SF Bay Area (and Beyond) Outings

Here are some quick, informal, low-key (showing what our family did) reviews of Bay Area (and beyond) landmarks, regions, restaurants, and more:

San Francisco 
South Bay 
California (Central) Coast
East Bay and Beyond
Lake Tahoe

And here are some of my favorite spots in San Francisco, in no particular order:
  • Breweries: San Francisco is home to numerous renowned breweries, most of which feature, among other varieties, typical hoppy West Coast IPAs (India Pale Ales). For those unfamiliar with West Coast IPAs, the beer can be a bit much in terms of the bitterness, but after a few tries, many have been converted.  21st Amendment Brewery is a family-friendly brewery with a wide variety of beer styles. Tip: Get a sampler to try small pours of a variety of their beer styles. 21st Amendment Brewery also has a nice food menu with many tasty options. Finally, it’s close to AT&T Park, which you should definitely check out when you are in San Francisco, if you get the chance.
  • AT&T Park:  Some of my favorite views in the city are from high up in the stadium in AT&T Park. If you can, catch a baseball game while you are in town. It’s worth it just for the views from the stadium. If you can’t catch a game, you can book a tour of the stadium. 
  • Ferry Building: The shops and restaurants in the Ferry Building are a foodie’s dream. Plus, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays there is a farmers’ market right in front of the Ferry Building. Grab some fruits, veggies, and a to-go meal from one of the many vendors, and find a bench with spectacular views of the bay right outside the Ferry Building. 
  • Ghirardelli Square: Ghirardelli Square is a great marketplace to visit with many different shops, including a bakery, wine bar, restaurants, juice shop, and more. Of course, no visit to Ghirardelli Square is complete without a visit to the famous chocolate store. Kids of all ages enjoy seeing the chocolate being made right in front of them. Tip: Often the top level of the store is not as crowded as the bottom level, so check out both levels before ordering. And if you feel you had too much chocolate and not enough fruits and veggies, the Juice Shop is a great place to get some tasty, organic fruit and vegetable juice.Wander out onto the pier in front of Ghirardelli Square for fantastic photo opportunities of the city – Alcatraz, the Bay, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 
  • Fort Mason: Just a short walk from Ghirardelli Square is Fort Mason. Fort Mason Park has plenty of grass to hang out on. Also at Fort Mason are food truck meetups most Friday evenings of the year (check Off The Grid’s website for dates and times). It’s a great way to sample a variety of foods and enjoy the gorgeous views of the bay.