20 Things to do in San Francisco this Spring

20 Things to do in San Francisco this Spring
1. Stroll in the San Francisco Botanical Garden (www.sfbotanicalgarden.org).

2. Head for the overlook at Sutro Heights Park.

3. Walk the labyrinths at Grace Cathedral (https://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth/) and Moscone Center.

4. Visit one of San Francisco's newer park areas: Brannan Street Wharf (www.sfport.com), Mission Creek Park (www.missionbayparks.com) and the Fay-Berrigan gardens (www.rhn.org/historyfayhouse.html).

5. Ferry across the bay to Alameda, Angel Island, Oakland, Sausalito, South San Francisco, Tiburon and Vallejo. To review schedules and departure points, visit www.511.org.

6. Many museums in the city have extended hours at least once a week. Many museums are open late on Thursdays: Asian Art Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Exploratorium, Museum of Craft and Design, California Academy of Sciences which offers special programming until 10 p.m.as part of its NightLife series. On Fridays from March 28-Nov. 29, 2014 the de Young Museum offers a variety of interdisciplinary arts programs, including live music, films, lectures, a poetry series, occasional tango milongas and swing dancing, performance art, and hands on art making for young and old. For sunset watchers the view from the de Young's 144-foot tower is stunning. For details on museum locations and other programming details, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel.

7. The San Francisco Giants' home opener is April 8, 2014. For the full schedule, visit www.sfgiants.com. Tours of the stadium, dugout areas and visitors' clubhouse are also offered on a regular basis.

8. Something's always brewing in San Francisco especially at Anchor Brewing Company (www.anchorbrewing.com). Tours are offered once a week by reservation only; to confirm a slot, telephone 415-863-8350. The San Francisco Brewers Guild (www.sfbrewersguild.org) also sponsors a number of events and has a map of local breweries.

9. Climb the steepest streets: Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde (31.5 percent grade); 22nd Street between Church and Vicksburg (31.5 percent grade); Jones between Union and Filbert (29 percent grade); Duboce Avenue between Alpine and Buena Vista (27.9 percent grade). Percentage indicates for every 100 feet, block rises 3l.5 feet, 29 feet, etc.

10. Start training now for one of the many athletic events coming up. In April the Rock ‘n' Roll Marathon (https://runrocknroll.competitor.com/san-francisco) on April 6, the Bay to Breakers (www.baytobreakers.com) on May 18, the San Francisco Marathon (www.thesfmarathon.com) in July and the popular Giant Race (www.giantrace.com) in September.

11. Discover new artists and revisit others on the first Thursday of every month when many local art galleries stay open until 8 p.m. or later. For a list of participating galleries, visit https://firstthursdayart.com/.

12. Tap into San Francisco's urban winery scene at Bluxome Street Winery (www.bluxomewinery.com), Dogpatch WineWorks (www.dogpatchwineworks.com), The Press Club (www.pressclubsf.com), Winery Collective (www.winerycollective.com) and The Winery SF (www.winery-sf.com)..

13. Indulge in a deep tissue massage or a round of reflexology at one of San Francisco's day spas. For a list of local spas and spas located within hotels, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel.

14. San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (www.sfgov.org/recpark) has six municipal golf courses: TPC Harding (18 holes), Fleming (9 holes), Lincoln Park (18 holes), Sharp Park (18 holes); Golden Gate Park (9 holes), and Gleneagles (9 holes). The 18-hole Presidio Golf Course (www.presidiogolf.com) also offers twilight and early bird discounts. Sketchy weather? Check out Eagle Club Indoor Golf (www.eagleclubig.com).

15. Paddle on the bay on a twilight tour with City Kayak (www.citykayak.com). The route includes McCovey Cove, Mission Creek and goes under the Bay Bridge for a spectacular view of The Bay Lights. Previous kayaking experience recommended.

16. The walk across the Golden Gate Bridge - pedestrians have access to the east walkway of the bridge from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Considered one of the foremost engineering triumphs in the world, the bridge is the seventh longest suspension bridge in the world. For more information, visit www.goldengate.org.

17. Experience nature in the big city along the windswept shoreline at Crissy Field (www.crissyfield.org). Savor a treat at the Beach Hut Café or the Warming Hut and explore the eight sculptures of Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field ( https://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events/events/2338) on view through May 26, 2014.

18. Exercise the intellect and the body on one of the free, guided walks offered by San Francisco City Guides (www.sfcityguides.org). More than 30 tours are offered day-in-and-day-out by the volunteer group. They canvass every corner of the city from the ever-changing Castro District to Victorians of Alamo Square.

19. Grab the Graham crackers, dark chocolate and marshmallows for an old-fashioned s'mores party at the beach. Small wood bonfires for groups of less than 25 (without permit) are permitted on Ocean Beach between Fulton and Lincoln. The full regulations are posted at www.nps.gov/goga.

20. San Francisco at twilight as seen from an airplane or helicopter on a “flightseeing” excursion is an unforgettable experience. Aerial tours include Golden Gate Helicopters(www.goldengatehelicopters.com), San Francisco Helicopter Tours (www.sfhelicoptertours.com), Seaplane Adventures (www.seaplane.com) and SF Air Tours (www.sfairtours.com).

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official tourism marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel or call 415-391-2000. The Visitor Information Center is located at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround.