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Road Games Travel Tips: Traveling is a real treat

Week 15: Seattle at San Francisco, Dec. 16, 2018, 10 a.m. Pacific

SPONSORED – As much as I love Southern California – and I really do – I am more of a Northern California guy.

It’s unavoidable because while I was born in Oregon, I moved to Northern California after my freshman year of high school and would say that my understanding of and appreciation for the Bay Area goes bone deep even if I didn’t technically live in the Bay Area.

Marshawn Lynch is the one who pointed this out to me when I referenced the possibility of shared roots.

“Where’d you go to high school?” he asked.

When I said Santa Cruz County, his response was as blunt as it was accurate: “Man, BART don’t even go there.”

He’s right, but I’ve been around the Bay Area long enough to know just how much there is to do in the area whether it’s to hike around Golden Gate Park – where I once saw the Beastie Boys – perform or head up to the Presidio, which is north of The City, but offers some absolutely breath-taking views.

Half Moon Bay – which is half an hour south down the coast – is the site for some of the biggest waves you’ll find in the entire country while the Brown Sugar Kitchen – over on the east side of the Bay in Oakland – is responsible for two of the best breakfasts I’ve ever eaten, and if you head there might as well stop by Marshawn Lynch’s Beastmode store and see if he’s there.

There’s not a small part of my sould that’s wistful about where San Francisco used to play football. Candlestick Park was never going to be mistaken for a nice stadium. It was old, lacked elevators and was built on landfill jutting out onto the water. That last point posed a real problem not because what it was built on, but where. The wind would howl through there and make an August night feel like the Arctic.

I was in Candlestick Park for the earthquake in 1989, which delayed the World Series. I was also at Candlestick Park when I was supposed to be at a journalism camp on the campus of Stanford University back in 1992.

Now San Francisco plays down the road in Santa Clara in a state-of-the-art stadium that sits next to an amusement park. It’s a great place to watch a football game. It also feels a little like an old friend who left a place with a ton of character for a prefabricated home in a planned development.

Not that Seattle is complaining. The team has yet to lose at San Francisco’s new stadium, winning all four meetings by a combined score of 88-42. Seems like I’m not the only one from Seattle who feels at home in Northern California!

Arrival: The closest airport to San Francisco’s stadium is San Jose (SJC), and Alaska Airlines has at least six direct flights each day from Sea-Tac. You can also fly into San Francisco (SFO) or even to Oakland (OAK). If you want to start out with a few days in wine country, you can fly into Santa Rosa (STS) and drive north.

Stadium: Levi’s Stadium is in Santa Clara right next to Great America. The field is closer to San Jose than it is to San Francisco, which is something that’s very funny to remind San Francisco fans about.

Last time here: Nov. 26, 2017, Seattle 24, San Francisco 13. Seattle is 4-0 at the stadium since San Francisco moved there for the 2014 season.

Dining: Brown Sugar Kitchen (2435 Mandela Parkway, Oakland, 510.839.7685), In-n-Out Burger with multiple locations.