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  • Spending a Day in Golden Gate Park: Golden Gate Park is a magical strip of the city that starts in the Haight and stretches down to the beach, with dramatically varying microclimates along the way. Top sights are the Conservatory of Flowers, the Japanese Tea Garden, the fabulous de Young Museum, and its eco-fabulous cross-concourse neighbor, the California Academy of Sciences. But it’s equally fun to walk to the top of Strawberry Hill in the center of Stow Lake or rent a pedal boat, hang out in Shakespeare’s Garden, and scout out the riotously blooming dahlia garden behind the Conservatory of Flowers (in the summer and fall only). The best time to go is Sunday, when main roads in the park are closed to traffic. Toward the end of the day, head west to the beach and watch the sunset.
  • Walking Along the Coastal Trail: You’ll be amazed at how pristine, stunning, and easily walkable the forested Coastal Trail is from Cliff House to the Golden Gate Bridge. (The views alone will blow your mind.) Start at the parking lot just above Cliff House and head north. On a clear day, you’ll have incredible views of the Marin Headlands and the posh seaside enclave known as Sea Cliff (where Robin Williams used to live), but even on foggy days, it’s worth the trek to scamper over old bunkers and relish the cool, salty air. Dress warmly.
  • Going on a Wine Country Excursion: It’ll take you about an hour to get there, traffic permitting, but once you arrive you’ll want to hopscotch from one winery to the next, perhaps picnic in the vineyards (and definitely not drive back to the city.) And consider this: When the city is fogged in and cold, especially in summer, Napa and Sonoma can be more than 50 degrees warmer.
  • Climbing Up or Down the Filbert Street Steps: San Francisco is a city of stairways, and the crème de la crème of scenic steps is Filbert Street between Sansome Street and the east side of Telegraph Hill, where steep Filbert Street becomes Filbert Steps, a 377-stair descent that wends its way through flower gardens and some of the city’s oldest and most varied housing. It’s a beautiful walk down from Coit Tower, and great exercise going up.
  • Biking the Golden Gate Bridge: Go see the friendly folks over at Blazing Saddles in Fisherman’s Wharf and ask them to hook you up. Rent a bike and pedal over this San Francisco icon on your own. Take a guided tour over the bridge down into Sausalito, and return to the city by ferry. Heck, they even rent electric bikes—now that is my kind of outdoor adventure.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.