Stay safe this weekend and start 2022 on the right foot!
San Francisco’s highly-anticipated NYE fireworks show has just been canceled amid rising Covid levels, and it’s looking like some of the city’s sold-out NYE events may soon follow suit.
In the wake of last week’s article rounding up New Year’s celebrations around the city, we know it’s time to put together a tamer roundup of Covid-safe ways to ring in the New Year as well, be it for the midnight countdown or a fresh start on New Year’s Day. Remember to socially distance, get boosted, stay safe, and have fun!
Upgrade your at-home celebration:
1. Pick up some nice booze from a local business
Wine: Most SF wine bars sell their bottles to go, and some have delivery services. Our favorites include Ruby Wine, VinoRosso, and Arlequin Wine Merchant.
Beer: Bay Area breweries are some of the best in the biz – now is a great time to do some beer tasting! Buy a few cans to go and make your own flights at home, or get a growler of your favorite stuff. Some of our go-to breweries are Laughing Monk, Speakeasy, and Barebottle.
Cocktails and mixers: Many SF cocktail hotspots started serving versions of to-go cocktails and mixers during the pandemic. Consider checking out Quik Dog by Trick Dog (bottled cocktails for delivery or pick-up) ChezChez (to-go spritz kits), ABV (to-go pineapple sherry available at the bar), or The Snug (to-go nitro margarita and prickly pear, with a food purchase).
Non-alcoholic drinks: Ocean Beach Cafe is working on building the world’s largest collection of non-alcoholic drinks, and their selection of NA beers, spirits, and more is incredible! Quik Dog by Trick Dog is also offering a small selection of NA items to go.
2. Round out your charcuterie board with local meats and cheeses
A charcuterie board is an easy and fun way to treat yourself at home. The Bay Area has some excellent cheesemongers including La Fromagerie (now offering free delivery) and Cheese Board Collective (walk-up window). You can also get some great cured meats at Molinari Delicatessen and Fatted Calf. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for small batch artisanal goods, consider The Epicurean Trader.
3. Host the ultimate game night
Now’s your cue to break open the game cabinet! Looking for some new games to try while you’re stuck inside? Consider paying a visit to Gamescape, an SF institution dating back to 1985, or Game Post, which has a section of secondhand games at discounted prices. One easy and fun card game we’ve been loving lately is Virus!, for its tongue-in-cheek pandemic relevance.
4. Discover a new Bay Area playlist
Maybe now’s the time to get in touch with those Bay Area roots. Groove to some of the Bay’s best sounds with playlists such as The Best of the Bay Area Playlist (from local favorite Bay Area Memes), The Perfect Playlist for Exploring the Bay Area (from The Bold Italic), or A Hyphy Movement Playlist (from UC Berkeley’s The Daily Clog)
Restaurants with outdoor seating
5. Have a romantic evening on an outdoor patio
The perfect romantic date spot can take a variety of forms, but a night of upscale dining al fresco is a classic go-to. We rounded up 10 restaurants with magical outdoor patios to enjoy a variety of delicious food options, creative cocktails, and much more. Some of our favorites include Foreign Cinema, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, and Dirty Habit.
6. Enjoy a New Year’s Day brunch al fresco
Our outdoor brunch roundup is chock-full of favorite local brunch restaurants, all of which have ample outdoor seating. Memorable spots include Palette Tea House, Fable, and Kitchen Story.
7. Sip on cocktails with a view at a local rooftop bar
Everyone knows that rooftops in San Francisco are few and far between, but we managed to round up some stellar spots to try out when you’re looking to grab dinner or drinks with a view. Some of our favorites are El Techo, Rooftop 25, and Charmaine’s.
8. Visit a beer garden for awesome brews and fresh air
The Bay Area is home to some of the best craft beer in the country, and SF’s beer gardens are hard to beat. Consider paying a visit to these open-air beer spots including Harmonic Brewing at Thrive City or Anchor Brewing Public Taps.
Outdoor activities and exercise
9. Explore a local tide pool
If you’re a California native lucky enough to live on the coast, then you know that tide pooling is an awesome way to enjoy the beach! We’ve put together a list of great tide pools to visit around the Bay Area, but some of our favorites are Duxbury Reef Reserve, Davenport Beach, and Pigeon Point Light Station Historic Park.
10. Breathe some fresh air on one of the Bay Area’s best hiking trails
Whether you’re looking for a quick stroll in the city or a more strenuous day hike in Marin, you’ll love these incredible hikes for a chance to stretch your legs. Great ones include the Lands End Trail, Mori Point, and Cataract Falls.
11. Enjoy the last sunset of the year at a gorgeous viewing spot
There’s truly no shortage of excellent places to see a sunset in the Bay, but we did our best to narrow it down in our roundup of sunset viewing spots. Essentials include Twin Peaks, Ina Coolbrith Park, and Muir Beach Overlook.
12. Check out a new picnic spot for a socially-distanced feast
San Francisco is home to some of the best parks and gardens in the world, so there’s no shortage of awesome picnic spots for you to enjoy a socially distanced meal with friends. A few favorites include Old Speedway Meadow, Pine Lake Park, and Crissy Field.
And finally… if all else fails, take a raincheck and celebrate Chinese New Year in February
Did y’all forget San Francisco has one of the nation’s oldest and most deeply rooted Chinatowns? Lucky for us, we have another chance to ring in the new year in February, when the city’s 2-week Chinese New Year festival is set to take the city by storm. So stay safe, stay healthy, and hang tight!
Take care and enjoy your last few days of 2021! We at Secret San Francisco wish you all the best as we begin 2022.
Featured image: @cookdog77 via Instagram