Moscone Center has reopened for San Francisco Conventions. Here’s what to know about the Moscone Center Expansion and how to have fun in the neighborhood at a San Francisco convention.
2019 rung in the completion of the $551 million dollar Moscone Center Expansion. These renovations are anticipated to bring in over half that amount annually to the city of San Francisco’s tourism industry.
The San Francisco Convention Center itself was named in 1981 after former Mayor George Moscone, who was affectionately known as “the people’s mayor”.
Mayor Moscone was gunned down at San Francisco’s City Hall in 1978 during the same attack that killed Harvey Milk. Milk had been first openly gay politician elected into a public office.
If you haven’t heard of this tragic chapter in San Francisco’s history, watching the Oscar winning film Milk will be an incredible introduction.
The new lobby has been dedicated to another former Mayor, Ed Lee, who helped initiate the expansion but died unexpectedly in 2017.
Here’s a quick run down of what has changed with the Moscone Center Expansion:
- Effectively doubled in size, now 1.4 million usable square feet
- Skybridge, running across Howard Street connecting two building
- Ballroom, 50,000 square feet
- Outdoor terraces, 25,000 feet
- Lobby with expansive view of the city, 100,000 feet
THINGS TO DO AROUND MOSCONE CENTER BEFORE OR AFTER YOUR SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
Private San Francisco Tour in the city’s only electric Tuk-Tuks
Enjoy 10% off your private San Francisco tour with promo code MOSCONE at checkout
Take a quick break from your San Francisco convention and enjoy two hours exploring the city from the comfort of an unique open air electric Tuk-Tuk with up to six of your fellow conference-goers.
With Dylan’s Tours you can customize these private San Francisco tours. We’ll pick you up from Moscone Center to see all the big sites: Golden Gate Bridge, driving down all nine hair pin turns on Lombard Street and seeing the incredible views of the San Francisco Bay from Coit Tower.
Or, Dylan’s Tours can also customize your very own beer tour based off our popular San Francisco Brewery Tour on the Tuk-Tuk. We’ll still pick you up in our fun vehicles from e-Tuk USA and cruise you around to some of our favorite breweries — where the first drink is always on us!
San Francisco Craft Brewery Bike Tour beginning and ending in SOMA
You won’t have to leave the SOMA neighborhood to begin this San Francisco bike tour since it begins not too far from Moscone Center.
The first pint is on the house with this San Francisco brewery tour that helps travelers discover some of San Francisco’s best craft beer being produced in the SOMA and the neighboring Mission District.
Over 3-4 hours you’ll visit three local San Francisco breweries.While biking around you’ll see some incredible sights along the way that most conventional tours of San Francisco overlook, such as the incredible public mural project hidden away on Clarion Alley.
San Francisco Bike Rental so you can bike the Golden Gate Bridge and ferry back to the city
Enjoy 10% off your private San Francisco bike rental with promo code MOSCONE at checkout
We might be a little biased as locals, but we think the best way to get around San Francisco in a short amount of time is with a San Francisco bike rental.
Specifically with Pedego Electric Bikes that have a discreet little motor that helps you cruise up the notoriously steep hills of San Francisco with little effort.
While the SOMA neighborhood has a lot of quality bike rentals nearby, making your way across the always busy Market Street can be intimidating for a lot of visitors.
Dylan’s Tours Bike Shop is conveniently located a short taxi ride away, in San Francisco’s Little Italy — North Beach.
Beginning your DIY San Francisco bike tour from North Beach means you’re only blocks away from the waterfront where the protected bike path to Golden Gate Park begins.
MOSCONE CENTER HOTELS
Moscone Center sits in the heart of the SOMA (South of Market Area) neighborhood.
This area is a great neighborhood for those looking where to stay in San Francisco because it’s easy to reach via bus, train, bike and car.
In SOMA there’s no shortage of fun things to do in San Francisco.
Within steps of Moscone Center you’ll find the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Jewish Museum (which is included in the San Francisco Go Pass along with 20 other attractions), the Museum of Craft and Design and endless shopping possibilities at the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre.
Our San Francisco private tours pick-up from most hotels in SOMA, but these are some of our favorites:
If you’re looking to stay as close as possible to all the Moscone Center events, the W Hotel will be where to stay in San Francisco. This elegant hotel will be the closest of all hotels near Moscone Center in San Francisco.
The Mariott Marquis won’t be the cheapest of all hotels near Moscone Convention Center, but it is well worth the pretty penny. We pick up a lot of our San Francisco private tours from here and our guests have always raved about this downtown San Francisco hotel.
View this post on Instagram
Hotel Zelos welcomes and supports those affected by the recent wildfires. Book a Best Available Rate (BAR) and a $10 donation will go to the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund. Click the link in our bio to book now! #HotelZelos #TheViceroyUrbanRetreats
Even our friends at Best San Francisco Tours think that Hotel Zelos is a fun place for anyone looking where to stay in San Francisco since they are also home to the craft cocktail bar Dirty Habit! Zelos is a great hotel that will be a fun break from the Moscone events.
RESTAURANTS NEAR MOSCONE CENTER
SOMA is home to a slew of well-known San Francisco restaurants and breweries. We could write an entire post on where to eat in SOMA!
Instead, we’ll start with some of our favorite restaurants that are a short walk from Moscone Center:
ThirstyBear is about a two minute walk from Moscone Center! More than just a great San Francisco brewery, ThirstyBear also serves up a tasty and seasonal Spanish inspired tapas menu that are perfect for sharing between groups of friends or coworkers.
Super Duper Burgers is a fan-favorite among SF locals. Not only are they serving up classic American burgers with fresh ingredients, but they are one of only a handful of restaurants in San Francisco open after 10pm! This one is hidden inside of the Metreon movie theater.
Samovar sits on the upper level of Yerba Buena Gardens and overlooks the grassy park below. Lovers of loose leaf tea should seek refuge from the chaos of their San Francisco convention at Samovar and enjoy their light and healthy menu options.
In the same area near Yerba Buena Gardens, you’ll find an amazing Jewish deli. The pillar of any good Jewish deli is their brisket. Wise Sons uses fresh brisket that has been smoked for about seven hours in their pastrami and corned beef.
Spoiler alert: it’s not actually a drive-in. Even though Mel’s is a successful chain restaurant, it began as a humble San Francisco diner back in the 40s. This classic diner was popularized by Bay Area native, George Lucas in his 1973 film American Graffiti.
PARKING NEAR MOSCONE CENTER
There is no official city-run parking garage for Moscone Center. The city, instead, encourages travelers to San Francisco conventions to opt for public transportation.
To be fair, thanks to BART trains (Bay Area Rapid Transit) it has never been easier to get from Oakland Airport to San Francisco.
You might even be surprised to learn that the San Francisco International Airport is about 14 miles outside of San Francisco. But luckily it’s just as easy to take BART from SFO to San Francisco.
It’s so easy using BART to get from the airports to the city that there are even pre-paid BART airport transfer passes you can get!
But if you’re not flying into San Francisco, or you simply need a car during your visit, there are plenty of choices for Moscone Center parking.
Moscone Center Garage
255 Third Street (Folsom & Howard, across the street from Moscone South’s Esplanade Ballroom)
Fifth & Mission Parking Garage
833 Mission Street (between Fourth & Fifth streets, adjacent to Moscone West)
Jessie Square Garage
223 Stevenson St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Looking for a little more inspiration for what to do during your San Francisco convention?
Need to figure out where to stay in San Francisco?
Don’t forget to check out the suggestions from our friends at Best San Francisco Tours.