The Perfect Day In San Francisco For Rugby Fans

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Silicon Valley and quirky free spirits might be the first things that come to mind when it comes to San Francisco, but the city also has a top-notch sports scene to be reckoned with. The Giants and the 49ers attract crowds from all over the city — and the world — but San Francisco also plays host to athletes from across the globe.

The site of the Rugby World Cup Sevens — AT&T Park

The site of the Rugby World Cup Sevens — AT&T Park

This month, those global athletes include rugby players from far and wide, because San Francisco is hosting the Rugby World Cup Sevens Tournament, the top international rugby sevens tournament outside of the Olympics. AT&T Park, the home of the Giants baseball team, has been temporarily transformed into a rugby field, and both men’s and women’s teams will have it out over the course of 84 matches at the venue.

Checking out the tournament makes for the perfect opportunity to catch some high quality athletic action in the city — and to rub elbows with the lively sports fans who live in the Bay Area.

Morning

If just sitting back and watching sports isn’t enough and you’d rather get in on the fun, start off your day by getting active.

Take a walk along the Embarcadero between Fisherman’s Wharf and AT&T Park as you prep to take in the rugby scene. Make you stop in the Ferry Building for some delicious coffee at Blue Bottle. If you’re a fan of oysters, get in line for Hog Island Oyster Farm — their fresh water oysters are harvested one hour north and brought in daily. Afterward, if you want to really break a sweat, join in on one of the city’s many local pick-up soccer games, or take on an indoor climbing wall.

Can't go wrong with cheese and tortillas

Can't go wrong with cheese and tortillas

Afternoon

You’ll have worked up an appetite, so load up on tacos at The Taco Shop At Underdog’s. While you’re enjoying great eats and a cocktail or two, you can take a look at one of the bar’s ten big screens that are sure to cover every major game.

Game Time

The Rugby World Cup Sevens begins with a welcome ceremony at Embarcadero Plaza. Teams from New Zealand, South Africa, England, and countless other corners of the world will gather to kick off the tournament. You’ll even get a chance to glimpse the Fijian team, who made history when they took home the country’s first Olympic gold medal in the 2016 Rio Games. This is the first time the Rugby World Cup Sevens has been held in the US, so the energy is sure to be off the charts.

If you have tickets for the live action at AT&T Park, make a pre-game pit stop at Red’s Java House for some iconic fish and chips chased down with a cold beer. If you’ve still got some time to kill before things being, you can keep the party going at Public House & Mijita. (Oh, and once you’re in the park, don’t miss out on the famous garlic fries.)

If you don’t have tickets and want to catch the action on screen, make your way to Kezar Pub, across the street from the original San Francisco 49ers stadium. The pub has more than twenty TVs, and shows rugby year round — along with every other sport under the sun. Rugby is an intense contact sport, so if you’re there to watch the Cup, get ready for some major yell-at-the-screen intensity.

via Instagram @thetipsypig

via Instagram @thetipsypig

The After-Party

Did your team win? Woohoo! Get your celebration on at The Tipsy Pig, a local sports haunt that Giants players have been known to drop by for post-game partying. Great outdoor patio with amazing bites and great people!

San Francisco sports enthusiasts are no fair-weather fans. This is a city known for being chilly on days when the rest of the country is baking in summer heat, and that’s never stopped fans from freezing it out in the bleachers to cheer on their favorite team. No matter what your sport of choice may be, San Francisco is a fantastic place to kick back with a beer and get your game on.

First time in San Francisco? Get ARRVL’s San Francisco Pack so you have all the essentials you need for a great trip to this quirky city.

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Claire Hannum