This is one spot we actually think tourists should skip, but locals should frequent for its great events. During the summer there’s a Lagunitas Brewing Co. pop-up beer garden with live music, and you can drink wine at Bluxome Street Winery year-round. Plus, Jonathan Waxman just opened a new restaurant there, Le Marais is opening a bakery/bistro, and, uh: the best reason of all: Ghirardelli chocolate sundaes. Not convinced? There’s also all of THIS stuff, which includes a $5 burger and fries happy hour deal.
Golden Gate Park
The oldest public Japanese garden in the US is five acres of natural beauty and (if you go when it’s not crowded) total tranquility. There’s an arch drum bridge, pagodas, koi ponds, a zen garden, native Japanese plants, and even a tea house where you can sip tea and snack on tiny sandwiches. Get there before 10am on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and admission is free. Plus, that’ll be the best time to find a quiet spot to appreciate this oasis inside Golden Gate Park.