San Francisco wilderness?

  • spitfire

    Posts: 34

    Jun 08, 2015 7:12 AM GMT
    I'll be visiting San Francisco for the next two weeks and while I made a list for myself on places to visit, I'd love local suggestions as well. I do like the outdoors, so anything outdoorsy would be much appreciated (though I'm not impartial to tourist trap ideas too). Just wanna make sure I don't miss out on anything while I'm there since locals usually have great suggestions that Google can't provide. I also already checked out a couple of the other SF postings too but they weren't too similar in activity.

    Also, anyone have any bar/club suggestions? I'm not into the scene as much any more, but I absolutely love dancing. Don't really want to visit a random club only to find that it isn't too popular on a Friday or Saturday night.
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    Jun 08, 2015 7:44 AM GMT
    1. Looks like your trip will overlap the beginning of the SF gay film festival (mostly at Castro Theater) - check out the films at
    http://ticketing.frameline.org/festival/film/index.aspx
    A restored art deco theater, with organist playing before evening shows.
    2. If you like ice cream, make an excursion to Polly Ann Ice Cream - It's an only in SF experience. Noriega St. at 39th.
    3. Outdoors? No wilderness here (except in Golden gate Park, where you can find the homeless camps.) There is a decent botanical garden in the park. California wildflowers should be in bloom. There is another botanical garden across the bay - above the U.C. Berkeley campus - may be a free shuttle bus from the campus. One can also hike to the top of San Bruno mountain (from a San Mateo county park, just south of the City).
    4. Beach: If you are very lucky, it will be warm enough to go to the nude section of Baker Beach. There is a also a beach at the bottom of the Land's End trail - unfortunately, there is an endless stream of tourists walking by since the feds made an "accessible" trail.
    5. If you should drive a rental car across a bridge, you must first very carefully investigate how you can pay the toll (there are no toll takers). Some car companies charge as much as $9 extra per day for the privilege of crossing a toll bridge.
    6. Alcatraz - I understand one now needs reservations. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-c194857/San-Francisco:California:Info.On.Alcatraz.html
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    Jun 08, 2015 2:53 PM GMT
    Reservations for The Rock? Crazy!
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    Jun 08, 2015 3:55 PM GMT
    For wilderness, head into Marin Cty., across the GG Bridge, to Muir Woods and other places along Hwy. 1. There are also some wild parts in western San Mateo Cty., and northern Sta. Cruz Cty., and you might want to explore the Gavilan Mts. east of San Jose. You'll need a car for all these, but rent it in the city only for the days you need it; much cheaper than renting at the airports. And of course there's always Yosemite. Have a good time.
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    Jun 08, 2015 5:49 PM GMT
    Kind of outdoorsy, but not exactly a big hike: make sure you take in the view from the top of Corona Heights or Kite Hill or Twin Peaks.
  • spitfire

    Posts: 34

    Jun 08, 2015 7:36 PM GMT
    Does anyone happen to know where I could buy cheese curds in the city? If not, where good cheese shops are at?


    HikerSkier said
    4. Beach: If you are very lucky, it will be warm enough to go to the nude section of Baker Beach.


    As a cold-loving Canadian, San Francisco weather already looks so warm out. I hope it won't get too much warmer, or I'll melt into a puddle by the end of my trip.
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    Jun 08, 2015 7:57 PM GMT
    There's a great cheese shop in the Ferry Bldg., if a bit pricey. There's also a good coffee/cheese store on the East side of Castro, just south of Market. And Molinari Deli on Chestnut St. West of Fillmore also has a good selection.
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    Jun 08, 2015 8:55 PM GMT
    Rent a downhill or enduro mountain bike and blast down the top of Mt Sutro, all the way into downtown. I'll be doing that soon. Was gonna do it today but it's too hot for a full-face helmet and pads.
  • goodmagic

    Posts: 191

    Jun 08, 2015 9:01 PM GMT
    Hey Spitfire,

    Welcome to SF!

    I was looking at your profile and came up with a few suggestions you may like.

