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America’s Cup sails into San Francisco

America's Cup sailing action from August 10
America's Cup sailing action from August 10

By David Stewart White

This year’s America’s Cup sailing championship is underway in San Francisco and the city has put out the welcome gangplank for sailors and visitors alike. The sailboat races are in San Francisco Bay, easily visible from downtown. A special harbor-side venue offers sailing-related exhibits and entertainment. The Cup concludes on September 27.

For a change of pace, head to the Legion of Honor museum to see the Impressionists on the Water exhibition (through October 13).

The city has dozens of downtown hotels, some with water views, and some offering America's Cup specials. For example, from the upper floors of the Intercontinental San Francisco guests can sometimes see America’s Cup boats moving out their berths at Pier 30-32.

Attendance at America's Cup events has been relatively light so far—good news for last-minute visitors and spectators, but problematic for the city which had planned on huge turnouts. San Francisco's next nautical event, the annual Fleet Week (October 7-13), normally brings in thousands of visitors. But Federal budget cutbacks eliminated appearances by Navy's Blue Angels jet demonstration team. Minus its stars, this year's Fleet Week promises to be a low-key event.