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not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

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not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby gozer » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:47 am

anyone have suggestions for interesting, memorable & edifying places and things to see & do in and around the bay area for those who have already done and seen the obvious? best-kept secrets & more?
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Re: not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby David Blaska » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:39 pm

Head on up over the Golden Gate bridge to Marin County on U.S. 101 then cut over west to U.S. Highway 1 to the coast to Tamalpais State Park, Stinson Beach -- right along the San Andreas Fault, and take a barely marked left turn at Olema to an almost-island that forms Point Reyes National Seashore, follow the road south to the very funky little town of Bolinas, much of which consists of houseboats on the bay. The atmosphere is half-Grateful Dead, half-biker. Dine outdoors on some very fine oysters on the half shell, grown on the island itself. Wash down with Anchor Steam beer. Repeat.
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Re: not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby cattyrood » Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:10 am

I love everything about North Beach, mostly the restaurants, but also City Lights, window shopping. Cliff House is a neat place, though obviously a tourist trap. BART is a good way to get around. Have a great time!
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Re: not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby jjoyce » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:14 am

Last time I was in SF, I did something that's very much ON the beaten path. It was late January, so not very touristy to begin with, and I was staying in SOMA, needing to get to a hotel right at the Wharf for my conference. The only logical way to get from A to B was by cable car.

My morning ride was at about 7:30, so it was just me and a few regulars. The driver exchanged BS with grocers setting out fruit for the day and various delivery drivers. The hilltop views of the foggy bay were predictably breathtaking, but I've never seen the city from these points of view. Sitting there sipping my coffee I felt like I was getting a private tour, as my co-riders read their papers. On the return trip, at about 7 pm, skateboarders switched back and forth across the tracks in our wake. I stood on the car's back porch watching them, wishing I had my camera in hand.

I'm not sure I'd take the cable cars at midday, but during the commuter hours, it was pretty incredible.

I also went to Swan's Oyster Bar, which is world famous, but worth the wait (I managed to cruise right in). On Polk, near what I believe is Russian Hill.
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Re: not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby David Blaska » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:45 am

One more (possibly) spend a day at Golden Gate Park. It's huge, gardens devoted to roses, dahlias, a Japanese tea garden. Forests. The DeYoung Museum is on the grounds and was showing French impressionists. First class museum.
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Re: not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby Marvell » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:00 pm

In no particular order:

Watch the Packer game at The Kilowatt @ 16th and Valencia. Go around the corner and pick up a burrito from any one of the 5-10 fantastic taquerias per block in the Mission, then bring it back to the bar - they won't mind. Bring your dog into the bar and smoke a joint, if that's your thing - they won't mind that either.

Also in the Mission - Dylan's Pub, an honest-to-god Welsh pub complete with mural of famous Welshmen on the wall. Also, Magic Donut - one of the few establishments in the world that truly lives up to its name.

Just across 101 on Portrero Hill (Vermont and 19th??? Vermont and something, anyway) is the Anchor Steam brewery. Take the tour and get loaded in the tap room, then stumble outside and gawk at St. Gregory's, an Episcopal church but built in the distinctive Pacific Northwest style of Russian Orthodox architecture.

Speaking of Russians - go hit one of the Russian bakeries up on California in the Richmond district. I had a chocolate-dipped macaroon from one; it was just about the most incredible thing I ever ate.

From there it's just a downward stumble to Seagate, and Baker Beach. I was watching The Aristocrats, and at one point they're interviewing Robin Williams (he lives in Seagate) and he's clearly standing on Baker Beach. Very cool spot; I warn you though - if you clamber around the rocks on the north end of the beach you'll reputedly find yourself in some kind of gay sex cove.


Oh, and if you go out to eat in anything other than the poshest, most expensive restaurants, bring shin guards. You'll find out why.
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Re: not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby Ned Flanders » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:35 am

Rent kayaks in Sausalito and explore the bay.
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Re: not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby kiwiwannabe » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:37 pm

Go to the Cartoon Art Museum - best $6 I spent while I was there last time....
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Re: not-so-obvious/off-the-beaten-track san francisco

Postby c02 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:50 pm

This may be late but if you like Tequila, hit Tommy's. Pizza Orgasmica isn't bad and has a nice selection of beer. There was a tiny place about a block away from the USF campus on Fulton that I had a late dinner at one night and it was great. I don't recall the name but there was a Starbucks on the corner. The place was relatively new when I was there.
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