    For outdoors checkout muir woods

    http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm

    For guys that have characteristics for your hotlist check out these events
    The 61st Annual North Beach Festival
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1513394712248344/


    BR√úT!
    https://www.facebook.com/events/436185896542511/

    Daddy Pride
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1587101558232096/

    best dance space
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1400556793606777/

    For Techie leather daddies

    Dog pound

    https://www.facebook.com/events/565490496926762/


    For events to give you superior instagram pics

    Bubble battle
    https://www.facebook.com/events/904715706233265/


    Hope this helps!



  • OutdoorsJock

    Posts: 9

    Jun 09, 2015 4:49 AM GMT
    Looks like you've already got a lot of good tips. And if you got here on the 6th, you are experiencing some fun beach weather.

    I can't add enough about getting around by bike. SF is very bike friendly, and if you stick to the bike routes, the cars are used to us and for the most part share the road. You still need to assume that every driver is texting while driving, so don't be stupid around cars.

    A bike will give you the best access to the urban wild. SF has more surrounding park space than you'll see in North America. In the city there is Golden Gate Park, the beach and the open space between the Cliff House at Seal Rock all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Then bike across the Golden Gate Bridge for more fun, and you've got lots to explore.

    And yes, the Alcatraz tour shouldn't be missed, but you should be able to get tickets for a few days out.

    If you only have money for one screening at Frameline, go to "Fun in Boys Shorts" on Saturday morning, June 20th. If you are traveling on your trust fund, go to opening night and the party, too.
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    Jun 09, 2015 10:50 AM GMT
    OutdoorsJock said
    And yes, the Alcatraz tour shouldn't be missed, but you should be able to get tickets for a few days out.

    I don't know if they still do it, but I'd suggest taking the last boat of the night to Alcatraz. It's costs a few dollars extra, but those dollars go straight to the preservation/restoration fund.

    Your group winds up being the only group on the island, way less crowded, and they take that group into places that all the other groups never get to go.

    Well worth it.
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    Jun 09, 2015 4:45 PM GMT
    Cable Car:

    If you want to take this ride (what most tourists do), be aware that one has to wait in long lines most of the time. If you get there (Powell & Market) before 9:00 am, there is almost no line. (don't know about late evening lines).
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    Jun 09, 2015 5:17 PM GMT
    TomSOCAL said
    MGINSD saidFor wilderness, head into Marin Cty., across the GG Bridge, to Muir Woods and other places along Hwy. 1. There are also some wild parts in western San Mateo Cty., and northern Sta. Cruz Cty., and you might want to explore the Gavilan Mts. east of San Jose. You'll need a car for all these, but rent it in the city only for the days you need it; much cheaper than renting at the airports. And of course there's always Yosemite. Have a good time.


    You know more about those areas than I do, but I have seen large, pink, buses (I kid you not!) that go from San Francisco into Marin County, i.e. Mill Valley and Fairfax. I have only spent a couple of days in Marin County but do understand that it is one of the best areas for mountain biking. That is where Gary Fisher "invented" Mountain Biking (in Fairfax, California). There is Mt. Tamapalois (spelling) although I have never climbed it.

    Then, Mt. Diablo and related areas i.e. the Redwood Park area east of Oakland on the east bay (near Canyon, California). Is BART (rapid transit) the best way to get there ???

    Also, in my various travels (when I went through Marin County) I parked overnight in the Marin County Civic Center (which is legal) and a Native American from Humboldt County said, "Go north to where I come from. Get out of the bay area....and continued to make praising remarks about how things are better in far northern California. Interesting conversation ...

