Business to Know

Business to KnowLocal San Francisco entrepreneur and founder of Hipcamp, Alyssa Ravasio, shares her favorite spots around San Francisco, California. She recommends hiking Lands End, exploring City Lights Bookstore, and eating at Gracias Madre as local musts in the Dirt Road Travels' San Francisco city guide.

San Francisco, California


"The most comprehensive guide to camping across the US."

Hike Lands End
Mount Tamalpais State Park
Caffe Trieste
Hike the Greenwich and Filbert Steps
City Lights Bookstore
Gracias Madre
Sotto Mare
Alite Designs


"The most comprehensive guide to camping across the US."

Recommended by:

My Story

"Getting into nature and being outside are core inextricable part of me and keeping me sane. I get inspiration from the outdoors. It's where I do my healing and can reconnect with the things I care about most. Nature and the outdoors are my guiding force behind everything."


The Best Advice I've Received

"Steve Jobs talked about a good though exercise, which is basically, every morning when you wake up ask yourself, if today was your last day on this planet, how would you feel about what you're doing? 

It's not that every single day you're going to say, 'I'm so excited to go to the office and do these meetings and write these reports!' Of course you'll have days where there's stuff you don't want to do. But if for too many days in a row the answer is, 'I'd be pretty bummed if this was my last day, because today's gonna suck,' then change something.

Life is short, and as far as we know, this is the only one we're going to get.

There's a huge spectrum of options in life, and in general, in any given society, members of that group stick to a very narrow spectrum of what's possible. You can just quit your job and move to wherever and do whatever. Seriously. That's totally on the table!" 


My Advice for Others

"Before I started Hipcamp, I had a whole bunch of other options and I was really worried that I was going to waste them all away by trying to start this company. Then I met Steve Huffman who founded Reddit and Hipmunk and he put me through a thought exercise that was really helpful. He said, 'Before you start a business, ask yourself three important questions:

One, does it solve a problem that you experience?

Two, do other people have that same problem, or are you just a total weirdo and an audience of one? 

Third, will people pay you to solve that problem for them?'

I think whenever an entrepreneur is considering if it's really worth quitting their job and investing all of their nights and weekends and free time in that pursuit, they should ask themselves those questions. Use it as a stress test to see if what you're building has a chance of succeeding." 

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What I Love Most About San Francisco

"I love that San Francisco has this duality of having absolutely the epicenter of the tech and internet space - this supernova that's transforming our world - combined with immediate access to some of the most beautiful nature on the planet."

My San Francisco Musts

"I would definitely recommend starting the day with a hike in Lands End or the Marin Headlands. Otherwise, Caffe Trieste in North Beach has the best coffee espresso vibes in San Francisco. The Greenwich and Filbert Steps are beautiful staircases with beautiful community gardens. City Lights Bookstore is so cool, and for food, Gracias Madre in The Mission and Sotto Mare in North Beach are both great."



Alyssa Ravasio
San Francisco
Hike Lands End
"A rocky coastline with views out to the Golden Gate Bridge."
Mount Tamalpais State Park
"A peak in Marin County."
Caffe Trieste
"The best espresso vibes in the city, for sure."
Hike the Greenwich and Filbert Steps
"It's like a microclimate, temperate rainforest within San Francisco."
City Lights Bookstore
"Where the Beat poets like Kerouac and Kietz hung out, did a lot of venting and wrote a lot of things."
Gracias Madre
"Incredible vegan Mexican food."
Sotto Mare
"The best cioppino in the world."
Alite Designs
"For anyone who loves the outdoors and lives in San Francisco, it's like a non-optional stop."
"The most comprehensive guide to camping across the US."

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