Summer is here, and we’re ready to have a great time!
Somehow, we’re already at the beginning of a new month, which means plenty of new things to do in the City. It seems like just yesterday we wrote our article about things to do in May… make sure to give it a read, since a lot of that stuff is still going on!
In any case, Secret San Francisco is ready to bring you a fresh round of awesome activities for the month of June. And what fun activities they are! Whether you’re a foodie looking to try out a new spot, or an outdoorsy type with a hankering for fresh air, these ideas will definitely get the ball rolling. Scroll down to start planning your month!
1. This top-rated wine tour takes you all over Sonoma in a vintage VW bus
If you’re a wine lover, this is the tour for you. Painted Ladies Tour Company has an adorable fleet of multicolored Volkswagen buses that can take you on a variety of tours around the city, but this one has really caught our eye! Their Sonoma Wine Country Tour is the #1 rated wine tour in San Francisco. Up to 8 people can take an intimate trip out to wine country and taste a variety of delicious wines, take beautiful photos, and make memories.
2. View over 800 Frida Kahlo artifacts and artworks in this stunning online exhibit
What if you could experience all of your favorite Frida Kahlo works in just one place and without even leaving your couch? Thanks to the Google Arts & Culture online exhibit “Faces of Frida,” you’ll get to experience over 800 pieces by and of the artist in what might be her most epic exhibition yet!
The site has partnered with 33 museums and other institutions from across seven countries to bring you an expansive exhibit that not only includes the works of Kahlo herself, but also items from private collections and rare artifacts that aren’t usually displayed at exhibits including her journals, letters, clothing and other personal possessions.
3. These wildly popular concerts by candlelight are coming to the Bay Area this summer
Calm your mind and experience classical music in a new light with these sensational concerts in some of the Bay Area’s most magical outdoor locations. Coming in June, this concert series known simply as “Candlelight” invites everyone to relive the greatest works of classical music in an intimate atmosphere.
And after having enormous success around the world—in cities like Paris, New York and L.A.—the experience is finally making its way to the Bay! Buy tickets for San Francisco candlelight concerts here.
4-9. 6 wonderful SF museums and gardens offering free admission days
We love San Francisco for its vibrant culture, history, and resources, but it’s no secret that living here costs a pretty penny. Whether you’re a college student on a budget, or a bargain hunter wanting to see the sights, this list will certainly help you get started! Remember that reservations are necessary at most of these places due to Covid precautions, but check their individual websites for more information.
- SFMOMA: Thursday, June 24
- de Young Museum and Legion of Honor: Tuesday, June 1
- Asian Art Museum: Sunday, June 6
- SF Botanical Garden: Tuesday, June 8 (free every day for SF residents)
- Conservatory of Flowers: Tuesday, June 1
- Japanese Tea Garden: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays before 10am
10. Catch a movie at the Fort Mason drive-in before it closes June 27
The pandemic brought the return of drive-in movies to San Francisco with the launch of Fort Mason FLIX, a fun, popular, and family-friendly pop-up at Fort Mason Center. The drive-in will have its last screening June 27, and they’re going out with a bang! Be sure to check their social media for giveaways, and catch a movie Tuesday-Sunday before they close. This week’s screenings are the following:
- Tuesday, June 1:
- 6:00pm: The Last Dragon
- Wednesday, June 2:
- 6:00pm: The Maltese Falcon
- 9:00pm: They Live
- Thursday, June 3:
- 6:30pm: The Line Between
- Friday, June 4:
- 6:00pm: Grease
- 9:00pm: Hot Fuzz
- Saturday, June 5:
- 6:00pm: Raya & the Last Dragon
- 9:00pm: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Sunday, June 6:
- 9:00pm: John Wick
See the rest of the schedule here!
11. Volcanic eruptions created this magnificent national park just 2 hours south of SF
Pinnacles National Park is a must-see, whether or not you’re a geology enthusiast. Pinnacles is a beautiful rocky landscape that was born from fire – from volcanoes, to be exact! Keep in mind that some parts of the park, including the caves, visitor centers, and shuttle services, are closed due to Covid. The campground, parking lots, and trails remain open. Visitors can enjoy hiking, climbing, camping, bird-watching, and more!
