Time to get out and smell the cherry blossoms!
Happy spring, SF! April is here and it will definitely be better than last year’s locked down Easter. Restaurants are opening up, we’re finally getting vaccinated, and we all are overdue to enjoy the city at its best.
Whether you want to enjoy some of San Francisco’s stellar cuisine, or go see the tulip bloom in Golden Gate Park, we’ve got you covered with some exciting and creative ideas this month. Scroll down to start planning your April!
1. Enjoy a laugh at this awesome Drive-In Drag Show!
The contestants from season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race are here to save 2021! The fabulous lineup of performers includes Aquaria, Naomi Smalls, Violet Chachki, and many more. Drive & Drag Saves 2021 will be coming to San Francisco on May 7, 8, and 9 at the Southland Mall in Hayward, but be sure to reserve your tickets now to make sure you don’t miss out on all the fun!
2. Admire the tulip bloom in Golden Gate Park.
Golden Gate Park is home to dozens of stunning gardens, including the famous Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers. Now that spring is upon us, thousands of incredible flowers are appearing all over the City, and you have got to see this tulip bloom happening right now.
Find the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden at 1690 John F. Kennedy Drive in the northwest corner of Golden Gate Park. It’s open 24/7 and free to visit.
3. Take a daytrip out to Mt. Tamalpais State Park.
Mount Tamalpais is a gorgeous hiking destination just an hour outside of the city. Cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge and you’ll find dozens of beautiful spots in Marin, but Mt. Tamalpais really takes the cake for its panoramic views, grassy meadows, and magical forests. Be sure to make time to see this magical state park in person, whether its for hiking, biking, or just a scenic drive.
4-13. Enjoy a picnic at one of these 10 gorgeous spots in the city.
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. Whether you want to support a local cafe and get some amazing food to go, or you prefer to pack your own delicious recipe to enjoy out in the sunshine, you’ll love all of these great options. Some are SF staples, and some are a little less well-known.
- Conservatory of Flowers
- Old Speedway Meadow
- Pine Lake Park
- Salesforce Park
- Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers
- Mission Dolores Park
- Crissy Field
- Fort Scott Community Garden
- Yerba Buena Gardens
- Bernal Heights Park
14-19. Visit these 6 outdoor historical sites in the city.
If you’re a history lover living in the Bay Area, you’ll know that it’s full of amazing stories that have fallen through the cracks over time. Although many historic sites have been built over or otherwise erased from the city’s landscape, some of these gems are still around, and you can visit them today! All of these exciting SF spots are outdoors and free to visit.
- Fort Miley Military Reservation
- Portals of the Past
- Lotta’s Fountain
- Sutro Baths
- Battery Chamberlin
- Mountain Lake
20. Go see the Gate Guy on Page Street.
Todd A. Young is a local artist with a talent for seeing beauty in the mundane. Where others might see a wrought-iron gate, he sees a canvas. And he’s been decorating his front gate every month since 2014, uploading photos of his creations to @thegateguysf on Instagram.
You can find Young’s legendary gate on the 200 block of Page Street, at a blue house with a large bougainvillea and geranium bush.
21-25. Visit one of these beautiful destinations on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
San Francisco is full of awesome things to do, but the city can be a bit fast-paced for those of us who like to take it easy. And if you’re a nature lover, you know how much a breath of fresh air can change your perspective when things get too stressful.
Whether you want to go for an intensive Saturday morning hike, or you just want to drive out and catch the sunset over the ocean, consider these 5 places when planning your next trip across the bridge.
- Gerbode Valley
- Muir Woods
- Cataract Falls
- Alamere Falls
- Drakes Beach
26. Snap some shots of the S.S Point Reyes in Inverness.
The S.S. Point Reyes is an old abandoned fishing boat that’s been stranded on a sand bar in Inverness for several decades. According to photographer Greg Disch, it belonged to a local resident who intended to repair it, but ended up beaching it in the Tomales Bay.
To visit the S.S. Point Reyes in Inverness, California, you’ll want to drive out to 12781 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Keep an eye out for the Inverness Store, where you can park and then go find the boat out in the water. There’s an old dirt trail that takes you near it, and even a small picnic area, but depending on the water level that day, it may be more or less difficult to see it up close.
27. Apply for your dream job at this Sonoma winery.
[Image: @murphygoodewine via Instagram]
Last month, Murphy-Goode Winery posted an incredible job listing for those looking to get into the wine industry, or as they call it, “A Really Goode Job.” They’re offering a $10,000 a month salary and free rent for a year in Healdsburg, where you can jumpstart your career in winemaking under the leadership of Murphy-Goode winemaker Dave Ready Jr. If that weren’t enough, you’ll also get 30 cases of wine! Be sure to submit your video application no later than June 30, 2021.
