Outdoor and Virtual Things to Do in San Francisco (or at Home)
Like you, we were all excited to put 2020 behind us and start the new year by getting back to the quintessential San Francisco experiences we've missed so much. Unfortunately, we're still in the grips of our ongoing pandemic, and it's in everyone's best interest to keep much of the city shut down until further notice.
However, that does not mean that you can't experience all the great things San Francisco has to offer. Whether you're a local or an admirer from far way, we've got a whole host of ways that you can safely see, taste, hear, and even smell the best of San Francisco.
Bookmark this page, as we'll be adding more activities to it on a regular basis!
A Note About Safety
Be advised that for any in-person events, participants are obligated to follow the vendor's safety protocols. Failure to do so may result in being asked to leave without a refund.
Explore the Presidio (How to Visit Safely)
Parks are vital to our health and well-being, especially in stressful times, and the Presidio of San Francisco has remained open for essential access to outdoor space, fresh air, recreation, nature and scenic views. The Presidio has 24 miles of hiking trails and 25 miles of biking trails ,as well as three miles of scenic coastline, multiple picnic areas, and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Presidio Slow Streets allow for even more socially distant space for pedestrians and bikers. Self-guided tours include an Andy Goldsworthy Art Walk and the Tennessee Hollow Watershed Walk. Presidio Golf is open for play, and the Presidio’s lodging is open for essential travelers.
For those who can’t get to the park, Presidio at Home allows you to experience the park wherever you are.
See Magnificent Magnolias Bloom at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens (How to Visit Safely)
Visit the San Francisco Botanical Garden and see their beautiful and historic magnolias in bloom, now through March. With over 200 specimens to see, San Francisco's cool foggy climate gives the Botanical Garden the ability to grow species from Asia to the Neotropics, and positions the Garden as the perfect place for preserving rare and threatened species.
Peak bloom comes in February, but there's no bad time to visit. The Garden is also piloting a virtual map feature that will allow visitors to learn more about the history, distribution, and conservation of special specimens in the Garden.
Admission is free for San Francisco residents and ranges from $3 to $21 for non-residents.
Take A Segway Tour with the San Francisco Electric Tour Company (How to Visit Safely)
The San Francisco Electric Tour Company is offering private group Segway tours for two to eight guests, beginning at their Fisherman's Wharf and Golden Gate Park locations. All tours are operated under their #safetour program with best procedures for safe distancing, clean facilities, masks required for everyone and sanitized equipment. All private group tour participants must be in the same immediate family or COVID-safe bubble. Tours are available for booking Thursdays through Sundays, at 9:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. Registration cost ranges from $105 to $150 per person.
Enjoy A Discounted Biking Excursion from Blazing Saddles and GetYourGuide (How to Bike Safely)
Experience the best of the bay with this exclusive combination tour package. Your half-day adventure begins with a guided bicycle tour through San Francisco, beginning at the picturesque Aquatic Park in Fisherman’s Wharf. From there, you’ll cycle across the iconic Golden Gate bridge and into Sausalito. The guided portion of the tour ends here, but your all-day bike rental allows you to keep exploring at your leisure. Once you’re done criss-crossing through Sausalito, hop back on a scenic ferry ride to San Francisco. Vouchers for food and drink included. For those that want to Blaze Their Own Trail, daily bicycle rentals are available, as well. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge, ride along the Embarcadero or explore Golden Gate Park on your own.
Meet the Artists at SFMOMA
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is committed to partnering with the most forward-thinking artists of our time and bringing their visions to life. Many of these artists share their creative process and their stories in their own words through the museum's collection of artist interviews. The entire collection is available online for you to view anytime at no cost.
Rent A Bike with Unlimited Biking (How to Bike Safely)
Unlimited Biking is offering bike rentals for the entire day for only $20. Cannondale hybrid bikes come with helmets, bike bags, locks and maps. Upgrades to eBikes, road bikes, or any baby/kids attachments available!
Shop Fresh and Shop Local at the Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile
Explore the weekly Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every Sunday, on 37th Avenue between Ortega and Quintara streets in the Outer Sunset. This festive, family-friendly outdoor market features local farmers, ranchers, food trucks, makers, merchants, live music and children's activities—all spread out over two long blocks to allow for safe distancing. Face coverings and frequent hand-sanitizing/washing a must.
Visit Jack London State Park in Sonoma County (How to Visit Safely)
North of the city in Sonoma County lies Jack London State Park, where more than 29 miles of trails that roam through mixed forests, redwood groves, oak woodlands, and grassy meadows await exploration. The elevation varies from 600 to 2,300 feet, meaning you can get quite the workout! Free docent-guided tours are available, as well as private group and specialty tours. Horseback riding will return in the spring. There is a $10 vehicle entry fee.
