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April 15, 2016

You Can Wear a Tank Top in This Sunny San Francisco Arts Neighborhood Year Round

Beyond the ‘Stro is a new Queerty/GayCites series exploring popular San Francisco districts outside the Castro.

San Francisco's hidden 'hood south of the downtown area promises steady sunshine. Bayview is, in fact, the best neighborhood to soak up the sun, with its alfresco restaurants, undiscovered parks and repurposed shipyards. The gays, of course, are moving in.

Easily accessed by public transit (the T-Third takes you right there through Mission Bay and UCSF's hospital and research campus), and equidistant to the San Francisco International Airport, this sunny neighborhood is home to an emerging arts community and unrivaled parks along the waterfront, just blocks from AT&T Park, where the Giants are seeking yet another World Series victory (it's an even year, folks). So if you're visiting San Francisco soon, make sure to bust out your tank tops in the Bayview.

Hotspots perfect for basking in the sun

Bayview's San Francisco Shipyard has gotten a recent million-dollar makeover to become one of the coolest outdoor hotspots in San Francisco. Innes Court Park is right across the street, where you can join "pop-up" exercise classes like yoga and morning boot camp.

The repurposed San Francisco Shipyard is also surrounded by some of the city's most unique businesses. For brick-oven pizza, try All Good Pizza, the super-scenic outdoor restaurant that also offers panini made from scratch and served out of a truck. Plus, beer and wine that you can sip leisurely on the patio.

Equally Instagram-worthy is Flora Grubb Gardens, a very special place for green thumbs. For beer connoisseurs and anyone who enjoys an afternoon buzz, Speakeasy Brewery offers an eclectic range of beers. And if you prefer your buzz to be of the caffeinated type, check out the Ritual outpost inside Flora Grubb, a coffeehouse favorite of locals. 

Also super close by is Pier 70 in the Dogpatch. A revitalization project to reclaim historic waterfront buildings and turn them into housing, public parks and local businesses, Pier 70 will provide park access to the bay. Pier 70 has hosted big headliner concerts when Super Bowl 50 was in town, as well as the TechCrunch conference. 

For a sun-soaking experience, hike Bayview Park. This wild park with great views of the city and the bay was once teeming with grizzly bears. But fear not, the only bears wandering this park now are of the friendlier kind.

Arts powerhouse

Bayview is such a staple in the San Francisco arts world, that the neighborhood's Hunters Point Shipyard has been selected to kick-off the Artspan Open Studios series in 2016. In mid-October, you will be able to tour the former naval yard that's been repurposed as affordable work-and-live studios for 250 artists-in-residents. The largest arts community in the country is only open to the public three times a year, and Artspan Open Studios is one of those rare occasions. They also open the studios in the spring and during their holiday party in December.

You would never expect this tucked away neighborhood to have it's own opera house, but that just shows the type of culture Bayview has to offer. The Bayview Opera House has events geared towards families and their kids on a recurring basis, even a full-blown circus festival.

The Opera House is also a presenting partner in 3rd on Third, Bayview's monthly neighborhood festival that takes place every third Friday of the month. Each month, the 3rd on Third fest features special programming revolving around a specific theme, from jazz performances to petting zoos. Find events on its Facebook page.

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