Inside the Women Who Travel Meetups: San Francisco – Condé Nast Traveler

In July 2017, we launched a Facebook group called Women Who Travel, aimed at being a space for all self-identifying women to share their travel stories, offer advice, and form a community of like-minded women. Today, we’re some 115,000 members strong—and we’re taking our Facebook group on the road. Welcome to Women Who Travel Meetups!

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Inside Roses’ Taproom, the host for our latest meetup.

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Inside Roses’ Taproom, the host for our latest meetup.

Courtesy @rosestaproom

Here’s the lowdown: Each month, we visit a different city to meet our group members IRL to talk all things travel. Our latest stop? San Francisco. Well, kind of. We decided to host the soirée on the other side of the Bay Bridge in Oakland's hip Temescal neighborhood, with attendees coming from both cities (and a couple hours beyond). We love San Francisco, but we couldn't help but look east where things are moving, shaking, and rumbling—with an energy entirely its own. The scene in Oakland feels like flowers pushing through a crack in the sidewalk: it's always been there, but now, "The Town," as its affectionately called by locals, is making everyone pay attention. We knew there was no better place to gather our vanguard group of women.

Local brewery Roses' Taproom took us in for the night: This husband and wife-owned space is just a year old, but has already become a hub for the community. Roses' central location on buzzing Telegraph Avenue made it an easy sell, even for community members who drove from further cities like Santa Cruz. It's sidled up against local institutions like Bakesale Betty, a no-frills fried chicken sandwich mainstay (run by the ever-present blue-haired Betty herself), and the female-owned Mexican restaurant Doña Tomás. It's also just around the corner from the shopping alcove Temescal Alley (a cozy collection of stores like Baggu and Homestead Apothecary, plus local boutiques like the Marisa Mason jewelry store). The bar itself invites anyone and everyone in—and on this special occasion, they happily hosted us. We had trouble pulling ourselves away from the offerings at Roses', so we ordered some small plates (don't miss the tinned Portuguese sardines), a freshly brewed pint, and tucked in.

Here’s a taste of what went down at our Oakland meetup, and where we're heading next.

As with every meetup, the conversation bubbling around the dusty rose-colored room was the highlight. We got the low-down about taking an around-the-world trip from one group member, Jessica, who recently returned from one with her husband and their three young children. Megan, on the other hand, is about to embark on her own circumnavigating adventure. We also heard the inside scoop on Airbnb's incredible San Francisco offices—each meeting room is a recreation of an Airbnb around the world, member and employee Ada shared—and gushed over our dream destinations for 2019. (Daniela and I are both determined to get to Senegal this year).

Though the devastating California wildfires had left the entire city with poor air quality, we were amazed at how many of our members put on hazard masks, walked out their front doors, and showed up to talk travel. At every meetup, we're blown away by such a strong, shared passion for travel—but seeing how many women wouldn't let a single thing keep them home was a reminder of what Women Who Travel is all about.

Thanks for showing us a great time, Oakland. Ready to hang out with us at our next meetup? Well, we're heading to Miami next. Join our official Women Who Travel Facebook group to see how you can attend.

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