Fifty things to do in San Francisco during Super Bowl 50 week

SAN FRANCISCO -- During an autumn afternoon in 1994, Carmen Policy paced the hallway outside a ballroom at the O'Hare Hyatt in Chicago in an effort to burn off nervous energy. The then-49ers president was the face of San Francisco's bid to bring Super Bowl XXXIII to the Bay Area and he couldn't understand why there was any doubt the game would be awarded to Northern California.

"Once the game comes back here to a stadium worthy of the game, it will be part of the rotation forever," Policy said. "We're talking one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. A Super Bowl in San Francisco will be spectacular."

NFL owners voted to award the game to Candlestick Park, but it never happened because of failed renovations, politics and an eventual desire to have a new stadium. That happened, and now Policy's vision might become reality.

Why San Francisco? Why the Bay Area? Well, in honor of this year's game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, here are 50 reasons why it will be a great week:

Alcatraz -- San Francisco's original VIP venue. Easy to get in. Hard to get out of.

Golden Gate Bridge -- The photo op. That is all.

Chowder -- Preferably in a sourdough bread bowl near Fisherman's Wharf.

Ghirardelli Square -- Home to one of the world's great chocolate factories. Yeah, chocolate.

Education -- One of the great university areas. Most know about Cal, Stanford, Santa Clara and San Jose State. But there's also Saint Mary's, USF, Dominican, Cal State-East Bay and many more schools of distinction.

Media Night -- The Super Bowl used to start during Tuesday's Media Day. Now it begins on Monday with Opening Night at the SAP Center in San Jose.

Food -- When discussing world's great restaurant cities, San Francisco is always in the conversation.

Cable Car -- Authentic pre-auto transportation still rolling up and down some of the city's hills.

Berkeley -- Home to Cal and birthplace of counter-culture.

Walt Disney Family Museum -- Created by Disney's daughter, it takes visitors beyond the theme parks and into Disney's life.

Chinatown -- Enter through the Dragon Gate on Grant Street into the country's most lively Chinese neighborhood.

Bay Bridge -- Not as famous as the Golden Gate, but an architectural marvel connecting San Francisco with the East Bay.

Oakland -- Home of the Raiders, Warriors and A's, but also great restaurants and culture.

Fisherman's Wharf -- Seafood, shops and Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Museums -- SFMOMA and the Legion of Honor are among the must-see highlights.

Sea Lions -- Head to Pier 39 to check out the barking mammals.

Golden Gate Park -- Bay Area's answer to Central Park.

Union Square -- Shopping, theater and history in the middle of the city.

Kezar Stadium -- Original home of the 49ers. Worth a trip for football buffs.

Palace of Fine Arts -- Designated landmark built in the early 20th Century.

Lombard Street -- The crazy eight-hairpin turn drive is one of the steepest city streets in the world.

Coit Tower -- Landmark offering 360-degree views of the city.

Presidio -- Former military base overlooking the entrance from the Pacific Ocean into San Francisco Bay. Spectacular views throughout.

Grace Cathedral -- Beautiful architecture worthy of a side trip.

Twin Peaks -- An amazing view above San Francisco. Photo op!

City Lights -- One of the country's coolest independent bookstores.

Haight-Ashbury -- Neighborhood known for 1967's Summer of Love and its hippie culture.

Ferry Building Marketplace -- A place to grab local foods and wines for the trip home.

Muir Woods -- An escape drive north to see 400-foot Redwoods.

The Exploratorium -- Hands-on museum is a perfect place to take the family on a rainy day.

Beach Blanket Babylon -- Pop culture musical revue at Club Fugazi in North Beach.

Japanese Tea Garden -- Largest in the U.S. Great place to relax.

49-Mile Drive -- The ultimate road tour of San Francisco turns into 50-Mile Drive during Super Bowl Week.

Ocean Beach -- Fun during the day, but the night-time bonfires are memorable.

Anchor Steam -- Tour the brewery of San Francisco's original contribution to the beer world.

SFJazz Center -- Incredible music hall with intimate seating and sound.

Cartoon Museum -- Home to more than 6,000 works of animation.

Cliff House -- Historic restaurant with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

Mission District -- Craving an authentic burrito or taco? This is your destination.

Boudin Bakery -- Authentic sourdough bread made from mother dough created in 1849. Yeah, 1849.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area -- Stretching from Fisherman's Wharf to Seal Rock and north into Marin County, an incredible area for hiking, biking and outdoor activity.

North Beach -- San Francisco's Little Italy. Eat up ...

California Academy of Sciences -- Home of an indoor rainforest. Really.

The Castro -- West Coast home of the LGBT movement.

Nob Hill -- Historic neighborhood of San Francisco's rich. Amazing architecture, much of which was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake.

Napa Valley -- Quick trip north to Wine Country.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park -- Home to a huge collection of restored ship.

The Fillmore -- Legendary music venue. If there's a show, get a ticket and soak up the history.

Japantown -- Visit the Peace Pagoda at the center of this culturally-rich neighborhood west of downtown.

Santa Clara -- One hour south of San Francisco is home of Levi's Stadium and Super Bowl 50.

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