How to Savor Summer in San Francisco
With so many incredible things to see, do, taste and discover, summer in San Francisco never seems quite long enough. But don’t despair! Here are seven ways you can savor every last drop of summer without a trace of FOMO.
1. Appreciate local artists
San Francisco has an astonishing concentration of creativity packed into just 49 square miles. Outdoor art abounds, from the monumental “Cupid's Span” on the Embarcadero to the illuminated installation “Language of the Birds” in North Beach to the vibrant murals of the Mission District. Discover up-and-coming artists by attending First Thursday Art Walks, free monthly events that highlight downtown galleries. In the Mission District, stop by Creativity Explored, a nonprofit arts center where artists with developmental disabilities exhibit their work. Support local musicians by attending a performance at one of San Francisco’s unique venues or checking out a neighborhood music fest, such as the Fillmore Jazz Festival (July 6-7) or Polk Street Blues Festival (Aug. 17-18).
2. Learn something new
San Francisco is a hub of inspiration and innovation, and you can get in on the action by trying your hand at a new skill. Create a brag-worthy souvenir at a printmaking class at 3 Fish Studios, an artists’ workshop in Outer Sunset. At the Cheese School of San Francisco, take an in-depth (and delicious) lesson on cheeses of the world. Or hone your own culinary chops at The Civic Kitchen, where hands-on classes range from Spanish Tapas to Knife Skills. Want to know how to taste and talk about wine like a pro? Sign up for the Wine 101 class at San Francisco Wine School.
3. Get active
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a hardcore athlete, San Francisco offers lots of opportunities to flex your muscles. Sign up for one of several races throughout the summer, including Bay to Breakers (May 19), Across the Bay (July 14), The San Francisco Marathon (July 28) and the Giant Race (Sept. 8). Prefer to exercise on two wheels? Take a bike tour with local companies such as Blazing Saddles and Wheel Fun.
4. Excite your palate
San Francisco is a foodie’s paradise, and summertime offers a veritable smorgasbord to savor. The city is packed with innovative, can't-miss restaurants, including Angler, a recent winner of Esquire Magazine's Best New Restaurant in America. Delectable cuisine is within reach outside of restaurant walls, too. Taste some of the most inventive sweet treats in the country at ice cream parlors such as Humprhy Slocombe in the Mission and Salt and Straw in Hayes Valley. Oracle Park offers eats that are way beyond ballpark basics: think garlic fries, ahi tuna poke, kielbasa sandwiches and more. In August, check out Eat Drink SF the Bay Area’s premier annual food, wine and spirits festival, where you can sample delights from world-class chefs throughout the region. And with urban wineries at your doorstep and vineyards just an hour north in Napa and Sonoma, San Francisco is an ideal place to broaden your wine horizons.
5. Connect with nature
Take advantage of the city’s mild summer weather and ample green space by spending time in nature. Plan a picnic and a walk at Golden Gate Park, or head to San Francisco's highest points, Twin Peaks and Mt. Davidson, for a brisk hike (the views are absolutely worth it). The Presidio has 24 miles of scenic trails to traverse, or you can venture a bit further afield to catch a breathtaking sunset at Lands End.
6. Seek thrills
Finally, an adrenaline-pumping adventure might be just what you need to add some extra zip to your trip. In the city, you can embark on The Flyer at PIER 39, the world’s first-and-only flying, 3-D theater attraction, or jump and tumble the day away at House of Air, an indoor trampoline park in the Presidio. Beyond San Francisco, check out Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo or California’s Great America in Santa Clara to brave some scream-inducing thrill rides and roller coasters.
This is just a tiny taste of everything to see and do this summer in San Francisco. Check out our San Francisco Summer Guide for more insider info.