Tag Archives: AT&T Park

The Bay Area Has My Heart, Here’s Why

Since I’ve lived in the Bay Area my entire life, picking just five favorite places was really hard! It was like Sophie’s Choice in my office today. So give me a little leeway if I sneak a couple extra!

The Hook—I absolutely love the beach, especially Northern California beaches. I love throwing on flip-flops and a hoodie, grabbing some tacos from Taqueria Vallarta or coffee from Verve Coffee and heading to The Hook, which is actually my all time favorite place in the world! Santa Cruz is a sizable drive from campus (2.5 hours) but my roommate and I made the trek numerous weekends for some much needed beach therapy.

The Hook

If you’re not into driving that long don’t fret! There are beaches just up the coast that are much closer, (take a look at Brennan Puiia’s “The Places I Have Come to Love the Most” post for some suggestions). A popular PUC pick is Goat Rock (about 1.5 hours from campus).

SAP Center— Better known as the Shark Tank to those sports obsessed folk like myself. “The Tank” is home ice for the San Jose Sharks. Hockey holds a huge place in my heart, though I don’t know why since I spend every game anxiety ridden and pulling my hair out. But multiple times a season my friends and I gear up and scream our heads off as the players skate through the glowing, smoking shark head. Win or lose, those are some of my best memories.


But sports aren’t my only interest! If you’re like and me you love music, the beauty of the SAP Center is there’s always something different going on. Hockey season or not, the SAP Center hosts countless concerts and sporting events from charity tennis matches to concerts from headliners like Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Queen and many more!

AT&T Park—Working my way closer to campus we hit AT&T Park. Nestled in the kayak laced McCovey Cove sits the home of the TWO TIME WORLD CHAMPION SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS! My one true love is and always will be baseball. I get a smile on my face the moment I walk though the gates. Disneyland has been dubbed the happiest place on earth, but to me, nothing beats the sights and sounds found at this ballpark.


Not a Giants fan or even a big baseball fan? It’s still worth a visit! AT&T Park is listed as one of the top ranked parks in the country for more reasons than two World Series in the last few years. The crazy fans in costumes, the amazing food and the beauty of an ocean backdrop make AT&T Park a must see at least once! Oh, and Buster Posey—Buster makes everything better.

Sogni Di Dolci—I like to joke that I love food more than I love sports, and I love sports more than most people, so it’s a good thing I now call the Napa Valley home. You’ll hear a lot of people talk about the amazing eateries up and down the valley and they are not lying to you! It’s impossible to pick just one, however, I find myself at Sogni Di Dolci almost once a week, either grabbing gelato and people watching on their outside patio or having a meal with some friends and watching a game. This European/Italian-inspired bistro with an espresso bar and gelateria is right on Main Street in the quaint town of St. Helena, a short 10 minute drive from campus. They pride themselves, as do most places in the valley, on using only the freshest local ingredients and their food doesn’t disappoint.

Napa Valley Roasting Company—As a student, or a staff writer for a college admissions blog, finding the perfect study and writing spot is a must. Some like it quiet, some like it loud. I need a bizarre mixture of both. My perfect spot and one of my favorite places in the area is the Napa Valley Roasting Company, or the RoCo, as it’s warmly referred to. The RoCo offers great coffee and good pastries accompanied by a nice, friendly atmosphere and free Wi-Fi! Every time I stop in, I always see at least one PUC student camped out studying with their books and laptop, which always makes me a tad nostalgic.


As corny as it sounds, the places you go and people you meet in college will stay with you forever, so during your stay at PUC I implore you to visit my favorite places in the area at least once, but even more so, to find your own!

The Places I Have Come to Love the Most

Author’s Note: These are my top five(ish).

Mendocino/Sonoma Coastline – Quick fact: It seems counter intuitive to pack warm clothes when going to the beach but, I assure you, northern California’s coast doesn’t care about your intuition. Whatever the temperature is in the valley, it is guaranteed to be 20 degrees cooler on the coast. Several parks and campsites provide day and weekend getaways for the outdoor enthusiast or mariner. Cliff side paths offer lookouts over sheer drop-offs and sprawling views of the Pacific Ocean.

Sonoma Coastline

College tends to bring stress levels up to dizzying heights and the solution: take a drive. The numerous easy-winding roads and small towns that inhabit the coast are worth the gas money.

Sonoma Coastline 2

Farmstead/Ike’s Place – I am often asked, “What makes PUC so special?” I’ve heard this question so many times, I can pretty much tell when it’s coming. Without realizing it, I just awkwardly blurt out the word “food”, interrupting the individual midway through their question. For me, it’s hard to think of a time when food isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but I digress. Given the chance, I normally recover and elaborate my original involuntary yap about why I have stayed at PUC.

Although the area is home to so many quality eateries, I’m lucky (you’re lucky) to have narrowed it down to two. Farmstead is housed in a revamped barn and features a farm-to-table menu with food foraged locally and cooked in a southern style method. (i.e. wood burn grilling and smoking) If you’re looking for something more casual, Ike’s Place has you covered. After perfecting the art of sandwich making in San Francisco, Ike’s spread its delicious footprint to the neighboring Sonoma Valley. Ike’s bread is freshly baked and packaged with their “Dirty Secret Sauce” which has me drooling as I write this at 6:22 a.m.

AT&T Park – The spring time has a polarizing effect on me. On one hand, spring means baseball season, and on the other, crippling allergies. Even if it feels like I’m breathing through a straw, baseball always tips the scale in favor of spring. AT&T Park happens to be the home of my beloved Giants but even if you’re a casual fan it’s a place you should consider visiting. Ranked as one of the better ballparks in the league, AT&T offers land and cityscape views of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding metropolis. Prepare to have your attention fought over as what happens in the water, at times, will rival what’s happening in the stadium. Also, garlic fries.


Fox Theater – I had not heard of this venue nearly my entire college lifetime, which was strange since I was road tripping to a show nearly once a week. After nearly four decades in disrepair, Fox Theater, which resides in downtown Oakland, was restored in 2009. Its interior is a medley of the Art Deco Period mixed with Middle Eastern grandeur. This combination of ill-fitted architecture presents a unique and charming home to several concerts throughout the year and remains a favorite venue of mine.

Fox Theater

Each year may see new adaptation to my list. I’ve spent seven years in this area but I’m constantly discovering new places within reach. Yours will undoubtedly differ from mine but that’s what is great about this territory – there is something for everyone.