The 12 things you absolutely must do in SF this Spring

Published On 02/05/2014 Published On 02/05/2014

It's almost Spring in San Francisco (aka Summer in San Francisco, 'cause our weather doesn't play by the rules), and what better way to spend it than doing a bunch of stuff you didn't even know you've always wanted to do? That's right, we've put together the ultimate Spring to-do list, complete with 12 bucket list-able things you can start checking off when Persephone has finally been given back to Ceres by Hades (Greek mythology-five!!!).

What: Take advantage of Biergarten's extended Spring hours
When: March 20th-June20th
Where: Biergarten
Biergarten, everyone's favorite outdoor, German beer-drinking spot, extends its open time by an hour both ways, so you can get your stein on starting at 3pm.

What: Head to the beach (bonus points if it's one of these eight nude ones!), because SF Summer is actually in the Spring
When: March 20th-June20th
Where: Stinson Beach
Seriously, how nice is this weather? Might as well get a tan now before it turns back to Winter for the actual Summer months.

What: Try out the new place from Brandon Jew and the guys behind T-Lish
When: March
Where: Chino
What do you get when you cross Chinese cuisine with all things Tacolicious? This place.

Flickr/Mr. Littlehand

What: "Sneak" in beers from Public House for the SF Giants' home opener vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks
When: April 8th
Where: AT&T Park
First: find the secret turnstile in Public House that'll let you take their beers into AT&T Park. Second: take beers in via said turnstile. Third: drink them. Fourth: start growing your post-season beard at the very first Giants home game... wait, what's that? You've already started growing a beard? Well, as long as your girlfriend's cool with it...


What: Get weird for Easter with the Hunky Jesus Contest
When: April 20th
Where: Dolores Park
Whether you feel like getting a little sacrilegious or just want to lay out in the park, the Hunky Jesus Contest will be taking place in grand, Dolores, Easter tradition. How very SF of you.

What: Take one (or more) shot(s) of more than 300 types of tequila for Cinco de Mayo
When: May 5th
Where: Mosto
Mosto has possibly the largest tequila selection in the entire city, which is saying quite a lot... sorta like you after sampling several of their tequilas in celebration of this bueno holiday.


What: Get your sweet/party tooth satisfied at Dessert First!
When: May 5th
Where: Four Seasons Hotel
Party for charity at Dessert First, a SOMA shingdig with desserts by some of the best chefs in the city, plus a full bar (that you can get VIP tickets to for a free-drink happy hour).

8th Annual UnCorked! Wine Festival

What: Pinkies up at the Uncorked! SF Wine Festival
When: May 17th
Where: Ghirardelli Square
Where else in the world are you gonna find limitless samples of some of the best wine in the world? Yeah, but what about other than France and Napa Valley?? Huh??? That's what we thought.

What: See if you can swim from Alcatraz in the Alcatraz Challenge (or, let's be real, watch others do it)
When: May 18th
Where: Alcatraz/ East Beach, Crissy Field
Finally, you can prove to everyone that escaping from Alcatraz is totally doable... with a wet suit and months of training for a triathlon.

Flickr/Kevin Edwards

What: Don your fixie-bike costume to watch Bay to Breakers
When: May 18th
Where: Alamo Square Park
Or, ya know, whatever pop-culture thing will be completely irrelevant in a month. But it doesn't matter, because Bay to Breakers!!

What: Enjoy the 31st Annual SF International Beer Fest
When: May 24th
Where: Ft. Mason Center, Festival Pavilion
Uh, a ticket for unlimited beer tastings? Yep, done and done.

What: Rooting on the US to destroy Ghana in the World Cup
When: June 16th
Where: Mad Dog in the Fog
Yeahhhhhhh!! You totally care about soccer! U! S! A! U! S! A!

Joe Starkey is Thrillist's San Francisco Editor, and he once reached Grand Mage in Wizard Staffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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1. Biergarten 424 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

With quintessential large mugs, sausages and sauerkraut, long picnic tables in the sun (hopefully), and a rotating selection of impressive German beers, Biergarten everything you want in, well, a beer garden. It’s owned by the masterminds behind Suppenküche, so you know you can bank on them having a way with Teutonic suds and snacks. With no roof, it’s not the ideal spot for a rainy day pint, but you’ll be clamoring for a space come summertime.

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2. Mosto 741 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Think of Mosto as the smaller, Mission-located cousin of Tacolicious, because it's from the same dude. In a space ominously lit with a wall of floating candles (fire hazard?), it may be hard to see all THREE HUNDRED of their tequilas, but don't worry, you'll find -- and taste -- them all eventually. We do recommend a steady approach to that goal, though. Because Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching, and you'll need to be in top taco-eating shape.

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3. AT&T Park 24 Willie Mays Plz, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Soma)

This pitcher-friendly park offers 8 luxury suites and 6,700 club seats, including 1,500 at field-level behind home plate. Keeping things old school, the park has enormous right-field score boards manually operated by just three guys. Make your own blast to the past and attend the SF Giants home opener, Tuesday April 8th vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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4. Mad Dog In The Fog 530 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Lower Haight)

Because you seem really trustworthy, Lower Haight's resident English pub lets you pour your own beer courtesy of the TableTender, an eight-stooled table with a built-in two-tap system that pulls from kegs stashed in a cabinet underneath.

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5. Alamo Square Park Steiner St & Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94115 (Western Addition)

Look familiar? That's 'cause this place has the honor of being the park featured in the credits for Full House, you know, that show that asked us "what ever happened to predictability -- The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV?"?. While you won't find any answers here, you'll quickly discover the world-class views peppered among images of Olsens and Dave Coulier are not just schmancy TV magic. This May 18th, head to Alamo Square to watch Bay to Breakers, the oldest consecutively run annual footrace in the world.

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6. Dessert First 757 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Soma)

On April 6th, check your belt but not your sense of charity at the door: Dessert First presents the efforts of the best dessert chefs in SF alongside cocktails, wine tastings, and music, all to the benefit Project Open Hand, which supplies food and groceries to those who need it most.

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7. Chino 3198 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (The Mission)

Chino's a Chinese dumpling haven serving all of your wonton desires. They just opened their doors, so Spring into action already and give them a visit.

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8. SF International Beer Festival Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123 (The Marina)

Kicking off its dirty thirties, the 31st Annual SF International Beer Fest is bringing over 120 brewing companies under one roof at the Fort Mason Center. Get ready to share in the effervescent glow of a well-made pint this May 24th.

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9. Uncorked! SF Wine Fest 900 North Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (North Beach)

Head to Ghiardelli Square on May 17th to see if you should pair your wine with a... Ghiardelli square, at the Uncorked! Wine Festival, which'll have tastings and demonstrations from renowned Bay Area chefs plus seminars in such topics as how chocolate and vino are best buds.

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10. The Alcatraz Challenge Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA 94965 (The Presidio)

Prove you're the real Birdman of Alcatraz (if one of the birds was a particularly athletic duck) on May 18th with this 1.5-mile swim across the open waters of the bay from The Rock followed by a 7-mile run to the Golden Gate Bridge.