12-16. 5 excellent happy hours you’ve got to try in San Francisco
Happy hour is a great excuse to get out of the house and try a new restaurant, or to make a trip out to your favorite neighborhood haunt. San Francisco has plenty of happy hours to enjoy, and as the weather warms up going into the summer it’s the perfect time to check out some beautiful patios while you’re at it! Here is a list of some must-try happy hours in the City to put on your to-do list.
- Waterbar (2pm-5pm daily)
- El Techo (4pm-6pm Monday-Friday)
- Bar Crudo (4pm-6pm Tuesday-Friday)
- PABU (4-5:30pm Tuesday-Friday)
- La Mar (3pm-5pm Monday-Friday)
17-18. Oracle Park is hosting 2 movie nights in June as part of Pride 2021
Have you ever wanted to watch a movie under the stars? What about on a world-famous baseball diamond? Oracle Park has announced 2 dates in June for outdoor movie screenings, and they’re sure to be absolutely unforgettable. Not only that, but there will be some awesome pre-screening festivities with both virtual and in-person special guests! Seriously, you don’t want to miss this.
San Francisco Pride, Frameline and San Francisco Giants will present In the Heights on Friday, June 11, and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie on Sunday, June 12. Pre-movie festivities will begin at 6:30pm and the films will begin at 8:00pm both nights.
19-28. 10 fascinating outdoor spots for history lovers to visit in San Francisco
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
- Buena Vista Park
- John McLaren statue
- Woods Division Carpentry Shop
- Bison Paddock at Golden Gate Park
29-38. Here’s the scoop: 10 must-try ice cream shops in SF
The weather is warming up, summer is just around the corner, and we’re stoked to round up our favorite ice cream shops around the City! Listen, for a true ice cream fan, it doesn’t matter what season it is. But summertime sure gives us a good excuse to try out a new spot. Did your favorite ice cream shop make the list?
- Ice Cream Bar
- Bi-Rite Creamery
- Humphry Slocombe
- Polly Ann
- Nieves Cinco de Mayo
- Castro Fountain
- Joe’s Ice Cream
39-43. 5 gorgeous spots to ride a bike in San Francisco
When thinking about bikeable cities, San Francisco isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind. It might be that street with a 41% grade (Bradford above Tompkins, anyone?) or some of the sharp turns… but it turns out that there are some very beautiful spots to take your bike for a spin, and the City has some stellar infrastructure for cyclists! Especially if you’re a first-time cyclist in the City, consider planning your next outing at these 5 beautiful routes.
- Golden Gate Park
- The Wiggle
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Angel Island
- Fort Funston
44. Check out this beautiful Harry Potter door near Lombard Street
The Chamber of Secrets has been opened… and it’s in San Francisco! Sculptor Steve Penetti created this 8-foot tall door inspired by the famous door from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” It’s free to visit, but keep in mind this is a private residence! While you’re at it, be sure to check out the enormous welded dragon on the other side of the garage, and the gorilla waving a flag from the roof.
45. You can rent a tipi, fire pit, and more at this massive food truck park in Mission Bay
We love this spot for the great environment and food options, but what’s really caught our eye are the giant tipis available to rent by the hour, complete with comfy couches and TVs! Parklab Gardens and SPARK Social SF are 2 different parks that have joined forces, just across the street from each other.
There’s a variety of spaces you may rent at this enormous park, including lawn areas, fire pits, Adirondack chairs, cabanas, and bungalows. There are also prices for renting larger sections of the park (i.e. 1 bungalow and 2 cabanas), or even the whole park in its entirety.
46. The Skystar Wheel will offer free rides to graduating seniors starting June 2
If you’re a 2021 graduating senior in the San Francisco Unified School District, you’re in luck! Back in March, SF Rec and Parks announced the reopening of the SkyStar Observation Wheel in Golden Gate Park, which was closed to passengers for months due to the pandemic.