    http://www.marinbike.org/Map/Index.shtml


    YES, BART is a great way to get around, but you may need a bike permit to take your bike on it; see its site. My standard routine used to be ride from my house in Pac. Hts. to BART Civic Center, take it to Lafayette, bike to Heather Farms park in "the Creek," swim my laps, and then return. Great way to spend a day. You can get to Mt. Diablo from WC, too. And yes, Northern CA, above Santa Rosa, is spectacularly beautiful, as is so much of The Golden State. Get the Triple A Tourbook; it'll help prevent you from missing some really good things that you might otherwise.
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    Jun 09, 2015 8:20 PM GMT
    San Francisco is more of a concentrated city. There isn't a lot of *Wilderness activities in the city. You might want to head to Oakland Hills/East bay for this. Also, Marin Headlands, Sausalito and Muir Woods in the North bay are also good options. As for bars and clubs, any clubs in the Castro would be fun on Friday and Saturdays. I like Club Trigger, Badlands, The Bar, Boy Bar(The Cafe) on Market and sometimes Moby Dicks'.



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    Jun 09, 2015 9:35 PM GMT
    MGINSD said
    TomSOCAL said
    MGINSD said

    YES, BART is a great way to get around, but you may need a bike permit to take your bike on it; see its site.

    Permits are no longer required to take a bicycle on BART.
  • goodguyrjr

    Posts: 18

    Jun 10, 2015 1:36 AM GMT
    if it's ice cream you want, go to Mitchell's near the Mission
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    Jun 10, 2015 3:05 AM GMT
    HikerSkier saidCable Car:

    If you want to take this ride (what most tourists do), be aware that one has to wait in long lines most of the time. If you get there (Powell & Market) before 9:00 am, there is almost no line. (don't know about late evening lines).


    The way to beat the cable car lines is take the California-Van Ness car from its starting point at Market & California opposite the Hyatt Regency, and then transfer at Powell & Cal to the Powell St. line atop Nob Hill, or to the Hyde St. line at Hyde & Cal.

    Nice to hear BART no longer requires bike permits - that was always a pain in the ass!
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jun 10, 2015 3:29 AM GMT
    On a Sunday morning, try the Drag Me Along Tour:

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/4054707

    www.dragmealongtours.com
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    Jun 10, 2015 7:46 AM GMT
    Mount Davidson Park is a really cool place to hike up to see an amazing view of the whole city!
  • spitfire

    Posts: 34

    Jun 10, 2015 8:52 AM GMT
    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! They're all super awesome! Anyone have any opinions regarding Angel Island state park?

    LAXWill10 saidAs for bars and clubs, any clubs in the Castro would be fun on Friday and Saturdays. I like Club Trigger, Badlands, The Bar, Boy Bar(The Cafe) on Market and sometimes Moby Dicks'.


    Isn't Club Trigger and The Bar permanently closed?
  • OutdoorsJock

    Posts: 9

    Jun 10, 2015 3:22 PM GMT
    spitfire saidThanks everyone for the great suggestions! They're all super awesome! Anyone have any opinions regarding Angel Island state park?

    LAXWill10 saidAs for bars and clubs, any clubs in the Castro would be fun on Friday and Saturdays. I like Club Trigger, Badlands, The Bar, Boy Bar(The Cafe) on Market and sometimes Moby Dicks'.


    Isn't Club Trigger and The Bar permanently closed?


    Yes, Trigger is closed (now Beaux) and The Bar (now Q-Baar) is closed, the former owner is in hiding.

    The ~14 gay bars in the Castro are all within a few blocks of each other, each has a slightly different "personality" and clientele, and with the exception of a few venues/nights, there are no cover charges, so probably best to explore them all and see which one(s) you feel is a good fit with you.

    Angel Island is... interesting, not much there, but if you have a bike, you can circle the island a lot faster than you can if you walk it.

    And this rain.... 0.06" already. First time my rooftop weather station has seen this much rain in June since 1997.
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    Jun 10, 2015 4:15 PM GMT
    goodguyrjr saidif it's ice cream you want, go to Mitchell's near the Mission


    There's also a good place at Hyde & Union, atop Russian Hill, that is close to some parks w/ spectacular views of the Bay & GG. I hope it's still open!
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    Jun 11, 2015 2:03 AM GMT
    OutdoorsJock said
    spitfire saidThanks everyone for the great suggestions! They're all super awesome! Anyone have any opinions regarding Angel Island state park?

