- A Day in Golden Gate Park: Exploring Golden Gate Park is an essential part of the San Francisco experience. Its arboreal paths stretch from the Haight all the way to Ocean Beach, offering dozens of fun things to do along the way. Top sights are the Conservatory of Flowers, the Japanese Tea Garden, the fabulous de Young Museum, and its eco-fabulous cross-concourse neighbor, the California Academy of Sciences. The best time to go is Sunday, when main roads in the park are closed to traffic. Toward the end of the day, head west to the beach and watch the sunset.
- A Walk Along the Coastal Trail: Stroll the forested Coastal Trail from Cliff House to the Golden Gate Bridge, and you’ll see why San Franciscans put up with living on a fault line. Start at the parking lot just above Cliff House and head north. On a clear day, you’ll have incredible views of the Marin Headlands, but even on foggy days, it’s worth the trek to scamper over old bunkers and relish the cool, salty air. Dress warmly.
- A Wine Country Excursion: It’ll take you about an hour to get there, but once you arrive you’ll want to hopscotch from one winery to the next, perhaps picnic in the vineyards. And consider this: When the city is fogged in and cold, especially in summer, Napa and Sonoma can be more than 50 degrees warmer.
- A Climb up or down the Filbert Street Steps: San Francisco is a city of stairways, and the crème de la crème of scenic steps is Filbert Street between Sansome Street and the east side of Telegraph Hill, where steep Filbert Street becomes Filbert Steps, a 377-stair descent that wends its way through flower gardens and some of the city’s oldest and most varied housing. It’s a beautiful walk down from Coit Tower, and great exercise going up.
- Bike the Golden Gate Bridge: Go see the friendly folks over at Blazing Saddles in Fisherman’s Wharf and ask them to hook you up. Rent a bike and pedal over this San Francisco icon on your own. Take a guided tour over the bridge down into Sausalito, and return to the city by ferry. Heck, they even rent electric bikes—now that is my kind of outdoor adventure.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.