They also revealed great news for the class of 2021: Between June 2 and September 6, graduating high school seniors in the SF Unified School District will be eligible for a free ride if they show their SFUSD ID card at the ticket booth.
47. San Francisco’s historic streetcars and subway are back in business!
Those of us who rely on public transportation to get around the City are thrilled to see the reopening of some key routes as of May 15. San Francisco’s historic streetcars have returned to the F Market and Wharves lines, which service between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Castro. They will operate from 11am to 7pm daily every 12 minutes.
SFMTA recently undertook a massive overhaul of their subway system, bringing WiFi and cell service to the stations along with improved lighting, track grinding and more. You can even scan your clipper card from your iPhone!
48. This stunning new plant store is a “shared living room” for the community
Whether or not you have a green thumb, you’ll be blown away by this breathtaking new plant store on Mission Street. Arcana is a newly-opened urban greenhouse featuring dozens of thriving plants, beautifully crafted pottery and gardening tools, and cozy couches for lounging. The high, lofted ceiling features gorgeous raw wooden beams and skylights that let in a flood of light for a large collection of indoor and outdoor plants. It was founded by Iranian asylum seeker, queer activist, artist and SF standout Naz Khorram, who has grand plans for the space. Be sure to check out Arcana at 2512 Mission Street in San Francisco!
49. Enjoy bay views with a beer at Harmonic Brewing’s giant new patio
You have got to check out Harmonic Brewing’s new taproom and patio, part of Thrive City at Chase Center. They’re promising some memorable afternoons at their brand new spot on the water, which has the capacity to hold hundreds of people, although capacity limits are being respected for now due to Covid restrictions. They are now accommodating 50 guests indoors with social distancing and 100 on the patio.
Harmonic Brewing offers some wonderful, iconic craft beers that San Franciscans have enjoyed at their Dogpatch location for years. If you’re an IPA fan, Harmonic crafts a diverse, tasty array of American IPAs, and their rotating beer menu makes for exciting new flavors to try each time you visit.
50-59. 10 recently renovated playgrounds to check out in San Francisco
San Francisco has some of the best playgrounds in the nation, and the City’s children have a total of 179 play areas to enjoy. San Francisco Recreation and Parks has poured millions of dollars into overhauling parks and playground equipment, often funded by the Let’s Play SF! initiative. 2012’s Clean And Safe Neighborhood Parks General Obligation Bond allocated $15.5M for playground renovation, and several other bonds have funded continued playground makeovers since then.
- George Christopher Playground
- Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground
- Redwood Grove Playground
- Sergeant John Mcauley Park
- Margaret Haywood Playground
- West Portal Playground
- Alice Chalmers Playground
- South Park
- Merced Heights Playground
- Panhandle Playground
60-67. 8 of San Francisco’s most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants
Now, we all love a good, cheap burrito or a slice of pizza, but SF’s high-class culinary scene has some awesome gems as well. If you’re looking to treat yourself to a Michelin-starred meal, we’ve put together a list of the most affordable restaurants in San Francisco that have made it into the coveted Michelin Guide. For the best experience, remember to reserve a table at all of these amazing restaurants in advance!
- Al’s Place
- Rich Table
- Kin Khao
- Mister Jiu’s
- State Bird Provisions
- Lord Stanley
68-77. 10 zesty margaritas to enjoy in San Francisco
Cinco de Mayo was last month, giving us a great opportunity to round up some stellar margarita spots in the City. Often mistaken as Mexico’s Independence Day, it actually commemorates Mexico’s underdog victory against France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In Mexico, the day’s importance has faded over time, but its significance in the US has grown substantially as a time to celebrate Mexican-American culture. As with many US holidays, commercialization has more or less turned May 5 into another excuse to party. If you like to partake in a margarita or 2 on this special day or any other, we put this list together to help you get started in the City!
