Our beautiful college campus is located on the top of a hill, giving us access to amazing views of the valley and a private community to be a part of while in school. Though, it may cause some people to wonder what on earth there is to do for fun! The campus has big fields, tennis courts, baseball fields, a gym and the like, but what is there to do when you need a little time off the hill?

Right at the base of the hill there is the town of St. Helena. St. Helena’s Main Street is filled with odd shops, expensive art and clothing stores, a small theater and great restaurants ranging in prices. Some of the favorite places to eat — with more affordable pricing — include: Guigni’s Sandwiches, where they make you fresh sandwiches and have lots of drinks and chips you can choose from; Azteca’s, a Mexican grocery store that sells inexpensive yet delicious food; Napa Valley Roasting Company, a quaint coffee shop that you’ll always find filled with some PUC college students studying or working on projects; and Gott’s Roadside, a burger joint with some of the best milkshakes and fries around. For the extra-special meals and treats with higher prices there are places like Archetype, which serves high- quality breakfast and lunch foods; Brasswood Bar + Kitchen and Brasswood Bar + Bakery; and Market, a restaurant located on Main Street with delicious food and – my favorite – mini s’mores to make right at your table. These are just some of the great places to eat, drink, or hang at just a 15-minute drive from our campus.

If you’re looking to get a little farther away from the hill, the city of San Francisco is just a little over an hour drive from PUC and has a little bit of everything. A great place to walk around, look through cute shops and find some good eats is Pier 39. It has dozens of places to find great food and a plethora of peculiar shops and hole-in-the-wall places you can walk through. You can spend an entire day in this part of the city and not run out of things to do. Some of the best little stores and restaurants to try are: Boudin Bakery Café, which is known for its freshly baked breads; Chocolate Heaven, the name explains itself; Del Sol, a little store filled with merchandise that changes color in the sun; Houdini’s Magic Shop, a fun place to stock up on magic supplies and tricky trinkets; Lefty’s San Francisco, a shop dedicated to people gifted with the dominant use of their left hand; and one of my favorites, the San Francisco Sock Market, a store filled with all the kinds of socks you can imagine. Just this one tiny corner of the big city has so much you can do. I encourage everyone to take a trip to the Pier and see what other cool restaurants and shops you can find.

The list of places to go and things to see for these areas alone cannot fit in one article. And there are so many other places to talk about, too! But here is just a starting list for these two places for you to begin your adventures in while away to college. Stay tuned for the next article for more great places to go and see that lie beyond our little Holy Hill