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Discover Activities In San Francisco

  • Calendar of Events
    • SFFILM Festival
      • SF Film Festival

        SFFILM Festival

        April 10 - 23

        The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and a major cultural event in the Bay Area.

    • San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration
      • Peace Sign & Pride Flags

        San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration

        June 29 - 30

        With over 200 parade contingents and exhibitors, and more than twenty community-run stages and venues, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade is the largest gathering of the LGBT community and allies in the nation.

        Celebrations begin on a Saturday in Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Francisco the last full weekend of June each year. The Parade, which takes place the Sunday morning of the event, kicks off from Beale Street along Market and ends at Market and 8th St. in the heart of downtown San Francisco.

  • Things to Do
    • SoMa District
      • South of Market

        SOMA, short for South of Market, is a fairly large district, reaching from the Embarcadero to Eleventh Street, between Market and Townsend. This eclectic neighborhood hosts a variety of restaurants, swanky nightspots, art spaces, loft apartments, furniture showrooms and tech companies.

        Lefty O'Doul Bridge

        These are working drawbridges designed by J.B. Strauss, whose firm, the Bascule Bridge Co., is famous for erecting the Golden Gate Bridge. The Fourth Street Bridge, completed in 1917, is the oldest operating bascule bridge in the state and has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Francis "Lefty" O'Doul Bridge is one block away and still has the original bridge operator's cottages at each end and is raised and lowered occasionally to let boat traffic in and out of Mission Channel.

        AT&T Park 

        Home to the San Francisco Giants, AT&T park offers an amazing setting to catch a ballgame. This stadium has a waterfront promenade with a playground for kids and a free viewing area. In addition to the Giants games, the park is a popular venue for concerts.

        San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

        Known for excellent touring exhibits, SFMOMA also has a fantastic permanent collection with works by Pollack, Warhol, Matisse, Picasso and O'Keeffe, as well as artists with a connection to the Bay Area, such as Diebenkorn and Thiebaud. 151 3rd St., (415) 357-4000

        California Historical Society

        The organization's museum galleries showcase the history of the Golden State through photography, manuscripts, posters and artwork. Recent exhibits have looked at sunken Gold Rush treasure, citrus label art and California as it was in 1900. 678 Mission St., (415) 357-1848

        Cartoon Art Museum

        Charles Schulz supplied the funds that allowed this museum to officially open and he bestowed some of his work to celebrate cartoon art in all forms.655 Mission St., (415) 227-8666

        Contemporary Jewish Museum

        Founded in 1984 the museum partners with national and international institutions to bring exhibitions of a high level of artistic achievement. 736 Mission St., (415) 655-7800

        Museum of the African Diaspora

        MoAD explores the culture, history and contributions of people of African ancestry around the world. The museum displays work by contemporary artists of African descent. 685 Mission St. (at Third Street), (415) 358-7200

    • Union Square
      • The Shopping Metropolis of the City

        Union Square has one of the largest collections of retail stores, department stores, boutiques, and art galleries in the Western United States, making it one of the world's premier shopping districts. Projecting a cosmopolitan feel, the square is a hub of activity almost  24 hours a day.

        Summers offer a variety of open-air performances and art walks, while winters bring a seasonal rink for novice and professional ice skaters alike. The southwest corner serves as the pick-up location for open air bus tours, along side the infamous San Francisco Cable Cars.
    • Shopping
      • San Francisco offers some of the best shopping in the world, so it is no wonder that tourists and serious shopaholics alike want to spend some time (and money) in San Francisco's shopping centers, districts, and malls.

        Union Square, Hayes Valley, Haight-Ashbury, Fillmore, Mission, Sacramento Street, Chinatown, and downtown's Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre offer unique shopping experiences suited to any shopper's mood. And while many may think shopping in San Francisco is an expensive venture, savvy shoppers will realize there are possibilities for every budget.

        Union Square

        A single Corinthian column surrounded by palm trees marks San Francisco's Mecca for shopaholics. The square is surrounded by Macy's, Saks, Neiman Marcus and Levi's stores, along with colorful flower stands and street performers. Adjacent streets feature boutiques for Coach, Bulgari, Cartier, Thomas Pink, Louis Vuitton, MaxMara, Emporio Armani, Diesel, Prada, Celine, Escada, Gucci, Guess, Hermes, Agnes B., Betsey Johnson and Wilkes Bashford.


        Chinatown is between North Beach and Union Square and features everything you would expect - ornate lampposts, pagoda roofs and an amazing variety of stores and restaurants.

        At every turn you will see import vendors selling nearly everything, including carved Buddhas, paper parasols and mahogany furniture, perfect for exotic gifts or indulgent tourist gifts. Apothecaries are everywhere, selling green teas, rose-scented black teas and a variety of other ailment-banishing brews. Visit the fragrant Fortune Cookie Factory  on Factory on Ross Alley for a sweet adventure. 

        Westfield San Francisco Centre

        The expansive Westfield San Francisco Centre mall is retail haven, serving as home to some of the world's largest American chains, including a five-story Nordstrom's, a two-level Abercrombie & Fitch, numerous outlets found in malls across the country.

        Embarcadero Center

        Embarcadero Center is an open-air location offering brand names like Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, among others. Although the Embarcadero holds big names, this San Francisco shopping mall has unusual niche, specialty stores, including the Giants Dugout store.

        Haight Street

        The stretch of shops on Upper Haight was the center of '60s psychedelia. It has become more gentrified but still retains its hippie counterculture credentials and is dotted with Victorian houses, anarchist bookstores, piercing salons and funky vintage and thrift clothing stores. 

        Hayes Valley

        The Hayes Valley is a wonderful combination of art and commerce in a small San Francisco neighborhood brimming with art galleries, contemporary boutiques, interior design studios, outdoor cafes and wine bars.

    • Like a Local
      • Picnic with a View at Dolores Park

        After ambling through San Francisco's notoriously steep streets, this two-block stretch of green in the heart of the Mission District - which recently underwent a multi million-dollar renovation - is a perfect stop to sprawl out. Grab sandwiches, ice cream, and other picnic items at the Bi-Rite Market on 18th Street and eat while watching throngs of Frisbee-throwers, dog walkers, and local characters. 

        Hogshead Reserve, an Intimage Wine Bar with International Selection

        This cash-only speakeasy serving up Prohibition-era cocktails is underground in more ways than one: it’s physically beneath The Barrel Room on Sansome Street. Go to the back of The Barrel Room’s wine store, head down the staircase behind the wall, find a seat in one of its three rooms, and order a Brother Bill – a blend of rye, Amaro, maple, bitters, and scotch rinse.

        The Castro District

        The colorful crosswalks and vibrant personalities of San Francisco's most notoriously LGBT friendly neighborhood create the perfect atmosphere for anyone looking for a fun day or crazy night. A few sights you shouldn't dare skip include a flick at the Castro Theatre and a drink (or 3) at a notorious Castro bar, Moby Dick. Need we say more?

        Union Street Shops, Bars & Restaurants

        Nestled in the Marina neighborhood, Union Street  is revered as a local hub of shopping, drinking, and dining. Begin the day with brunch at The Tipsy Pig and be sure to check out the outdoor patio! Then, walk off brunch and shop at designer boutiques and local shops. 

        Lands End Labyrinth

        For the last 12 years, a promontory inside the Golden Gate National Recreation Area has been a canvas for the stones that local artist Eduardo Aguilera arranged into an imaginative maze of 11 concentric circles. And though an unfortunately frequent (and recent) target of vandalism, its protectors have always reconstructed it to greet visitors veering off the nearby Coastal Trail. 

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