What to do in San Francisco?
July 3, 2006 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Looking for good music, drinks, dancing (no pop music), theater, food, sight-seeing, adventure, etc. in San Francisco for a summer vacation. It will be me and my girl. It will also be her birthday.

I've read some other ask.me threads but they're all too specific. I'll be spending several days in the SF area sometime between July 19th and the end of the month. Any specific suggestions or resources that will help me find good things is appreciated. I've already checked out upcoming.org and laughingsquid.com.
posted by jruckman to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There's also sfstation and flavorpill and the Bay Guardian.
posted by vacapinta at 4:38 PM on July 3, 2006

I highly recommend going to see Teatro ZinZanni - It's a great dinner, and a great show. It's that kind of unique experience that makes for a great special occation dinner.
posted by antimony at 4:57 PM on July 3, 2006

My husband and I went to a lot of nice restaurants while on our honeymoon in San Francisco.

Some memorable places to dine are:

Harris' Restaurant
Rose Pistola
Restaurant LuLu
Scala's Bistro

Plumpjack Cafe

Do you already have accommodation? If not, I can recommend the Union Street Inn.

Tripadvisor.com is the best! Check it out.

Cool Things to do in San Francisco

Of course you will have to visit Alcatraz, and all of the other tourist destinations like Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower. I loved them all. We had such a great time in San Francisco. It's cliche, but you really do leave your heart there. I would love to live in San Francisco. It's beautiful, and you get the most amazing feeling while you are there.

Have fun!
posted by LoriFLA at 6:26 PM on July 3, 2006

Coit Tower is a must if you're visiting. Try to go near the end of the day and watch the sun set. If the weather is right, fog will roll in and consume the Golden Gate as the sun lights it. It's beautiful. I go and look at it sometimes myself, and I'm a resident :)

I can also recommend A. Sabella's on Taylor Street as a good place to go for a nice meal. I often take special ladies there. I've also heard good things about Julius' Castle, which is near Coit Tower, but I haven't actually been there yet.
posted by autojack at 7:36 PM on July 3, 2006

C. Bobby's Owl Tree is a great place for cocktails.
posted by Ohdemah at 7:44 PM on July 3, 2006

Cafe du Nord was a speakeasy during prohibition, and it hasn't changed all that much inside. I've seen (and danced to) all sorts of bands including salsa, swing, jazz and 1920's style crooners. I've heard that they're booking more of what you might consider pop nowadays, but it's worth a look.

There must be a hundred different restaurants within a 1/2 mile radius of the club, so you'll be able to find a yummy dinner beforehand.

I also highly recommend a ferryboat ride to Angel Island. You can hike around and explore the natural flora and fauna of the Bay Area and then find a quiet picnic spot with a great view of the bay.

Please promise me that you'll pack for a trip to San Francisco in the summer, rather than a trip to California. It can get cold, windy and foggy at night, so pack a sweater and some long pants.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 9:34 PM on July 3, 2006

It can get cold, windy and foggy at night, so pack a sweater and some long pants.

Second this. It will be freezing cold at night, especially for girls. A skimpy cardigan is inadequate. We went on a picnic last Sunday at Crissy Field (near the GG bridge) and my friend ended up wrapped in our stadium blanket because she forgot to wear a sweater.

I like to wander around Golden Gate Park. I like to stare at the Golden Gate Bridge. I like to go to the Ferry Building and the farmers market there to try the fancy food. (Perhaps for a picnic? You could go to the market and then catch the N-Judah and head out to Ocean Beach, which I should mention is way too cold and foggy to be a beach in the traditional sense.)
posted by bisesi at 11:21 PM on July 3, 2006

I recommend just wandering the different neighborhoods. Maybe pick one or two per day.
Here are some of my favorite hoods and hangouts:

North Beach - City Lights Bookstore/Washingon Square
Haight Street - Amoeba Records/Aardvark's
Financial District - The Ferry Building/SFMOMA/Yerba Buena
Golden Gate Park - The Beach Chalet

I also highly recommend Teatro ZinZanni.
posted by anarcation at 12:33 AM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the recommendations, and the warnings about the colder SF weather. I didn't know it was going to be that chilly.
posted by jruckman at 7:31 AM on July 4, 2006

If you bike, you can rent bikes and do a leisurely ride along the length of Embarcadero Street. This street wraps around the outer east and northern edge of San Francisco and takes you from Giants ballpark, past Ferry Building, Fisherman's Wharf, Crissy Field, and ends at Fort Point underneath the base of Golden Gate Bridge. If you start around noon and take it easy, you should be able to loop back just in time for dinner.

Oh and I'd avoid Julius' Castle. It's got a nice view but you're paying through the nose for it - the food is really meh.

My favorite restaurants in SF are A16 (Italian), B44 (Spanish paella), Zarzuela (Spanish tapas), Fringale (French basque), Suppenkuche (German), Kokkari (Mediterranean), Chapeau! (French), and Thai House Express. Yelp.com is great for finding more.
posted by junesix at 10:16 AM on July 4, 2006

I also third the recommendation for Teatro ZinZanni. Absolutely wonderful dinner and show.
posted by junesix at 10:18 AM on July 4, 2006

Take her for a cocktail at Harry Denton's Starlight Room. I recommend a Cable Car.
posted by MrMustard at 7:11 AM on July 5, 2006

There's a nice restaurant at the ocean end of Golden Gate Park - have lunch there and then go for a walk through the park. The Irish Bank was cozy and had good food. Try to sit in the confessional booth for some privacy. I liked this better than I thought I would - even my wife found it interesting. The Ghost Tour was really fun - it meets at the Queen Anne Hotel which is worth seeing in itself. God I love San Francisco.
posted by philad at 12:06 AM on July 6, 2006

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