes truly has something everyone can enjoy, from scenic picnic areas to medium terrain biking trails.
Just across the Golden Gate Bridge, Mill Valley is a unique haven with several offshoots to explore. You can choose dedicated hiking trails for beginners or off-road activities that are more suitable for experienced outdoor enthusiasts. Quaint attractions along the Dipsea Trail are available for those who prefer to lounge around and relax for the day. Three primary trails make up the Dipsea Trail: the Sun Trail leads to an information center where visitors can learn about the area and take advantage of scenic photo opportunities. If you travel a little further down the way, Muir Woods and Simpson Beach’s trails will reward you with unbelievable views and fantastic beach areas.
Sightseeing in the San Francisco Bay Area is enthralling and exciting — but it can also be exhausting! Just a short jaunt from the city center, this oasis has much to offer tired travelers. Although technically part of the Mill Valley area, Cascade Falls deserves its own honorable mention. Easy hiking and biking trails abound in the Falls area, and many lead to hidden waterfalls. The soothing sounds of water cascading down the cliffs, coupled with the panoramic views of nature, transform your visit into a relaxing nature retreat. This easy hiking trail is suitable for just all hikers and offers a great way to break up a busy day of urban sightseeing.
The Presidio of San Francisco
No visit to San Francisco is complete without a trip to the Presidio. This compact day trip is ideal for short stays. Children and visitors with limited physical capacity will definitely enjoy these local attractions! Enjoying a family picnic in the park while enjoying the glorious mountain views in the distance is a great way to unwind after a full day of activities. Movie buffs will also enjoy the photo opportunities available at Inspiration Point, an iconic Bay Area view.
Some of the best hiking opportunities can be found within the city limits. If you want to combine sightseeing and hiking, Twin Peaks is the place to visit. From the second-highest point in the city, visitors can take in almost every major tourist attraction in San Francisco. You can choose to embark on any portion of the several-miles-long trail or take in the whole loop during your visit. For those who aren’t up for hiking or biking through the winding paths, Twin Peaks Boulevard runs parallel to much of the course. Glen Canyon Park and Bernal Heights are suitable for moderately experienced hikers. Visitors can mix and mingle with locals in the 61-acre Mount Sutro Open Space Preserve, which rests in the middle of Twin Peaks.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco — or you’re a local in need of some R&R — put a few of these hiking havens on your itinerary!
Staying in an efficiency apartment can be good for your budget, but you may start to feel a bit cramped after a while. Thankfully, there are a few tricks that you can use to create a beautiful living space that maximizes the square footage of each room. Here are a few tips for helping you get the most out of your efficiency apartment.
Make More Storage Space
You can instantly make more space by creating more places to store the things you don’t need all of the time. This includes sliding small storage bins under your bed and using all of the space available in dressers, hutches, and sideboards. If you find space under a dresser or hutch, invest in a container to hold your odds and ends! Getting more items out of sight will help you make more room for the possessions you want to keep out in plain view.
Include Mirrors With the Decor
Mirrors are great as decor for a few reasons. First, the frames they come with offer variety enough to appeal to every taste. Secondly, mirrors reflect light well, which helps you to create greater illumination without using more energy. Finally, mirrors are especially useful in smaller living spaces because they create the illusion of having more room. Placed strategically in your apartment, a mirror can make any room look bigger, so you won’t feel cramped or confined. Reflective surfaces can also create this space-widening effect in hallways and on enclosed stairwells.
Use Layered Lighting
You can set the mood for any occasion by making use of layered lighting. If your efficiency apartment has an overhead light, you can replace the cover with a more attractive fixture that adds to the ambiance. Additionally, using a combination of table lamps and floor lamps to create lighting at different levels can give you more control of each room’s brightness and atmosphere.
Scale Down Your Work Area
Today, nearly every apartment has a space reserved for work, which means you’ll need a desk for your computer and other electronics. In an efficiency apartment, this setup can take up a great deal of valuable floor space, so finding inventive ways to reorganize this area is vital. You can minimize your office footprint by buying a small computer desk and adding shelving to hold your computer tower, printer, and other accessories. Because your shelf space can extend to the ceiling if need be, you’ll be able to accommodate everything you’ll need vertically, which will help you to create a narrow and efficient workspace.
Use the Corners in Every Room
It’s common to set furnishings at an angle in front of corners, leaving a large gap behind them. In a smaller room, that can take up a great deal of floor space, leaving you with less room to move about. To maximize the floor area in every room, set furnishings flush against the wall. If you really want to set a couch, loveseat, or entertainment center at an angle, use that space behind the furnishing as extra storage space. You can stack boxes or bins in the corner or put floor lamps, plants, and shelving behind your loveseat or sofa.
While the suggestions mentioned here give you a good start, you can brainstorm more ways to open up floor space in your efficiency apartment. Don’t be afraid to try creative ideas. Experimenting with different concepts can help you create a unique and roomy atmosphere in your small efficiency apartment.
In a world where indoor dining isn’t an option, restaurants rely on outdoor seating to keep the business going. The good news is that many high-quality restaurants in San Francisco provide plenty of spacious, comfortable outdoor seating. If you’re in the mood for good food, check out a few of the options below!
555 California’s Vault Garden
A great example of one of the best outdoor restaurants is The Vault Garden. It can be found at 555 California and takes up much of the building’s sprawling plaza. With a capacity of 100 people, few other restaurants in the area are bigger or more popular. Highlights of the menu include pan-seared salmon and the vault burger, which is topped with lettuce, Fiscalini cheddar cheese, and a secret sauce made by the restaurant.
Fiorella is as famous for its decor as it is for its food. Its wallpaper pays homage to icons and landmarks throughout San Francisco. The garden patio is decorated with a mural painted by local artists. Diners can choose from some of the best dishes in Italian cuisine.
The San Francisco Proper Hotel is also the home to Charmaine’s. This restaurant is best known for its food and drink pairings. Thursdays are the day to visit because the cocktails served that day aren’t offered at any other time! Some offerings are consistent, though — every day, visitors to Charmaine’s can get any of the restaurant’s regular cocktails to go.
Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store
With sidewalk seating, Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store has become a hot spot even for those who don’t smoke. Serving drinks that span the gamut from beer to cappuccinos, this restaurant is well-known for its focaccia sandwiches, which feature bread baked at the nearby Liguria Bakery.
In light of recent events, Town Hall has remodeled their outdoor patio to attract more diners. They have also taken over the plaza next to the restaurant to add even more seating. Other changes include a new menu in homage of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen and its head chef — San Francisco food icons that had served San Francisco diners for 40 years before the restaurant’s recent closing. New signature dishes served include gumbo made with crawfish and shrimp, a bronzed King Salmon, and garlic shrimp pasta.
A staple of the San Francisco restaurant scene, Boulevard has opened a patio and boasts waterfront seating. Diners get an excellent view of the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge. Snacks, cocktails, and lunch/dinner are offered every day, with diners urged to make a reservation for a lunch or dinner visit.
Mise En Place Kitchen
With a covered outdoor patio, French restaurant Mise En Place Kitchen is a popular choice these days. The restaurant is best known for dishes such as include quiche, tartines, and crepes. Its menu items are made using ingredients grown locally and are suitable for most types of diets. It is also known for serving unusual drinks such as double ristretto espresso and even lavender lattes.
These restaurants have been able to stay in business, despite restrictions on dining in public. Each of them provides a place to enjoy a great meal, get some fresh air, and take in some interesting sights — so, check them out!