28. Get vaccinated!
CA has distributed 16 million vaccines.
And now, we’re opening up eligibility.
Starting April 1st: those 50 and older will be eligible to get a vaccine.
Starting April 15th: those 16 and older can get a vaccine. pic.twitter.com/Ilq7o9H3sw
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 25, 2021
CA Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is expanding for people over 50 starting April 1, and people over 16 starting April 15.
California’s official website to check vaccine eligibility, make appointments, and sign up for notifications is MyTurn.ca.gov, which is available in 12 different languages. You can also get notifications in the Bay Area Vaccine Notification group on Telegram, which is organized by community members. Covid-19 vaccines are free to people who live and work in San Francisco, and you do not need insurance.
29. Take a trip south to see the Filoli estate and gardens.
Filoli is just 30 miles south of San Francisco, and its gardens are in full bloom. According to its website, the Filoli property covers 654 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The house and garden themselves cover 16 immaculate acres, having been beautifully maintained for over a century. Visitors may enjoy daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and blue violas in the spring, and zinnias, roses and salvias in the summer. There are also over 250 fruit trees, among dozens of other gorgeous treasures.
You may visit Filoli at 86 Cañada Road in Woodside, CA with prior reservation from 10am-5pm daily. General admission costs $25 and there are reduced prices available for children, seniors and students. Face coverings are required and there is a small cafe available with outdoor and limited indoor dining.
30. Go for a swim in the brand new pool at Garfield Square Recreation Center.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the completion of the Garfield Square Recreation Center on March 15. It took 2.5 years and $19.7 million dollars to transform this public space in the Mission District, which now serves the community in myriad ways. You can visit the Garfield Center at 3100 26th Street in San Francisco. The pool was set to open when rec centers were given permission, so keep an eye on the project page for updates about how you can make a reservation!
31. Check out the stunning cherry blossoms at the Japanese Tea Garden.
Every year we eagerly await the return of the beautiful cherry blossoms, and they are indeed starting to bloom now at Golden Gate Park’s famous Japanese Tea Garden, which is the oldest public Japanese garden in the US. Be sure to visit soon and catch these beautiful flowers through the beginning of April.
General admission is $12, and SF residents with ID can enter the garden for $7. Reduced pricing is available for seniors, youth, and children. The Japanese Tea Garden also participates in Museums for All, meaning that free general admission is available for those receiving food assistance who present a valid EBT card upon entry. The garden is open from 9-5pm 7 days a week, with a free hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9-10am. Visit the garden at 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
32. Build your own unique arrangement at the Succulence Planting Bar.
Succulence Life and Garden is an adorable plant store in Bernal Heights where you can actually have an interactive planting experience after you browse their awesome selection. At the Planting Bar, you can create your own unique terrarium, vertical garden, or traditional horizontal planting with help from their staff.
For horizontal plantings, Succulence charges $10 per hour plus $2 per inch above 4 inches. For terrariums, vertical gardens and other projects, they charge $60 per hour in 15 minute increments, with a $15 minimum.
Visit Succulence at 402 Cortland Avenue in Bernal Heights, San Francisco. They’re open from 10am to 5:30pm every day, although the Planting Bar closes at 5pm.
33 – 46. Visit one of San Francisco’s newly opened museums.
We’re extremely fortunate to live amongst some of the world’s most interesting and dynamic museums. This year has been all the more difficult given their closure, but as San Francisco emerges from lockdown, the City has been able to welcome back some of our favorite spots. Whether you’re interested in fine art or biology, these impressive museums won’t disappoint.
All museums have Covid-compliant precautions in place, such as sanitizing stations, reduced capacity, timed ticketing, mandatory face coverings, and more. If you prefer to take a virtual tour for now, most of them have online options available as well.
- Art Museums
- de Young Museum
- Asian Art Museum
- SF Museum of Modern Art
- Cartoon Art Museum
- Museum of Craft and Design
- Zoos and Science Museums
- San Francisco Zoo
- California Academy of Sciences
- Aquarium of the Bay
- Conservatory of Flowers
- San Francisco Botanical Garden
- Japanese Tea Garden
- History Museums
- Alcatraz Island
- Contemporary Jewish Museum
- Walt Disney Family Museum
47. Practice your swing on Golden Gate Park’s brand new tennis courts.
We have exciting news! The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Tennis Center is opening March 3rd. Due to Covid-19 health…
A $27M renovation has brought 16 state-of-the-art courts and more to SF’s tennis community. San Francisco Recreation and Parks announced that the Lisa & Douglas Goldman Tennis Center will be open to the public starting Wednesday, March 3. You can reserve a court by calling (415) 581-2540 or visiting the Goldman Tennis Center website. Reservations are required in accordance with Covid-19 health precautions.
