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When Home Competes for an Ardent Traveler's Affections - and Wins

When I stepped off a ship last October after a month at sea and saw the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, gleaming in the morning light, my heart fluttered. It was the same giddy feeling I’d had the first time I saw the bridge, 25 years ago, when I drove someone else’s Buick Riviera all the way from Denver to California and finally through the tunnel that frames the bridge’s magnificent towers, the bay and the city beyond: I’m home.

Get on the Bus: TransportedSF Plays Designated Driver for PacificSound's Sunset Party on Sunday

If you're thinking about shaking your tail feathers to the electronic dance music at PacificSound's Sunset Party opener this Sunday, April 25, at Stafford Lake Park in Marin, consider putting safety and the environment first by taking the bus there. Not just any bus, mind you. I wouldn't suggest you jump on Golden Gate Transit in scant party attire and a few open bottles of booze. TransportedSF's tricked-out biodiesel buses, which seat 40 adults each, come complete with dancefloor, state-of-the-art sound system and film projector.

The Backdoor Route: Hike Bootjack Trail in Muir Woods

John Muir is one of California's most celebrated outdoor enthusiasts and environmental activists, and his 170th birthday (April 21) falls appropriately in line with Earth Day (April 22). Celebrate by heading out to his namesake park in Marin. Muir Woods is home to some of the most beautiful old-growth coastal redwood groves in the state, and a popular destination for locals and tourists. But take its path less traveled and enjoy the area's natural treasures without the crowds. Bootjack Trail is a backdoor route that starts from the Pantoll parking lot and lets hikers warm up with ease.

Public Bikes Aims to Get San Franciscans Out of Their Cars

Ten years ago, Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, visited Amsterdam. After days spent wandering the cobblestone streets, he was left with one prevailing observation: The city was dominated by bicycles. A vast majority of Amsterdammers—55 percent according to the Earth Policy Institute—peddle to and from work. A trend of that scale doesn’t go unnoticed—not by Forbes, at least. “I like going to a new environment and looking at what humans have created,” he says. “Amsterdam just isn’t a car culture.”

SF Travel Profile: The Chowhound

Clay McLachlan, 38
Sausalito; food and wine photographer

Obsessed with: Camembert, pimientos de Padrón, white truffles.

In the last five years: Been to Thailand, India, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Vietnam, Mexico.

It's National Park Week!

A certain British photographer friend of mine, who shall remain anonymous, recently told me that while America has certainly its faults (we won't go into his phonebook-length list of USA grudges), the National Park system was not one of them. Since I'm a card-carrying member of National Park Service's America the Beautiful Annual Pass program, said British photographer friend was preaching to the choir. During National Park Week, April 17-25—that's, like, now, peops—entry into all of the the US's 392 National Parks is free, gratis, on-the-house.

Giants' Wearable Blanket Night

It's official: The Snuggie craze has finally gotten out of control. Much like Dippin' Dots and songs such as Chumbawamba's "I Get Knocked Down," the wearable blanket trend will reach its prime at a Major League Baseball game. Thanks to a Giants promotion at AT&T Park on Apr. 23, lucky fans will receive logo-printed fleece pullovers (best—and most hilariously—represented here in a photo shoot with pitcher Tim Lincecum). Call it marketing genius or a byproduct of the recession, it seems like this trend—sleeves and all—is here to stay.

The Cynic's Guide to Fisherman's Wharf

 

Wherein a longtime Missionite and dedicated food snob spends two days trolling Fisherman’s Wharf. Goodbye irony—hello Frisco.

The Tenderloin: SF's Hottest Tourist Destination?

G-d bless this guy, Shaw. Randy Shaw. A San Francisco housing advocate with a very ambitious plan to, um, exploit the grittiness of the Tenderloin in an attempt to transform the neighborhood into—get ready for it—a tourist destination. You heard me right: a tourist destination. Shaw's strategy—reported on today in the New York Times—includes building a new $3 million museum of TL history (to be housed in the Cadillac on Eddy & Leavenworth, a Single Room Occupany hotel where Jerry Garcia once laid his weary head) and designing a walking tour of the district's many other historic SROs.

San Francisco Ranked Sixth-Best City for Bicycling

Despite our tricky topography, the editors over at Bicycling Magazine have bestowed upon our fair metropolis the distinction of sixth-best city in the nation for cycling, bested on the West Coast only by the likes of Seattle, Eugene and Portland. To whom, or what, do we owe the pleasure? Perhaps it started with Puck, the devilish bike messenger on the Real World; maybe it's the city's green heart, sensitive as it is to earth-minded commuting options. Or the health-smart population, eager to get in 20 minutes of exercise to make the eight hours in front of the computer a little more tolerable.

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