Spring is just around the corner, and there’s no shortage of amazing stuff going on.
The Bay Area is full of interesting activities and events all year round, but you’ve got to put some of these ideas on your calendar ASAP. We’ve got you covered for Covid-safe activities, many of them outdoors, that you can enjoy during spring break and beyond.
1. See the magnolias at the San Francisco Botanical Garden
Every year, the San Francisco Botanical Garden explodes into a beautiful spectrum of deep magentas and bright pinks. The “Magnificent Magnolias” event occurs only in February and March, so be sure to find a day ASAP to see these spectacular blossoms at their best.
2. Visit the elephant seals at Point Reyes
Drakes Beach at Point Reyes will be hosting up to 600 seals through March, which may be viewed from the Drakes Beach parking lot Friday through Monday from 9am to 5pm.
3. Take a ride on the Esmeralda Park slides
[Image: @littlehiccups via Instagram]
In the late 1970s, Esmeralda Slide Park was officially unveiled in Bernal Heights. It’s a hidden neighborhood gem, complete with a sweet garden and great views, created by neighborhood volunteers with the help of city agencies. It’s especially worth a visit to take a trip down these 40-foot metal slides, which will definitely get your heart racing.
4. Get an outdoor haircut at the Bus Stop Barbershop
The Bus Stop Barbershop has seven talented barbers ready to give you a fresh undercut, fade, pompadour, trim, or really whatever you desire. Plan your next haircut at this awesome spot in SoMa, “where safety is as important as your style.”
5. Barter for sourdough starter from this SF bakery
Josey Baker Bread mills all organic, whole-grain rye flour on-site daily. You can barter with them for a bit of their legendary sourdough starter and try your hand baking at home! The amateur bakers of San Francisco have been known to exchange hand-written poems, drawings, paintings, photography, six-packs of beer, and more.
6. Spot 30 harbor porpoises in an hour from the Golden Gate Bridge
30 years ago, you never would’ve seen so many harbor porpoises in the Bay. During World War II, an anti-submarine net was set up there, cutting the porpoises off from their usual feeding spot. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that gillnetting was finally banned. This, combined with improved water quality, ultimately saved the Harbor Porpoise population. Beginning in about 2009, harbor porpoises started appearing by the hundreds in the San Francisco Bay. Their population is now estimated at 7,777 individuals.
7-16. Visit a farmers’ market
If you live in the Bay Area, you know that we have access to some of the best produce in the country. That’s why farmer’s markets are a must for countless SF residents who enjoy getting their food from local sources. Be sure to stop by these 10 fantastic farmer’s markets, located all around the city and bringing new, fresh produce to you every weekend.
- Alemany Farmers’ Market
- Noe Valley Farmers’ Market
- Fillmore Farmers’ Market
- Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market
- Heart of the City Farmers’ Market
- Clement Street Farmers’ Market
- Stonestown Farmers’ Market
- Inner Sunset Farmers’ Market
- Outer Sunset Farmers’ Market & Mercantile
- Fort Mason Center Farmer’s Market
17. Visit the newly-opened San Francisco Zoo
At the beginning of February, the San Francisco Zoo reopened for visitors after the December shutdown that affected businesses all across California. You can now reserve a date and time online to visit the zoo at 50% capacity.
18. Adopt a pair of SF’s wild parrots
You may have seen these iconic wild parrots cackling over by the Ferry Building. Their population is unfortunately suffering from neurological problems due to private use of rat poison, according to Mickaboo, a parrot rescue organization. When they are unable to keep up with the flock, or if they’re otherwise injured from collisions with buildings or vehicles, Mickaboo takes them in.
You can apply to adopt or foster a pair of Mickaboo’s parrots by going through the approval process, which consists of a free bird class, a phone interview, a home visit, and an adoption fee.
19-27. Find these 9 hidden gems at the Presidio
The Presidio is one of San Francisco’s famous parks, located on a former military post. There’s a lot to do on 1,500 acres, and these hidden gems are certainly worth the visit.
- Fort Scott Organic Community Garden
- El Polín Spring
- Presidio Pet Cemetery
- Lobos Valley Overlook
- Mountain Lake
Andy Goldsworthy sculptures:
28. See the Harry Potter door near Lombard Street
Any loyal Harry Potter fan will recognize this characteristic Chamber of Secrets door right near Lombard Street. You cannot enter through the door as this is a private residence, but you can pass by 2645 Leavenworth Street to check it out. The 8-foot tall door was created by sculptor Steve Penetti and is free to visit.
29-38. Adopt some new plant children
Are you an avid gardener with dozens of thriving plants? Or a college student trying to revive your only succulent? No matter who you are, you can surely appreciate the life and energy that these little green friends bring into your home. San Francisco is full of countless awesome plant stores and nurseries, but we’ve rounded up the 10 best ones so you can continue growing your plant family.
- Clement Nursery
- Flowercraft Garden Center
- Sloat Garden Center
- SF Plants
- Flora Grubb Gardens
- Living Green Design
- Paxton Gate
39. Take a stroll around Salesforce Park
Downtown SF is home to countless modern marvels, but none so impressive as Salesforce Park, a lush rooftop landscape situated atop the Salesforce Transit Center. It’s an incredible, albeit controversial, ode to Big Tech and the future of city infrastructure. Be sure to check it out from 6am to 8pm every day, or until 9pm on Sundays. Salesforce Park is located at 425 Mission Street in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena district.
40-49. Eat your way through the 10 best pancake spots in SF
We asked our Instagram followers for their best pancake recommendations in the city. They didn’t disappoint, and below we’ve rounded up the 10 most popular responses!
- Kitchen Story
- Gram Cafe
- Dottie’s True Blue Café
- Early to Rise
- Tyger’s Coffee Shop
50. Watch expert carpenters restore San Francisco’s historic cable cars
Woods Division Carpentry Shop is always buzzing with the responsibility of restoring San Francisco’s fleet of iconic cable cars. You can actually watch the expert carpenters carry out their craft in a bus yard at 1040 Minnesota Street in the Dogpatch district. Take a peek through the windows or wire fencing sometime before 2:30pm to see these historic cars being restored right before your eyes.
51-60. Enjoy a relaxing outdoor brunch
Some would argue that brunch is the most important meal of the day. Be sure to get your recommended daily allowance of crispy bacon, fluffy pancakes, mimosas, and egg scrambles at these 10 spectacular brunch spots around the city.
- Palette Tea House
- Magic Flute Ristorante
- Rose’s Café
- Kitchen Story
- Sweet Maple
- Plain Jane
[Featured Image: @thatisjoshua2u via Instagram]