48. Donate to a local AAPI community organization.
Recent attacks on the Bay Area’s elderly Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander populations have led to national outcry against anti-Asian racism. If you’re looking for ways to help, consider donating or getting involved in one of these 20 local AAPI community nonprofits.
49. Try this luxurious matcha soft serve dripping in 24K gold.
If you want a dessert as delicious as it is luxurious, then you’ll want to try Matcha Cafe Maiko. Their Golden “Shogun” Soft Serve is a lavish and picture perfect treat you’ll be craving as the weather starts to heat up. This dessert features a swirl of creamy soft serve in your favorite flavor–try their matcha or ube flavors inside a freshly-made waffle cone. The real fun starts when they add the real and edible 24k gold leaf that tops each cone. Find Matcha Cafe Maiko at one of their 3 SF locations:
- 1581 Webster Street Suite 175 (11:30am-7pm Sun – Thurs, 11:30am-8pm Sat/Sun)
- 3251 20th Ave (10am-9pm Mon – Sat, 11am-6pm Sun)
- 754 Grant Ave (12am-6pm Tues – Sun)
50. Get a free doughnut from Krispy Kreme after you get vaccinated.
Krispy Kreme just announced that anyone who has received their COVID-19 vaccine — and shows a valid vaccination card — can get a free glazed doughnut at any store location in the U.S. Not only can you get one at any time on any day, but you can even keep getting one every day through the rest of 2021!
Lamentably, San Francisco’s only Krispy Kreme closed last month. But if you find yourself in any of these nearby Bay Area cities, you’re in luck!
51. Enjoy one of these gorgeous sushi take-out boxes.
The Shota is a popular Japanese restaurant in the financial district that prepares delicious sushi dishes and more. They specialize in Edomae-style omakase sushi and Kaiseki-inspired dishes, using high-quality seafood flown from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. You can order for pickup or delivery here.
52. Get a steaming bowl of ramen in 45 seconds at one of these Bay Area vending machines.
Sometimes you just need a hot bowl of noodles to get you through the day. And you’re in luck, because Yo-Kai Express has state-of-the-art vending machines placed all over the Bay Area and beyond. Even better, they’re operational 24/7 so you can get gourmet ramen whenever you want.
Public machines in the Bay Area may be found at the following locations:
- SF Metreon, 135 Fourth Street, San Francisco
- Milk Tea Lab, 630 El Camino Real, San Francisco
- Milk Tea Lab, 1601 Branham Lane, San Jose
- Aloft Hotel SFO, 401 E Millbrae Ave, Millbrae
- Aloft Hotel Santa Clara, 510 America Center Ct, San Jose
53. Enjoy a gourmet bagel from this Berkeley bagel shop that puts NY to shame.
In March, we all heard the shocking news that the New York Times, famed publication of the Empire State, elected a distinctly Californian bagel shop for the title of “Best New York-style bagels.” It’s Boichik Bagels in Berkeley, and boy are New Yorkers pissed. Be sure to stop by and decide for yourself! This awesome shop can be found at 3170 College Avenue in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood. They’re open Wednesday through Sunday from 7:30am to 1pm.
54-58. Enjoy some of SF’s iconic sourdough bread at one of these amazing local bakeries.
San Francisco is famous for having extra delicious sourdough bread, made iconic by the City’s naturally-occurring bacteria Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. Ask any SF resident and they’ll tell you their own favorite spot to pick up this tangy, chewy loaf – but we think we’ve got a solid roundup here to get you started.
- Josey Baker Bread at The Mill
- Rize Up Sourdough
- Tartine Bakery
- Boudin Bakery
- Acme Bread Company
59-69. Wolf down one of these delicious burritos.
It’s no secret that California is home to some of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico, and the mix of cultures and cuisines in the Bay Area provides for some awesome fusion options in addition to authentic taquerias. Some might say that burritos are a staple of California cuisine, which is lucky for us, because they are delicious whether you enjoy them at a picnic in the park or at a classy sit-down restaurant.
- Señor Sisig
- La Taqueria
- Pancho Villa Taqueria
- Chuy’s Fiestas
- Taqueria Los Coyotes
- Hook Fish Co.
- Taqueria Cancun
- El Farolito
70-76. Shake up your Easter with one of these 7 spring cocktails.
Spring has already begun, and if the past year is any indication, it will zip by us before we know it! We’re all especially excited to enjoy the floral scents and fresh air after 2020’s more locked-down Easter season. Whether you plan on organizing an Easter egg hunt at home, or cooking up an unforgettable meal, consider these lush libations to take your socially distanced home celebration to the next level.
- Cotton Candy Champagne
- Cherry Blossom Cocktail
- White Wine Slushies
- Patrón’s Platinum Margarita
- Sloe it Down
- June Blush Cocktail
- RumHaven’s Daisy from Haven
[Featured Image: @hellonipomo via Instagram]