From beaches to barbecues, here’s how to spend the weekend in the city

Everyone in know the knows that San Francisco is at its best during Labor Day weekend. It’s that special time of year when denizens leave town for a party in the desert or a day trip over the bridge. It’s when city streets and sidewalks are quieter. It’s when public parks urban tourist traps prove a calmer affair.

Don’t believe us? Check out the list below, which is full of ideal ways to spend the holiday weekend. Because now is the time to take advantage of outdoor activities. (And with a blistering heatwave en route, it will be hard not to.)

There are plenty of hot spots in San Francisco where you can fire up the grill for some good food and smoky fun. We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled this map of 13 places where you can grill across the city.

We’ve mapped the city’s more gorgeous historic gardens—from a preserved patch on Alcatraz Island, a forest in the Tenderloin, a mini park rich with flowering foliage on an otherwise nondescript Sunnyside residential street, and more.

Photo by Adam Brinklow


The Mission District has roughly 450 murals. SoMa has over 130. And the Tenderloin boasts nearly 100. We’ve done the legwork and mapped out the 13 most overlooked gems in San Francisco.

The city’s preferred park is a mess on warm weekends. This one will be no different. Instead, we suggest checking out Golden Gate Park. The city’s largest park has much to offer, much of it you might not even be aware of.

Photo by Matt Nazario-Miller


From tide pools and family-friendly shores to secluded spots and and clothing-optional fun, we’ve come up with the top 10 Bay Area beaches for soaking up some vitamin D. Feel free to Dolores Park this weekend for some sun-drenched scenery on the sand.

There are 41 alleys in Chinatown.. But there’s more to these small stretches of street than sensational tales exoticized in the pages of tourist guides. We’ve mapped out a few notable paths for you to follow.

Photo by Lauren Conklin


While FiDi workers will probably eschew this idea, we cannot stress enough how secretly exciting the city’s business neighborhood is during the weekends. With everyone gone, head downtown and take a peek at some of the historical ornamentation you might be missing right over your head.

The world’s queer mecca has more to offer than two-for-one drink nights. We rounded up the most significant locations in the neighborhood that have contributed to the importance and stronghold of queer identity. A must for any San Francisco resident.

Photo via Wikicommons


Look, it’s been a rough season for Giants fans. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t head down to South Beach to support the greatest baseball team inside the greatest ballpark on an exceptionally off season. Sob.

Revered as one of the greatest female architects in history, Julia Morgan’s designs will inspire any architect trying to break into the male-dominated field.

Cupid’s Span with the Bay Bridge in the background.Photo by Shawn Clover


To learn more about the artistic side of the city, we’ve compiled a map of San Francisco’s most notable public art pieces.

If the FOMO us too much and you simply can’t bear the thought of staying in the city, check out one of the Bay Area’s cutest small cities. In need of a laid-back beach day? Try Stinson. Or, prefer to party in the middle of the woods? Check out Guerneville. No matter where you choose to visit, the Bay Area is lucky to have a number of quaint towns.