Decorate Cookies at The Claremont Club & Spa (How to Visit Safely) - January 29
Every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. PT this January, you can practice your finest culinary skills with the bakery team at The Claremont Club & Spa and their partners at East Bay Provisions. This seasonal cookie decorating workshop is held safely outdoors. Admission is $35. Reserve your spot today.
Enjoy A New Take on An Old Classic with New Conservatory Theatre Center's "warplay" - January 26 - February 23
You can stream a pre-recorded performance of 2017’s critically acclaimed production of "warplay", written by JC Lee and directed by former NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle. Inspired by The Iliad and the epic tale of Achilles and Patroclus, "warplay" is a shockingly funny, poetic and radical reimagining of one of the oldest love stories in all of Western literature. There's no cost to tune in!
Take a Private Tour With Incredible Adventures - Starting February 1 (How to Visit Safely)
As soon as San Francisco emerges from its winter stay-at-home order, Incredible Adventures will be here ready to help you make memories with your friends and family to last a lifetime. Leave the planning and driving to them, and let them take you to enjoy our beautiful Bay Area backyard in both a safe and sustainable way.
This spring, they recommend taking a day to explore Wine Country with your closest friends. Visit as many wineries as you’d like, indulge in a local and fresh picnic lunch, and then drop you back off in San Francisco at the end of the day. Alternatively, gather up your family and embark on a custom tour of Muir Woods, Yosemite National Park or even on a camping trip to Lake Tahoe. Book a tour.
Stream Classical Concerts with the San Francisco Symphony - February 4
The Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony is launching its own on-demand streaming service, SFSymphony+. It will feature exclusive original digital content, as well as previously released programs, newly recorded chamber music performances, and the Symphony’s 2021 Chinese New Year Virtual Celebration. Some offerings will be free. For more information, click here.
Join A Virtual Food Tour with Local Tastes of the City Tours - February 5
Join Local Tastes of the City Tours for a live virtual tour of some classic San Francisco neighborhood eateries in Chinatown, North Beach, the Mission and the Marina. Interact with local guides and watch live demonstrations as some of San Francisco's greatest culinary talents create their signature dishes. Attendees will also receive recipes, so you’ll be able to make these delicacies at home!
The virtual tour begins at 11 a.m. PT on Friday, Feb. 5. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Admission is $19.
Get Creative at Home with SFMOMA - February 14
SFMOMA is also hosting its virtual Second Sundays, a monthly series that pairs a reading with a librarian from the San Francisco Public Library and a guided art activity you can do at home. Each installment focuses on an artist whose work is in SFMOMA’s collection. New readings and videos premiere on the Second Sunday of each month at 11 a.m. PT and can be streamed at any time after the debut.
Prepare Yourself for a Trip to Outer Space with The Exploratorium - February 15
Have you dreamed of stars and galaxies far, far away? Join Kellie Gerardi, author of "Not Necessarily Rocket Science: A Beginner's Guide to Life in the Space Age", in a conversation with Exploratorium astronomer Dr. Isabel Hawkins about her experiences in the commercial space industry at 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15. In her book, Kellie takes us on a tour of her nontraditional path in the space industry—from her adventures working at a spaceport to training for Mars to testing spacesuits in microgravity, to building a massive SciComm platform. Admission is free, but an RSVP is required.
Join Entire Productions for A Fun-Filled Variety Show - February 18
Entire Productions will broadcast the latest episode of its ongoing variety series, EntireVariety, at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18. Prepare to be dazzled by intriguing, engaging, and interactive segments guaranteed to keep you on your toes. It's perfect entertainment for the whole family. Additional surprise guests and prizes might be announced during the show, too! Tickets are free, but you must register ahead of time.
Book A Private Tour of San Francisco with Fogcutter Tours (How to Visit Safely) - March 1
Fogcutter Tours reopens March 1, City regulations permitting. The team at Fogcutter crafts one adventure per day for one small group (six guests maximum) The itinerary is open, though you can always count on visiting classic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks.
Group reservations cost $500. Schedule yours here
Tune In to A Virtual Play Reading with A.C.T. - March 1 to 7
San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater is launching A.C.T. Out Loud, a new series of virtual play readings featuring enduring works by some of the greatest minds of generations past. The first will be Alice Childress's "Trouble In Mind", available for viewing from Mar. 1 to 7. Tickets for this reading and other performances are available here.
Immerse Yourself in Audio Drama "Interlude" with the New Conservatory Theatre Center - March 1 to 24
In this world premiere by Harrison David Rivers, protagonist Jesse Howard’s must return to his childhood home in Kansas and his conservative parents amidst the pandemic. An audio drama that blends with a visual storyscape for a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience, "Interlude" is a personal and tender snapshot of one man’s search for connection. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish, starting at $0.