Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

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March 8, 2017
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

10 Things to do with Your Extra Hour in San Francisco

Welcome to the light side now that daylight savings time is here. Here are some bright ideas to fill that extra 60 minutes of sunshine:

Stroll in the San Francisco Botanical Garden 

Open 365 days a year with seasonal hours starting daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4-6 p.m., the 55-acre park in Golden Gate Park, Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way, has more than 7,500 varieties of plants from around the world. Of particular interest are the Coast Redwoods, one of the most remarkable and unique plant communities in the world. A brochure detailing a self-guided trail walk through these majestic trees and more than 100 associated species can be downloaded from the website.

Head for the overlook at Sutro Heights Park

At the corner of Pt. Lobos Ave. and 48th Ave. in the outer Richmond District, two stone lions guard the entrance of an old carriage road, which meanders through the grounds of 19th century millionaire and former Mayor of San Francisco Adolph Sutro’s estate. The elements have reclaimed all but a few pieces of statuary including the lions and a parapet, which offers a dazzling view of the Pacific Ocean and the Farallon Islands.

Circuit through one of San Francisco’s several labyrinths

Grace Cathedral has two, an indoor one open during cathedral hours and an outdoor one that is accessible 24 hours a day. On the second Friday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m., candlelight walks on the indoor labyrinth accompanied by live music are offered.

Visit one of San Francisco’s park areas

Brannan Street Wharf opened in July 2013 in the heart of the city’s South Beach neighborhood. Built over the Bay, the 57,000-square-foot space includes a neighborhood green, a waterside walkway with seating and picnic tables, a shade structure and interpretive features. Mission Creek Park was the first of many parks and open spaces being developed in the Mission Bay neighborhood. Just a few blocks southwest of AT&T Park between Fourth and Fifth streets near King Street, the three-acre park is divided into north and south areas by Mission Creek. Shade trees, pathways, benches and gentle grass-covered hills invite lingering. Hours are sunrise to 10 p.m. daily. Bring binoculars — birds abound.

Board a ferry boat

Many ferry boats criss-cross the bay as the sun carves deep shadows across San Francisco’s central waterfront. Adult fares range from $12.50 to $26 (round-trip) for passages to Alameda, Angel Island, OaklandSausalito, South San Francisco, Tiburon and Vallejo. To review schedules and departure points, visit www.511.org.

Get culture at one of our museums

Many museums in the city have extended hours at least once a week. Evening hours tend to be less crowded and an early dinner at the museum café can be the perfect prelude to an art lark. Many museums are open late on Thursdays: Asian Art MuseumContemporary Jewish MuseumExploratorium, California Academy of Sciences and SFMOMA. Resuming June 2, 2017, Friday Nights at the de Young Museum offers a variety of interdisciplinary arts programs, including live music, dance and theater performances, films, lectures, artist demonstrations, exhibition tours, and hands-on art making for young and old.

Take me out to the ballgame

Call someone up and tell them to “meet me at Willie,” as in the Willie Mays statue on the plaza of AT&T Park, home field for the San Francisco Giants. For the full schedule, visit www.sfgiants.com. Tours of the stadium, dugout areas and visitors’ clubhouse are also offered on a regular basis.

Something's a-brewin'

Something’s always brewing in San Francisco, especially at the redoubtable Anchor Brewing Company where several unique beers are produced in one of the most traditional and handsome breweries in the world. Tours are offered at specific times seven days a week, excluding holidays, by reservation only; tours can be booked via their website only. The San Francisco Brewers Guild also sponsors a number of events and has a map of local breweries on their website.

Climb the hills

Take a break from the local workout center and head for the nearest hill. San Francisco’s natural inclinations offer some challenging ascents for even the most physically fit. Among the steepest streets: Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde (31.5 percent grade); 22nd Street between Church and Vicksburg (31.5 percent grade); Jones between Union and Filbert (29 percent grade); Duboce Avenue between Alpine and Buena Vista (27.9 percent grade). Percentage indicates for every 100 feet, block rises 3l.5 feet, 29 feet, etc.

Run your tail off

Train for one of the many athletic events coming up this summer. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon returns to San Francisco every spring. Registration is open through the first two weeks of May for Bay to Breakers, which happens on the third Sunday in May. Since 1912, tens of thousands of people have gathered in San Francisco to see the world's largest footrace unfold as more than 70,000 costume-clad runners and walkers push off at 8 a.m. Known as the summer marathon, the San Francisco Marathon in July offers the "best of San Francisco" tour. Choose from running the marathon, two half marathons, 5K run/walk or a 52.4-mile ultra-marathon. And finally be sure to register now for the ever popular Giant Race at the end of summer.

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