The old adage goes "San Francisco is a place where young people come to retire." That may not hold so true now that our rents are sky-high and our neighborhoods are filling up with ambitious young tech folks who aren't retiring anytime soon.
Nevertheless, this is one of our nation's most beautiful, and pleasure-filled adult playgrounds, and the demographics are increasingly affluent and child-free, so you should probably go enjoy yourself and smell some jasmine flowers while you can.
1. Pack a cheese picnic for the park.
Might we recommend Say Cheese in Cole Valley, and Golden Gate Park, but you can take your pick. Alamo Square can be pretty, with a big view of the city and the Full House painted ladies, but you'd better pick a non-windy day.
2. Explore the many stairways and stairway-streets of San Francisco
We're a semi-gridded city of a lot of hills, and some of our streets either end in stairs, or are just short stairway alleys. Explore them all here, while you still have the stamina.
3. Watch the sun set from Twin Peaks
It's a quick drive, and if it's too foggy at the ocean you still might have a great view of the city.
4. Under 30 Tickets at Berkeley Rep
If you're still under the age of 30, then you're in luck when it comes to theater tickets. Berkeley Rep has a half-price deal for everyone still in their 20s, just to keep the audience a little less gray-haired.
5. Find some unexpected history on a hike up Mt. Davidson
The surreal statue at the peak of Mt. Davidson is a great surprise (Gerard Livernois)
Aside from being the highest natural point in San Francisco, the park at the peak has been the subject of hot debate among locals for decades. Is the cross a religious symbol or historic landmark? The journey there through dreamy, mossy woods gives you plenty of time to decide.
6. Take a date to the Musee Mecanique
It's creepy, it's old-timey, it's over by Fisherman's Wharf, and it's totally fun after a couple of beers.
7. Catch a high-brow double feature
The Landmark Embarcadero Cinema is one of the city's last art-house cinemas. Go there.
8. Play tennis in Dolores Park
You don't need a reservation, and the courts are pretty well lit after dark (those sundown closing rules don't ever seem to apply).
9. NightLife Thursdays at the Academy of Sciences
What better time to enjoy their rad aquarium but with a drink in your hand, and without a thousand children.
10. Drive to Tiburon for Lunch
Ever been to Sam's Anchor Cafe? Even when it's not so sunny here, it might be up there, and a brunch by the water can't be beat.
11. Ride your bike to Ocean Beach
As soon as the rains come, your motivation to do such things will be a lot less, so go now! And bring a couple of layers.
12. Slide down some concrete slides for adults
They're seriously a little scary, but what other city has two separate parks with adult slides (one on Seward Street near Noe Valley, one in Bernal), hidden away, for all to enjoy?
13. Head to a more mature club venue
Big clubs, especially the ones around SoMa and Union Square, attract a deeply annoying crowd of twenty-somethings on the weekends. Check out Monarch and the new Audio Discoteque and you might find a scene that's more your speed.
14. Check out a film festival at the Castro Theatre
Depending on the day or the time of year it could be the Silent Film Festival, Frameline (the LGBT film fest), the Asian American Film Fest, the Jewish Film Fest, or it might just be a Ryan Gosling double feature.
15. Take a hike up Bernal Hill
Bernal Hill (Gerard Livernois)
The view from there is great, and it's basically a makeout spot.
16. Check out the galleries on First Thursdays
The first Thursday of every month is the night all the SoMa downtown galleries open up for shows, and there's usually free cheese and wine.
17. Patronize SF's oldest repertory theater.
The American Conservatory Theater, better known as A.C.T., is SF's best funded and most polished purveyor of local theater, some of it imported from Broadway, some of imported from elsewhere, but generally with local casts. Also check out their edgier, smaller productions at their Market Street Costume Shop.
18. Learn some butchery
Whether it's whole hog, whole lamb, or beef butchery, you can get some hands-on training and take home a pile of meat either at Avedano's or 4505 Meats, where the popular butchery classes sell out fast (so be sure to check their website for the latest information!).
19. Have a big picnic in Dolores Park
What better place to be with other people in their 30s, cracking open wine, listening to the various music, live and amplified, and bitching about your week. PS, you're not technically allowed to drink, so be discreet if you see cops.
20. Wake up for the farmer's market
The big, flashy one is, of course, Saturday at the Ferry Building, but there are plenty great veggies and food vendors to be found at Alemany Farmer's Market, Divisadero Farmer's Market, and Civic Center too.
21. Do brunch at Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema (Gerard Livernois)
It's something that adults like to do, and it's swell.
22. Go pumpkin picking, or get lost in a corn maze
It's fall. These things do in fact happen on the Peninsula and in Livermore, and it's fun even if you don't have kids.
23. Take a Tiki tour
S.F. boasts some of the best craft Tiki cocktails in the country, with bartenders who have carefully been reviving the genre via old recipes. Smuggler's Cove is tops in our book, but the Tonga Room beats them for atmosphere (and fake rainstorms!) and they just recently had their cocktail program overhauled by professionals. And there's also Trad'r Sams, way out in the Avenues.
24. Take in iconic San Francisco beauty around Mount Sutro Forest
The Sutro Forest (Gerard Livernois)
There are few places to better spend a weekend afternoon than hiking around Mount Sutro Forest. Its quintessential San Francisco beauty is best experienced right when the sun gives way to the eerily gorgeous blanket of fog rushing over the city from the Pacific Ocean.
25. Listen to some awesome, 70s-style electronic music in the dark
Audium, an underground SF institution, is not to be missed. Composer Stan Shaff has been doing weekly performances at his custom-built sound theater with 169 speakers, with the lights out, since 1967. It is completely and totally rad.
26. Drive down the actual crookedest street, Vermont Street
It's not Lombard, but don't tell the tourists.
27. Tour the Barbary Coast Trail
Learn some history and find out just how bawdy and insane this town was a hundred years ago.
28. Go out for oysters
Shuck them! (Gerard Livernois)
You could shuck some yourself if you drive up to Hog Island near Point Reyes, but you can also just do it the bougie way at the Ferry Building, or Local's Corner, Waterbar, or Pesce.
29. Linger at some hotel bars for some nibbles
We know a few you might want to start with.
30. Try some finer fare at Central Kitchen
It's a high-end restaurant serving uniquely San Franciscan food, and with a loud rock soundtrack that keeps things youthful. (Michael Bauer, for one, hates the noise.)
31. Play with fire
You heard of the Crucible? You should.
32. Learn how to cook finally
33. Find your green thumb in the Bayview
Garden, decompress, and decorate your apartment all at the same time (Gerard Livernois)
If you've never been to Flora Grubb Gardens, you owe it to yourself to check it out. You'll likely drop a hundred dollars on gorgeous succulents and air plants, but it will be worth it.
It'll feel just like you're on NPR.
35. Catch a show at the Fillmore
The legendary venue is a world-renowned institution, and your favorite band will probably talk on stage about how awesome it is to play there. Also, if the show sells out: free posters!Make friends with King Cosmo on one of SF's hidden stairways (Gerard Livernois)