A Local’s Favorite Outdoor Things To Do in San Francisco

May 26, 2021

Unique architecture, beautiful parks, and lovely weather make San Francisco one of the great destination cities in the US. There’s so many wonderful things to do and summer is a prime time to take advantage of all the city has to offer. And if you want to do your trip to SF right, you’ve got to do it like the locals do. Here’s our guide to the best outdoor things to do in San Francisco, local-style.

Spend the afternoon at Dolores Park

A picnic is perfect for stopping and enjoying a city and SF is no different. So on a sunny day, head to Dolores Park in the Mission. Grab some beer or wine from BiRite market and sandwiches from Rhea’s Deli for some of the best sandwiches in that area. Do some people watching, read a book, or simply relax in the sun. When you’re ready for dessert, pick up some ice cream from Smitten Ice Cream. You won’t regret it.

Head to a rooftop bar

Rooftop bars accomplish two goals: eating delicious food while sipping on great drinks and seeing the city. It’s one of the best outdoor things to do in San Francisco because no matter when you visit, you’re bound to have some decent weather to enjoy a rooftop. El Techo in the Mission is a nice rooftop bar with tasty food and pitchers of margaritas. Spend the evening there with other locals for a time well spent.

Enjoy the best of SF local dining on a food tour

There’s nothing better than strolling around a neighborhood, taking in the sites, and eating in some of the city’s tastiest restaurants. For unique outdoor things to do in San Francisco, try a progressive food tour. Experience the city like a local through food, dining at some of the most innovative and trendy Mexican restaurants in the Mission District or on Italian classics in North Beach. You’ll hit up four restaurants for a progressive meal that will make you feel like a local by the end of it— enough food to fill your belly and enough history to impress your friends back home.

Go to a Giants game at Oracle Park

Going to Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) is one of the most fun outdoor things to do in San Francisco! And going to a baseball game is a classic past time. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, the stadium is nice and open, right by the water, and has so many food and drink options that make you feel like you are eating in the heart of SF. Don’t forget—can’t go there without having the garlic fries!

Browse one of the many markets

Whether you’re looking for a souvenir or simply want to go on a leisurely stroll, SF has plenty of markets to check out. Heart Of The City Farmers’ Market is SF’s only independent, farmer-operated, non-proft market in the area and has been running since 1981. Peruse the market for fresh produce, local goods, and more. If you’re into antiquing and vintage goods, Alemany Flea Market might have something for you!

Ice cream via The Ice Cream Bar

Walk around Cole Valley and Haight Street for food and shopping

Haight Street is famous for a number of reasons, so undoubtedly it’s on your list for places to visit. After you’re done checking out The Grateful Dead house or taking pictures of the Victorian architecture, walk around and check out the many shops. Shop for records, try on some unique clothing, grab a book to read in the park, etc. Embrace the hippie vibe still prevalent in the neighborhood. When you’re finished, head over to Cole Valley, a 5-minute walk away and another great place to shop and eat.  The Ice Cream Bar is a sweet finish for classic sodas, great ice creams, and boozy treats! 

There are so many more outdoor things to do in San Francisco that you’ll just have to come experience yourself. Outdoor fun is what the locals do best, and with good weather, great shops, and even more delicious food, you’ll see why for yourself.