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Tips & Tricks for RSA and San Francisco from a First Timer

CImai ‎02-25-2013 01:44 PM - edited ‎09-29-2015 10:07 AM

In preparation of the RSA conference, I wanted to find some great tips and tricks as we all make our way to The Moscone Center. Having lived in Northern California all my life, I’d like to give you an insider’s look at many options when making your way to the conference. I’ll even touch on some of my favorite things to do in San Francisco if you have extra time.


Public Transportation

If you are unfamiliar with San Francisco or dislike city driving, I highly suggest that you take public transportation into the city. If you are heading up in the morning (from the south bay), you can jump on Caltrain and get off on the last stop (San Francisco). You will be about a block from the SF Giants stadium if you want to take a peak. If not, just jump in a cab and they will take you from the train station to Moscone in about 5-10 minutes (depending on traffic).


Caltrain Map


Caltrain Schedule (I suggest you download the app on your Android or iOS. It is easier to read)





If you are like me and have a brand new car or a car that you don’t want to have any dents on, I would suggest that you leave it at home. If you are okay with a ding from another car door, then go ahead and drive up. Do NOT use metered parking! Those meter maids are really strict in the city. Here are some suggestions for parking garages:


Fifth & Mission Parking Garage
833 Mission Street (between Fourth & Fifth streets, adjacent to Moscone West)
Midnight - 9am    $2.00/hr

9am - Noon          $3.00/hr

Noon - 3pm          $3.50/hr

3pm - 6pm            $3.50/hr

6pm - Midnight    $1.50/hr


Moscone Center Garage
255 Third Street (Folsom & Howard, across the street from Moscone South's Esplanade Ballroom)

Midnight to 9 a.m.      $1.00/hr

9 a.m. to noon             $2.50/hr

Noon to 3 p.m.             $3.00/hr

3 p.m. to 6 p.m.           $2.00/hr

6 p.m. to midnight     $1.00/hr


Also, you should allow yourself more time than your GPS is predicting. Even though I have been to the city multiple times, I still get lost.


The FUN Stuff

  • Golden Gate Bridge – having been born and raised in the Silicon Valley, you would think that I would have walked across the Golden Gate Bridge a million times. Instead, it took me about 22 years before I made that trip. It is an amazing experience and on a sunny day it is absolutely breathtaking.



  • Ghirardelli Square – if you are into sweets, this is the place to go for a mid-day snack or dessert. Take a large group and get the Earthquake. You can also take your dessert to go and walk over to Fort Mason Green.



  • Pier 39 – take a nice stroll along the pier and grab a bread bowl full of clam chowder from Chowders, don’t get suckered into the others.



  • Lombard Street – you have to drive or bike down if you want the full experience, this landmark is known for its eight tight hairpin turns and has an AMAZING view of San Francisco. Take it slow J



When you are ready to get into the security mood and would like to talk about Criminal Education: Lessons from the Criminals and their Methods, stop by the Moscone Center on Thursday at 3 p.m. PST to hear Art Gilliland, SVP & GM, HP Software Enterprise Security Products speak. If you aren’t onsite at this time, catch the live feed here.


For more information on the RSA conference, visit their Web site at


And check back regularly on Backstage with HP Software for a behind the scenes look.


-Corin Imai

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