The Best Places for Adventure in San Francisco in 2019

Misty Milioto | July 2, 2019 | Lifestyle Feature Story Best of the Bay

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Urban Hike: Lyon Street Steps
For a workout with a view, look no further than the Lyon Street Steps. Beginning at the top, at the intersection of Broadway and Lyon Street, descend the 332 steps while taking in the sights of the Palace of Fine Arts, the rolling hills of the East Bay and the manicured gardens. Then, turn around and come back up for a quick but intense workout. This secret two-block jaunt is mostly unknown to tourists, but it’s a favorite for Bay Area locals. Get here early in the day to find parking, and remember to bring a camera. 2450 Lyon St.

Alternative Cooking Class: Breakthrough Sushi - Sushi-Making Class
Using sustainable fish from a company that supplies many top-rated Bay Area restaurants, such as Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, chef Kaz Matsune has been teaching sushi-making classes since 2012. During this class, offered through Breakthrough Sushi, students learn how to make menu items such as cucumber seaweed salad, rainbow rolls and temaki/handrolls. Students also learn about proper knife handling, how to make sushi rice, where to buy ingredients and more. The midmorning classes take place one Saturday per month at the Miele San Francisco Experience Center, and, with only 10 to 24 participants per class, they’re perfect for couples or groups of friends. Tickets from $99, Brunch included, 680 Eighth St., 800.843.7231

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The All About Chinatown walking tour offers an inside look behind the world-famous destination spot.

Walking Tour: All About Chinatown
Not all walking tours are created equal, and All About Chinatown tops our list thanks to its local tour guides who have in-depth knowledge of the area’s history, plus long-standing relationships with store and restaurant owners. The company offers daily tours (starting at 10am at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral) with sights such as unique architectural buildings, a fortune cookie factory, Stockton Street food markets, a Buddhist temple, art murals and more. An optional tour includes a dim sum lunch, adding a perfect finishing touch. All About Chinatown also offers culinary tours, scavenger hunts and private tours. Daily tours $35, optional “Adult Tour” with dim sum lunch $65, 415.982.8839

Day on the Bay: San Francisco Bay Ferry
Make it a fun-filled day on the Bay with a ferry ride to East and North Bay Area hot spots. For example, upon arrival at Oakland Jack London Square terminal, grab a craft beer at Beer Revolution (464 3rd St.) or a glass of wine at one of many tasting rooms like Minimo (420 Third St.). Have lunch at District Oakland (827 Washington St.), Mockingbird (416 13th St.) or Yoshi’s (510 Embarcadero West), and finish with a movie at the Regal Jack London (100 Washington St.). Near the Mare Island Ferry terminal, have lunch at Front Room at the Wharf (295 Mare Island Way), a drink at Mare Island Brewing Co. (851 Waterfront Ave.) and visit the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum (734 Marin St.). Round-trip ferry tickets to Oakland $14, round-trip ferry tickets to Vallejo $29.20, 707.643.3779

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The Alcatraz Night Tour offers a fascinating look into the infamous prison.

Must-Do in San Francisco: Alcatraz Night Tour
For a unique night out, book the Alcatraz Night Tour through Alcatraz Cruises. Available Tuesday through Saturday, the tour includes a round-trip ferry ride with a guided tour around Alcatraz Island, a ranger-led walk to the Cellhouse, a self-guided tour with award-winning audio presentation Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour, optional programs and exhibits, and breathtaking views of San Francisco as the sun sets. The Alcatraz Night Tour is limited to just a few hundred visitors per evening, so it’s a great way to explore the island without the crowds. Tickets $47.30, Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing, 415.981.7625

Kids' Play Date: Yerba Buena Gardens
Yerba Buena Gardens—one of the top 30 urban parks in the United States—is also a veritable playground for kids. Make a day of it, starting with a ride on the handcarved carousel, followed by a visit to the Children’s Creativity Museum to explore the interactive art and technology. Other options for fun play dates include Yerba Buena Ice Skating + Bowling Center, a Children’s Garden with massive play area, the Tot Lot + Learning Garden with play structures and organized gardening, or the nearby Metreon AMC 16 for a movie. 750 Howard St., 415.820.3550

Beer & Bike Tour: Small-Group Craft Brews and Bike Tour
Explore the city on a leisurely bike ride while learning about the cultural history of SOMA, SF’s Arts District and the Mission District; plus stops at three local bars or breweries along the way. The small-group bike tour is limited to 12 people, and takes about three hours to complete. It starts in the heart of Chinatown (719 Commercial St.) and includes helmets, bikes and one pint of beer (you can always purchase more). The tour concludes with a loop through Union Square back to the starting location. Tickets from $79

Matrix-Main-Court-Stock-Image-HOA.jpg House of Air offers a fun alternative to a regular workout.

Alternative Workout: House of Air
The full-body Air Conditioning Class at House of Air is not only fun, but the flipping, bouncing and spinning movements on a trampoline strengthen the core while toning muscles and burning calories. The instructor-led 50-minute high-intensity class takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7pm, and on Saturdays at 9am. After taking your class in the historic airplane hangar, be sure to check out the cafe for a coconut water or Suja juices. $22 per class, 10-class package for $198, 926 Mason St.

Sex Shop: Good Vibrations
With four locations across San Francisco, it’s easy to find whatever may suit your fancy for fun times in the bedroom. Good Vibrations offers everything from a wide variety of sex toys, books, massage oils, fantasywear, bondage gear, body products, gifts and more. There’s also a large selection of products for sexual health and wellness, such as Kegel exercisers, bath bombs, personal lubricants and candles. The store was founded more than 40 years ago by a sex educator, and the staff is eager to answer questions and help customers make informed decisions about the products they sell. 899 Mission St.

rc_laketahoe_misc_dtls177_v2.jpg The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Luxury Summer Package takes guests from land, air and water.

Luxury Bucket List: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, look no further than The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe’s new Luxury Summer Package. The three-night adventure begins with transportation in a private plane, serviced by BlackBird Air, from the Bay Area to the Truckee Airport, followed by private transportation to the resort. The experience continues with a full day of exclusive access to the resort’s Lake Club, including alfresco dining, a boat ride on a MasterCraft high-performance boat, Jet Skiing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Also included are a Champagne reception, a Chef’s Table dinner at Manzanita, accommodations in a luxury Residential Suite, in-residence spa treatments and a private Art of Mixology class. From $45,000, 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee, 530.562.3000

Originally published in the July issue of San Francisco

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Photography by: All About Chinatown; Alcatraz; House of Air; & The Ritz-Carlton