- El Techo
- Puerto Alegre
- Gracias Madre
- Underdogs Tres
- Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant
78. You can finally get tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Ocean lovers, rejoice! The fascinating Monterey Bay Aquarium, located just 2 hours down the coast from San Francisco, has finally reopened. The aquarium has been closed since March 13, 2020, but it is now open at 25% capacity and with many Covid precautions.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in 1984 and was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest. It’s known for displaying animals native to the Monterey Bay and beyond, including jellyfishes, octopuses, sea otters, penguins, sharks, and more. The Aquarium has over 80,000 animals and plants representing more than 1,700 species. They also support many initiatives to decrease plastic pollution, promote sustainable seafood, fight climate change, and preserve California’s ocean ecosystems.
79. San Francisco Public Library is finally opening up more branches
Welcome back in, SF! (Sound UP!)
👏👏👏 Today, our Main Library opened its doors for browsing. It warms our hearts ♥️ to see familiar faces and fans of the Library!
— SF Public Library (@SFPublicLibrary) May 3, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a lot of simple pleasures away, from dining in a restaurant to getting a new haircut. But as things start to open back up, we’re very excited to see that San Francisco’s spectacular public library system is returning, so that local bookworms can start browsing for their next page-turner!
The Main Branch (100 Larkin Street), Chinatown/Him Mark Lai Branch (1135 Powell Street), and Mission Bay Branch (960 Fourth Street)are all now open. More branches are expected to open on June 21st and 22nd, including the Excelsior Branch (4400 Mission St), the Ortega Branch (3223 Ortega St), the Richmond/Sen. Milton Marks Jr. branch (351 9th Ave), and the Visitacion Valley branch (201 Leland Ave).
80. There’s an Alpine coaster with stunning views of Lake Tahoe
For those that are lucky enough to reside in California and pay a visit to this amazing spot, you may want to direct your gaze upwards, towards the rocky peaks for a lesser-known activity at the Heavenly Mountain Resort. We’re talking about the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster.
You’ll notice something that resembles a rogue seat with wheels, racing through the pine trees and rock formations and you’ll probably hear the occasional scream echo through the area. The track starts with a steepish drop and feels like you’re about to head straight off the edge before it takes a sharp turn. It continues to wind its way down the incline until it reaches the landing where you’ll see excited faces with a classic windswept hairdo. A ticket for both rides starts at $43.00 for kids and goes up to $71.00 for adults.
81. You can rent out this cozy Oakland movie theater to watch whatever you want
Oakland’s iconic New Parkway Theater might fly under the radar for most San Franciscans, but it makes quite the statement. At the moment, it’s closed due to current COVID-19 restrictions, but you can actually rent out one of their 2 large screening rooms for private viewings. Meaning that you’ll have access to an enormous theater with HD digital projection and surround sound, plenty of cozy seating, and first-class treatment for 3 hours to watch whatever you want! New Parkway Theater’s chef will prepare a 3-4 course meal especially for your party, and you’ll be served “all the drinks you can drink.”
82-93. 11 spectacular day trips to take from San Francisco
- Pinnacles National Park
- Alamere Falls
- Sonoma wine tour
- Filoli Estate and gardens
- Muir Woods
- Mount Tamalpais
- Inverness Shipwreck
- McWay Falls
- Gerbode Valley
- Cataract Falls
- Wilder Ranch
94-114. 21 burgers recommended by San Franciscans, for San Franciscans
National Hamburger Day was Friday, May 28, and we took the opportunity to ask our Instagram followers for their best burger recommendations in the City! They certainly did not disappoint, and below you’ll find a map of the most epic burger spots in San Francisco.
115-120. 6 marvelous rooftop bars to check out in San Francisco
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. Whether you prefer a swanky environment with craft cocktails, or a laid-back terrace to enjoy a cold beer, we’re sure you’ll find something on this list that caters to your sensibility. Start planning your summer, San Francisco, because you’ll want to hit all of these places at least once! Scroll down to the bottom for a handy map to get you started.
- El Techo
- Dirty Habit
- Rooftop at VIA
- Rooftop 25
- 620 Jones
Featured Image: @minimalistaesthetics via Instagram]