    LAXWill10 saidAs for bars and clubs, any clubs in the Castro would be fun on Friday and Saturdays. I like Club Trigger, Badlands, The Bar, Boy Bar(The Cafe) on Market and sometimes Moby Dicks'.


    Isn't Club Trigger and The Bar permanently closed?


    Yes, Trigger is closed (now Beaux) and The Bar (now Q-Baar) is closed, the former owner is in hiding.

    The ~14 gay bars in the Castro are all within a few blocks of each other, each has a slightly different "personality" and clientele, and with the exception of a few venues/nights, there are no cover charges, so probably best to explore them all and see which one(s) you feel is a good fit with you.

    Angel Island is... interesting, not much there, but if you have a bike, you can circle the island a lot faster than you can if you walk it.

    And this rain.... 0.06" already. First time my rooftop weather station has seen this much rain in June since 1997.



    Oh really they did closed those clubs?? lol, cool. BTW, I really like the 2 mega clubs Ruby Skye and 1015 Folsom too. They both occasionally have gay nights like once a month on a Last Sunday?? lol 1015 Folsom is Bad Ass !! icon_razz.gificon_razz.gificon_evil.gif
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    Jun 11, 2015 5:08 AM GMT
    Wilderness:
    Basically, there are decent parks that are right in town, great parks that are within an hour or two, and mind-blowing, spectacular parks within 5 hours.

    Right in town - Lots of big trees and green in Golden Gate Park and the Presidio. I run through GGP regularly and maybe I'm running in the wrong (right) places, but I see far more homeless in the inner neighborhoods.

    Close by - Marin! Muir Woods is the classic, but there are plenty of other great possibilities. My top recommendation would be to hike from Stinson Beach up to the top of Mt. Tamalpais and back. It will give you a good sense of most of the terrain in Marin County, and the Steep Ravine trail is simply gorgeous. Also in Marin, if you get out to Point Reyes, there is hiking and rugged wilderness for days. I would recommend the Tomales Point trail, which runs right through an Elk sanctuary, and at this time of year the lupine may be in full bloom. It is surreal. The end of the trail is a point where you could drop 300' down to the Pacific Ocean on your left and Tomales Bay on your right. Another great Point Reyes destination is Alamere Falls, one of two nearby waterfalls that drop straight into the ocean, the other being in...

    Big Sur! Breathtaking coastline where mountains meet water. McWay Falls is right off the highway, but basically, you can pull over at any trailhead and start hiking and have a great experience.

    There are also very nice places in the Santa Cruz Mountains like Big Basin Redwoods that fall within this "1-2 hour drive from SF" category

    Also worth mentioning, if only because you can do it completely without a car, is that Tilden Park is the ridgeline high above Berkeley, and you can get there pretty easily by taking the BART to Downtown Berkeley, then transferring to the 65 or 67 bus. There is enough wilderness to get lost in up there.

    Also, much of Marin is potentially accessible without a car, but you'll need to work at it. Check out Marin Transit http://www.marintransit.org/routes/66.html for the Muir Woods shuttle and the West Marin Stagecoach.

    Finally, we have wilderness within a 3-5 hour drive that would blow anyone's mind. There are many tour companies that will give you great prices on bus trips to the Sierra for hiking or rafting or whatnot. Check out Bay Area Ski Bus for example:

    http://www.bayareaskibus.com/index.cfm/summer_trip_adventures.htm

    But if you do decide to drive somewhere yourself...
    Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Kings Canyon (especially around Cedar Grove), Sequoia National Park (the Giant Forest Museum is right off the road, then you can pick up the High Sierra Trail and do a long dayhike with spectacular scenery) the Lake Tahoe Basin (especially Desolation Wilderness), even random-ass canyons in the Sierra foothills within an hour of Sacramento are gorgeous. Twice in the past month I've spent weekends backpacking up in the Trinity Alps, which is also spectacular. But it's further than the Sierra, so probably not worth the trip if you only have 2 weeks - I only took my trips there because of inclement weather in Tuolumne.