Whether you're anticipating a traditional or offbeat Memorial Day in San Francisco, just get outside and make it an epic one.
Have a picnic.
Stock up on gourmet fixings at Bluxome Street Winery’s Meet Market for a leisurely South Park picnic on Saturday. On Sunday, Off the Grid kicks off Picnic at the Presidio, a lawn party with high-end purveyors (Namu Gaji, Wexler’s, Dandelion Chocolate), live music, games, and even cocktail delivery.
Go to a concert.
Nothing says summer in the city like free outdoor music. Catch jazzy blues at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival on Saturday afternoon or patriotic tunes from the talented (and underrated) Golden Gate Band at Golden Gate Park on Sunday.
Workout on the water.
Take your fitness routine on vacation with a stab at paddleboarding. Boardsports School and Shop in Nob Hill leads group outings at Crissy Field and Alameda. Or rent a kayak from City Kayak in South Beach.
See a parade.
Incorporate the requisite patriotism and nostalgia in your holiday with the official procession that marches through the Presidio on Monday morning. Farther south, the Mission churns out a two-day samba and cachaca-charged Carnaval celebration that climaxes on Sunday with a Harlem Shake-themed grand parade featuring dozens of scantily clad dancers.
Sail the bay.
The glittering Bay Lights make sunset cruises all the more appealing. This weekend Blue and Gold and Hornblower both offer twilight trips with up close views of the Burning Man–inspired LED sculpture. Or if you just want to party on a boat (and take advantage of the two-day recovery window), you can buy tickets for a DJ-fueled midnight cruise on a $4 million yacht.
Peruse the market.
Treasure Island Flea, the ultimate indie market with a view, celebrates its second anniversary this Saturday. Go for free appraisals of your treasures, DIY terrarium and goat lotion-making classes--and lots of wine. Or up the avant garde quotient of your art collection at the Rhode Island School of Design's ephemerality-themed sale at Proxy in Hayes Valley.
Take a bike ride.
Do you find yourself pedaling your two-wheeled beauty to the cheese counters at Cowgirl Creamery and Whole Foods? Hit the Tour de Fromage trail on Saturday, led by cheese authority JB Rumburg, and explore a series of specialty shops from North Beach to Ocean Beach.
Eat some barbecue.
Show off your fierce moves with the spool at the Bay Area Classic Yo-Yo Championships in Dolores Park on Saturday, or just grab a free burger or hot dog and enjoy the show. Or head to Baker Beach and throw down your Memorial Day barbecue like a true grill master. Get there early to claim your territory.