What to Doin the Outer Sunset Neighborhood
The Outer Sunset sparkles with many hidden gems. These are some of the places you should explore in the Outer Sunset.
Head due west towards the Pacific to discover the quiet side of San Francisco. Wide, windswept beaches beckon and tranquil residential neighborhoods are home to friendly local shops, cafes and restaurants. Welcome to the Outer Sunset.
Easily reachable on the Muni Metro system by taking the N Judah, L Taraval or M Oceanview trains from downtown, the Outer Sunset is a vast area that borders the Pacific Ocean. Although it's not quite as walkable as the rest of the city (Lyft is an excellent option), it sparkles with many hidden gems. For visitors looking for a true local experience, the Outer Sunset is a San Francisco neighborhood well worth exploring.
A glorious stretch of wild coastline that offers sunsets to die for and some of California’s best surf watching, Ocean Beach is one of San Francisco’s greatest natural escapes. Driving alongside it on the Great Highway is one of the most scenic auto trips in the city. At night, the golden sands are lit up by the bonfires of locals gathered around fire pits constructed by the National Park Service (no fires are allowed between November-February).
San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
From the African savannah, complete with a lowland gorilla preserve, to Grizzly Island, where California’s state animal can be viewed lumbering through the forest, the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens are a full day of fun for all ages. Taking the L Taraval to the end of the line will not only get you there in a jiffy from downtown SF but will also get you discounted admission.Check out the SF Zoo
Pine Lake Park and Stern Grove
A steep forested valley in the middle of the Outer Sunset, Pine Lake Park is a peaceful oasis of verdant nature made for solitary walks, except on summer weekends. From mid-June until mid-August, the park hosts the Stern Grove Festival, the longest-running and most important of San Francisco’s free summer concert series. It takes place in a gorgeous grove of cypress and redwood trees. The L Taraval, M Ocean View or K streetcars drop you right near the park entrance.
Case For Making
Not your typical arts supply store, this local favorite stocks hand-selected watercolor supplies and raw materials for various artistic pursuits. It also offers regular workshops to the community.Check out Case for Making
A neighborhood bookstore where the selection is handpicked and customers are welcome to browse for hours, Blackbird Books is a social gathering place as well as a book lover’s hideaway. It frequently hosts readings and other events.Check out Blackbird Books
Avenues Dry Goods
Shop for locally made home furnishings and art as well as a great selection of California native plants at this unique and decidedly relaxed but hip shop. It is often referred to as San Francisco's best-kept secret.Check out Avenue Dry Goods
Mollusk Surf Shop
The best surf in California is not in Southern California but can be found along the foggy banks of Ocean Beach. The waves are heavy as refrigerators, and the freezing temperatures breed an outlaw sense of living on the edge (of San Francisco). Mollusk has become a cornerstone of the neighborhood, selling clothing and great boards to the surf rats who head out into the ocean. They occasionally host art shows and live music tooCheck out Mollusk Surf Shop
Hook Fish Co.
The fresh catch of the day is what’s on the menu at Hook Fish Co., an Outer Sunset seafood restaurant that gets rave reviews. From crab cakes to fish tacos, everything here goes down great with the house-made pico de gallo.Eat at Hook Fish Co.
Java Beach Cafe
An Outer Sunset institution since 1993, this friendly, cozy café occupies a key corner location with a nice outdoor patio right across from the rolling dunes of Ocean Beach. Meet new friends or peruse the paper over a veggie pesto bagel and a house latte. You'll have a hard time leaving.Pick up a pound of the locally roasted coffee beans to take home, too. You can't go wrong with Bernie's Blend or Judah Tunnel Espresso.Eat at Java Beach Cafe
Executive chef Yoni Levy has brought the fine art of California fusion to the Outer Sunset with this critically acclaimed eatery that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Try the daily vegetarian doughnut special on the fly, or grab a wooden table and order the jalepeño shrimp or chickpea panelle to see what all the fuss is about.Eat at Outerlands
Calling itself a “commuter-sized club bar,” this often-packed Outer Sunset watering hole is located at the end of the N Judah streetcar line. Widely known for its great craft beer selection and spicy empanadas, this is one of the best places in the neighborhood to rub shoulders with locals.Drink at Woods Outbound
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