Most destinations will ply you with a list of “must sees.” San Francisco has a few “don’ts” they’d like to share with you:
Don’t let San Francisco’s famous inclines intimidate you. Some judicious planning using public transit can give you the upper hand (or foot). The hills are laced with stairways that lead to hidden gardens and breathtaking views. You’ll soon be skipping down them like a third grader playing hopscotch.
Don’t leave the kids at home. This is an adult playground, no doubt about it. It’s also brimming with things for children to do. Play pirate at the Hyde Street Pier. Get acquainted with a swarm of jellyfish at Aquarium of the Bay. Step inside a four-story rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences and sort through “sonic soup” at the Exploratorium. Yes, science can be fun.
Don’t skip these events: Dine About Town, an opportunity to experience the city’s finest restaurants at a reduced cost, June 1-15; the dazzling Ethnic Dance Festival, June 7-July 1; the 75th season of the Stern Grove Festival opening Sunday, June 24; “The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860-1900” at the Legion of Honor, Feb.18-June 17; 2012; “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” March 24-Aug. 19; A.C.T.’s productions of “Twelfth Night” and “The Scottsboro Boys,” and SHN’s direct-from-Broadway hit “American Idiot,” featuring the music of Green Day, June 12-July 8.
Don’t even think about eating a frozen pizza here or defaulting to a fast food meal. San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any major city in the U.S. and options range from haute cuisine to a crepe brimming with veggies and feta cheese from a street truck. And with more than a dozen farmers markets and the enormously popular Ferry Building Marketplace, there’s really, really no excuse not to become an instant locavore.
Above all, don’t call it Frisco.