Sight set on a trip to San Francisco? Dalton Johnson has just the ideas for you! In today’s Weekend Agenda, Dalton –– photographer, adventurer, and storyteller –– and his friend Abi share some fun, active, and COVID-safe spots you can explore while enjoying the city by the Bay. Whether a San Francisco-local looking to take a stroll after a marathon of Zoom calls, a road-tripper itching to get away for a few days, or a planner that is busy crafting a travel “wish list,” we invite you to explore these active, sight-seeing ideas!
While you're planning, be sure to check out our special release Earth Month Collection. The twice-sold-out design is now available on the 23oz Bottle in Home and 32oz Bottle in Prismatic. Through April, 5% of all sales goes to The Conservation Alliance's environmental stewardship efforts.
We all know that virtual meeting after virtual meeting can zap the life out of you, but San Francisco is one of those cities where every nook and cranny holds an everlasting piece of history and fun. Regardless if you are 5th generation San Franciscan or staying in a vacation rental, grab a bike and get ready to start exploring!
1) Twin Peak Views
Like a beacon of navigation for San Franciscans, Sutro tower flashes near the top of Twin Peaks. These two peaks are the tallest in this hilly city with arguably the best and most iconic views. On a clear day, you can make out the city lines to the East, the Golden Gate Bridge to the north, look down the peninsula to the south, and stare out upon the big blue to the west. How you reach the top is your choice –– you can take a car, bike, or walk –– but my recommendation is to pedal to the top for sunrise, so you can speed on down to your favorite cafe for a tasty cup of joe.
2) 16th Ave Tiled Staircase
Designed and constructed by local artists, Aileen Barr & Colette Crutcher, the 16th Ave tiled staircase attaches hoards of people every weekend to appreciate the 163 steps exhibiting a mosaic connecting the local community to the natural world around them. As you ascend these steps you will travel from the sea to the stars. Throughout the process, make sure to turn around to appreciate the view! Once you have climbed these stairs, take a joy ride through the Sunset District.
3) Bike Jumps of Golden Gate Park
Over 160 years ago, Golden Gate Park was put into motion and in 1870s William Hammond Hill would become the commissioner of the project to build this 1,000+ acre park. His goal was to “create a usable, inviting park for all to enjoy.” Over the years, more than 155,000 trees have been planted to change this dune-like landscape into the forest it has become. Throughout this modern-day forest, you can find duck ponds for people to toss bread, bison fields, meadows perfect for picnicking, cultural gardens, statues, and several attractions. One of those attractions is the adrenaline-rushing bike jumps scattered throughout the park. Not on a map, these local jumps are a true hidden gem for any mountain biker.
4) Lincoln Staircase
Back in 2010, the Lincoln Park community was on the verge of a 100th anniversary and wanted to give back to the community. So, Friends of Lincoln Park thought what better way to do this, than adding a vibrant spectacle for all those who visit the area. As the project took shape, the dilapidating Lincoln Park steps became the area of focus. The beautification project of these steps was a community endeavor, raising over $430,000, to rebuild the steps and drape them in Aileen Barr’s (the artist of the 16th Ave tiled stairs) tile work. Now that these 52 steps are done, every day you will find people out front of them, taking photographs. A true showcase of a community investing in keeping their space beautiful
5) Sutro Forest Trails
If you are a hiker or mountain biker, the Sutro Forest Trails should be on your “Must-Do” list. These hilly trails are not only a great place to exercise, but they are also a splendid place to immerse yourself in nature. With the rise in popularity of the Japanese exercise of shinrin-yoku or Forest Bathing, in the United States, this space is exactly where you need to go. As you walk along these trails, you will be covered by trees and the sounds of the city will fade. You will forget that you are in San Francisco until you are overlooking the city from Sutro Tower.