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Now That It's Nice Out, Complete Your SF Bucket List
Sean Pyles and Kate Van Brocklin | Photo: Courtesy Flickr | March 12, 2014
Call in sick to work on Friday. It's time to do all of those things you've been avoiding.
You know all of those sights around the city that you just haven't seen yet? Alcatraz? Twin Peaks? Land's End?
Well, it's time to get off your tush and see them.
There's no end of amazing things to see and do here in the Bay Area, and many of them are the sorts that you plan to do, but never actually get around to doing. There's no excuses now, because it's beautiful out from now through the weekend (it's supposed to hit 79 on Sunday!) and the rest of the country is still a frozen hell.
So here's our sight-by-sight guide to your weekend.
Friday: Pack a lunch and roll a joint—we're starting off hard.
10 AM Get yourself to Land's End. Have an existential moment at the cliffs' edge and reflect on how you got there, what you're hoping to get out of this adventure, and how beautiful yet insignificant this experience will be to most anyone beyond yourself. That may sound dire, yes, but it's also what will make these next three days all the more powerful. You're just living, breathing, and walking on some steep rocks.
12 PM Amble on over to Golden Gate Park. Spend some quality time with the bison that miraculously graze freely in this treasured woodsy oasis. Then it's time to breathe in some fragrant, humid air in the Conservatory of Flowers, that white Victorian dollhouse that's filled with butterflies and giant lily pads and an assortment of carnivorous plants (watch your fingers).
3 PM From the park, Baker Beach is just a short jaunt away. Pack a picnic and soak up some rays in this picturesque stretch of sand overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. If you're lucky, you will see harbor porpoises playing in the bay. Camp out for the night beneath the stars (or light-polluted sky, depending on how you see it).
Saturday: Skip brunch and go to jail.
9 AM The tourist-y thing to end all tourist-y things (in San Francisco, at least): Go to Alcatraz. Get there before the crowds, for obvious reasons, and pick up an audio tour. It's worth the few dollars and full of chain-clacking information. The ferry ride there is beautiful, too.
11 AM Walk down from the piers in preparation for a trip to the East Bay. But before you BART, stop in Sue Bierman Park, also known as the Ferry Park. You'll hear a cackling of wild parrots swirling from tree to tree. Native to South America, these parrots still remain a mystery as to how they came to call spots like Telegraph Hill their home.
2 PM Enter East Bay. Get off BART at 19th Street and grab a coffee and a snack—you're in for a walk. First head to the lake and walk up Oakland Ave to Monte Vista. It gets pretty residential, but don't worry. Tucked back here is the Morcom Amphitheater of Roses. After a brief hiatus, the roses are back in full glory. In varying colors, sizes and origins, this garden holds what are easily the most fragrant roses in the Bay Area. Check it. Once your olfactory nodes are satisfied, head to a local fave dive bar, like Heart and Dagger, and do what you will with the night. Crash at a friend's place, or Airbnb a spot ahead of time. Tomorrow we'll go slow.
Sunday: Highs and lows
12 PM After a night in Oakland (wherever you end up), catch BART back to SF and get off in Glen Park. Glen Park Canyon is an often overlooked, incredibly beautiful nook of land with welcoming, eucalyptus-lined paths and a dog park. The area is strikingly fragrant from the beautiful, invasive trees, and the residential feel of the neighborhood makes for a relaxing stroll. Take your time here.
3 PM End your scenic tour at Twin Peaks, the legendary topographical viewpoint of our glorious city. Take a moment to take in all that you've seen as a tourist in your own home this weekend. Now you're a bonafide SF resident who can make real recommendations when your friends come to visit instead of faking it. Take a cable car back home and cook yourself some Rice-a-Roni. You can do all the cool, locals-only stuff next weekend.
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