The Best Breaks from Dreamforce

Dreamforce — Salesforce’s annual conference and learning experience in San Francisco, California — is near. And after attending it for 14 years, I’ve found a way to make the most of it: by taking breaks.

With four days of 170,000 attendees, 3,200 learning sessions, 2,400 customer speakers, and galas that feature bands, such as Metallica, Green Day, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

To prevent information and sensory overload, you may want to take a break every 52 minutes. Yeah, that’s precise. But plenty of data suggests that taking a break approximately every hour will help you retain what you’ve learned, focus longer throughout each day, and maintain a steady level of energy.

Where can you take relaxing breaks in the middle of downtown San Francisco? Here’s where I go.

  1. Blue Bottle Coffee at Mint Plaza

Even if you’re not a coffee connoisseur, you can enjoy the soothing architectural designs of the local roaster that helped launched the third wave of coffee. Instead of waiting in long lines at Blue Bottle’s original location in Hayes Valley, or its premier popup at the Ferry Building, you can stroll over to the less crowded Mint Plaza location from Moscone Center in a few minutes.

Location: 66 Mint Street.

Photo: Hoppit.

2. Chaat Corner

If you’re craving Indian snacks or chai, Chaat Corner is right across the street from Moscone Center South. With puris, cholays, and pokoras that rival the flavors I’ve savored in Delhi and Chennai, it’s easy to take a culinary break and recharge from the bland hotel and conference fare.

Location: 320 3rd Street.

Photo: Yelp.

3. California Historical Society

Take a break from the future of technology and explore San Francisco’s past. With ever-changing exhibits that range from portraits from the Summer of Love to art on California citrus labels, you’re two blocks away from seeing different perspectives on the Golden State and visiting one of the best bookstores on The West. (You could also visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art nearby, but you may not get a break from the crowds.)

Location: 678 Mission Street.

Photo: Bartable.

4. Samavor Tea Lounge

Sit above the din of Dreamforce and Yerba Buena Gardens and watch the activity with a hot cup of tea. Sip on a Dandelion Detox or kick it up a notch with a smokey Russian blend with thick black leaves. Whichever route you go, treat yourself to a cherry oat scone with cream and jam or a ginger-quinoa waffle with maple syrup.

Location: 730 Howard Street, Upper Terrace.

Photo: AFAR.

5. Meritouch

After walking for hours while carrying a bag or laptop, you’ll want a break from your sore back and shoulders. Two blocks from Moscone Center, tucked away in the Westfield Mall, is the best chair massage in San Francisco. Yeah, it may sound strange or even awkward. But after a ten minute, ten dollar neck massage, you’ll feel reborn, rejuvenated, and ready to roll through many more sessions at Dreamforce.

Location: 865 Market Street, 3rd floor of the Westfield Mall.

Photo: Yelp.

Final Break

No matter where you decide to take a break and unwind from Dreamforce, please wear comfortable shoes. Dreamforce includes a lot of walking. Trying to look your best by wearing the fanciest footwear may force you to deal with blisters and take more breaks than you ever imagined.