SAN FRANCISCO -- There's no party like a West Coast party and come Friday, the West Coast party will be in San Francisco for the biggest week of the baseball season.San Francisco will put the party claim to the test this week, as thousands of baseball fans descend upon the city for the All-Star gala. This ultimate fan guide is designed to maximize that All-Star experience. It highlights the best of the All-Star week and the best of the city. It all starts with the DHL All-Star FanFest at Moscone West Convention Center on July 6 (9 a.m.-6 p.m. PT), July 7-9 (9 a.m.-8 p.m.) and July 10 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.). The FanFest gives everyone a chance to make some All-Star memories because needless to say, not all fans could snag tickets to the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. Fans who attend will be treated to interactive batting and pitching cages, clinics given by Major League Baseball's best, historical exhibits and the chance to meet some of the game's legends. Between FanFest visits, find time to stretch your legs with a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. The bright red suspension bridge is one of San Francisco's most defining features and one of the greatest bridges in the nation. There's free parking on the north side of the bridge, and a walk across gives breathtaking views of the bay and the city on one side, and the Pacific Coast and Marin Headlands on the other. It can get gusty up there, however, so make sure to bring layers if you don't want to contribute to the gift shops' ever-growing sweatshirt profits. Next, get a look at the future of Major League Baseball in the first All-Star game of the week, the Futures Game, at 1 p.m. on Sunday at AT&T Park. A lot of great ballplayers got their start at the Futures Game, and you'll be hearing about these kids for a long time to come.
The Futures Game will be followed by the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday. Celebrities probably can't turn two like the Futures, but who doesn't want to see stars with a little dirt on their faces?Some of the celebrities expected to appear are Kevin Dillon, who plays Johnny Drama on HBO's "Entourage," actor/comedian Dane Cook, 49ers legend Jerry Rice, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, actor Rob Schneider, late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel and actress Alyssa Milano, who's also the creator of MLB apparel line Touch. Sometime between checking out the Hollywood stars and the baseball All-Stars, find time to hit up Fisherman's Wharf. A trip to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without a trolley car ride to Fisherman's Wharf. The wharf is a great place to get a clam chowder bread bowl and do some souvenir collecting. Don't miss the gang of seals that hangs out next to Pier 39. Monday is the start of the All-Star events everyone will be waiting for, the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game. The Home Run Derby begins at 5 p.m. Monday at AT&T Park. Baseball's best sluggers will try to outslug each other at baseball's toughest home run park. The Giants' Barry Bonds has a slight advantage. If you're in San Francisco after the derby, grab a beer and some food at Lefty O'Doul's, located at 333 Geary St., near Union Square. The pub is shrouded with pictures of baseball's greatest legends, who seemingly smile at you from the walls as you enjoy a drink. Tuesday is the main event, the 78th MLB All-Star Game, at 5 p.m. It starts with an All-Star Game Red Carpet Show along The Embarcadero from 10 a.m. PT to noon, followed by the game. This is what the whole week was leading up to, so don't miss it. Locate a good sports bar, and enjoy a meeting between baseball's best.
Becky Regan is an associate reporter at MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.