"If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life."
- William Saroyan
Student life at UC Hastings is defined as much by what students do off campus as what they do on campus. Whether you are observing a court proceeding, seeing great live musical and theatrical performances, exploring San Francisco's local and beautiful natural resources, visiting a museum, or going to a ball game, UC Hastings students enjoy the countless attractions of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area!
There are many great opportunities for UC Hastings students to participate in sports both on and off campus. There are numerous soccer, softball, and volleyball leagues, as well as various tennis clubs and public golf courses in San Francisco. Many UC Hastings students exercise along the Embarcadero, on the Marina Green, Crissy Field in the Presidio, or even across the Golden Gate Bridge. Exercising outdoors is also made enjoyable by the fact that the Bay Area weather is comfortable year-round.
It’s a nice walk from UC Hastings to watch the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. But if National League Baseball isn’t your style, you can take a 30 minute BART ride from UC Hastings to watch the Oakland Athletics play at the Oakland Coliseum. Football fans can make their way to the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders games. You may see UC Hastings faculty there as well, rooting for their favorite teams. The Golden State Warriors play at the Oakland Coliseum, another quick BART ride away across the San Francisco Bay. The San Jose Earthquakes and the San Jose Sharks are just a drive or train ride down the San Francisco Peninsula, in San Jose.
Across the street from UC Hastings is the Asian Art Museum. Admission is free the first Sunday of every month; the museum’s cafe is also a nice alternative for lunch.The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a 15-20 minute walk downtown; admission is free on first Tuesdays (and half-price on Thursday evenings). The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco comprise two buildings in Golden Gate Park. The deYoung Museum has a tower with a commanding view of the City (free admission) as well as a variety of collections and temporary exhibitions. The Legion of Honor Museum, on the western end of the City, has ancient and European art in an exquisite Beaux-Arts building in a setting overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.
Also, check out the Cartoon Art Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the Cable Car Museum, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the San Francisco Botanical Garden at the Strybing Arboretum, the Museum of the City of San Francisco.
San Francisco and the greater Bay Area is the home of thousands of restaurants, and most cuisines on earth are represented. Many websites provide guidance on eating in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle annually publishes a “Top 100 Restaurants” list and many locals looking to keep their dining experience modest peruse “Bargain Bites.” Right by UC Hastings there are “bargain bites” in multiple cuisines: Mediterranean, North Indian/Pakistani, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese: and American.
For a day-trip, Napa Valley wineries and world-class dining are an excellent way to spend a weekend getting better acquainted with all the Bay Area has to offer. Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway will take you to beautiful Big Sur, with dramatic sea cliffs and a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere.
All of Northern California is a playground, and there’s a lot that is exquisite. 10 minutes away from campus is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area which includes The Presidio in San Francisco. The stately redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument are a short drive north. Nearby, across the Bay is the East Bay Regional Parks District, spanning Berkeley, Oakland, and Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, with hundreds of acres of pristine natural forests, lakes, and other bucolic diversions. Getting into day trips, and multi-day excursions, the Sierra Mountains provide excellent skiing in winter and breathtaking hiking in summer, such as Yosemite National Park, Mt. Shasta.
The San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Symphony are just a few blocks from UC Hastings in the SF Civic Center. The Opera has $25 student rush tickets; the Symphony has a 50% off student subscription package that can be shared. There are many other professional groups in town, offering classical and other music. And not to be overlooked, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, also a short walk from UC Hastings, offers hundreds of free and low-price recitals a year for students and faculty.
The SF scene is huge, with performances at many venues. Popular picks include:
The San Francisco Ballet performs at the Opera House in the Civic Center and runs a student rush program, allowing students to receive a discount on tickets. There are many well-known dance troupes for whom San Francisco is home, including Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet and the Joe Goode Performance Group.
Venues such as Counterpulse often host dance performances. In addition, there is a diverse international dance scene in the Bay Area; the 30-year-old San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival is one showcase for it.
American Conservatory Theater (ACT) is one of the nation’s best regional theater companies; its home is near Union Square, a 10-minute walk from UC Hastings, and offers student discounts. The official site of Broadway in San Francisco is SHNSF, which offers up to a 30% discount on tickets with the promotional code "HASTINGS".
In the East Bay, about a 30 minute BART ride from campus, is the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, which, like ACT, is one of the nation’s best nonprofit theater companies and offers student rush, under-30, and Cal Alumni discounts.
There are dozens of other professional theater groups in town, many with quite modest ticket prices. A few examples include: Killing My Lobster, for sketch comedy; The Cutting Ball, for the experimental and avant-garde, as well as new ways to see the classics; Crowded Fire, for challenging modern theater; Bay Area Theater Sports (BATS), for improv. The Marsh and San Francisco Playhouse are also excellent venues.