The 7 best ways to take advantage of the SF Indian summer
It’s that time of the year again! Not just that time but the best time of the year to be in San Francisco. We’ve survived the dreaded — or anticipated, depending on who you ask — foggy season and have finally made it to SF’s Indian Summer. No matter what your opinion on Karl the Fog, we can all agree that September and October are the months we really get to enjoy the best of SF’s offerings — without leaving the city.
Not sure where to begin your Indian Summer activities? There’s no bad place to start, as long as you’re enjoying the weather! Avoid paralysis by analysis and let us do the planning for you. We have the top seven ways to make the most of San Francisco’s most ideal season.
1. Kayak McCovey Cove
There’s no better place to cheer on the Giants. This iconic tradition in one of Major League Baseball’s best ballparks isn’t even in the stadium. On any given night, ticket holders pause the procession to their seats atop the right field wall to admire the kayakers — and their heightened fandom — in the cove. While you don’t have much of a view of the action, you’ll avoid sweating in the bleachers from the coolest part of the park. And you won’t be alone either. Boats and kayaks alike enjoy a sense of camaraderie as they pull up to McCovey Cove yearound to take part in this landmark practice — all with the hopes of rescuing a Giants home run ball from the Bay.
Grab a kayak, canoe, or your preferred floatation device and head to the Cove this fall for an afternoon on the water!
2. Skate the Roller Rink in Golden Gate Park
If you’ve ever strolled along JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park on a Sunday afternoon, you’ve likely heard disco music blaring. Between the Conservatory of Flowers and the de Young Museum, sits a small asphalt roller rink where many break out their inline skates and dance the rust off until dark. Don’t mind the dozens of tourists who stop and stare in bemusement, instead join in on one of San Francisco’s quirkiest traditions.
3. Hike Mount Sutro and Twin Peaks
Your commute to and from work may feel like a climb already, but if you’re looking to enjoy the warm weather without leaving the city, Mount Sutro and Twin Peaks are home to the most accessible hiking trails within the city limits. The Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve has a multitude of trails that range in difficulty and provide an ethereal experience when an evening fog has rolled in. Twin Peaks, on the other hand, provides panoramic views of the city and is at its best when it’s clear. If you’re feeling ambitious, try the four mile Mount Sutro to Twin Peaks trail to experience two of San Francisco’s many mountains.
4. Surf Ocean Beach
Almost every San Franciscan has declared their desire to learn to surf at one time or another. But whether it’s the foggy mornings or the upfront expense of a surfboard that could very well end up as a new entryway decoration, we’ve all put it off. Luckily, there’s no better time to catch surfing fever than the Indian Summer. Try renting a board for a day or two, catch the 5R to Ocean Beach, and create a hobby — or at least memories — that lasts long past the fall!
5. Chow Down at Off the Grid
If the city seems a little quieter than usual on Sunday afternoons in the fall, it’s because everyone has headed over to the Presidio for an outdoor brunch at Off the Grid. Off the Grid provides outdoor food truck experiences across the Bay Area from local purveyors. While they host many gatherings during the week throughout the year, Off the Grid is best known for their Sunday afternoon picnics on the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground and Friday evenings in Fort Mason. Both provide a relaxing atmosphere, delicious food, and a beautiful backdrop, all you have to is bring the blanket and friends!
6. Picnic in One of San Francisco’s Many Parks
Standing in line at food trucks isn’t your thing? No problem. Experience the park the old fashioned way: make some sandwiches, pick up your favorite beverages, and pack your own basket to the brim. If you want to spice things up and be the envy of your picnic neighbors, keep it active with a lawn game tournament like Spikeball or cornhole with your closest friends.
It’s tough to top a sunny weekend afternoon in your favorite urban oasis!
7. Bike the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito
Many locals may scoff at the idea of participating in what might be one of the most touristy activities in the city. But don’t knock this route until you try it. It provides unbelievable views of the bay and is a great way to recharge by taking in San Francisco’s most scenic attractions. Afterall, there’s a reason why this is popular amongst tourists. As any out-of-towner can tell you, start by renting a bike and head to Crissy Field. Once there, trek up the hill, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and coast down the hills to Sausalito’s town centre. Stop into one of the town’s many shops and restaurants — Bar Bocce and Joinery are staples and won’t disappoint — to reward yourself before taking the ferry back to the city.
Whether you start on the water in McCovey Cove, in the grass of Mission Dolores Park, or on the beach in Sausalito, you’ll be making the most of San Francisco’s Indian Summer no matter where you go.