A Day For Couples Only
In That City By The Bay
by Mary Lou
Wake up sleepy heads, and start your day with the splendors to be had at the Tartine Bakery & Café (600 Guerro St., San Francisco). This deservedly renowned establishment has been keeping folks happy since its opening day. I am salivating over the thought of some good coffee and a morning bun, but there are savory offerings as well. Try the quiche, a sweet or a savory scone, mmm…a fresh baked croissant. If you’re not there early, you’ll wait in line. So, wake up – this will be a long day.
Transportation is up to you. On foot it is about 2.7 miles to the Golden Gate Park. You could easily spend the rest of the day here, exploring its many attractions. We won’t let you, though, because there is a lot more to be experienced in San Francisco (can you hear Tony Bennett yet?).
Off To Golden Gate Park
At the de Young Museum, San Francisco’s oldest museum, is located in a modern copper-sheathed building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron.
The de Young Museum is situated on the Music Concourse just east of the Japanese Tea Garden, at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. You can listen to an artist debating in the lecture, or choose to lie in the grass under a giant safety pin (which will sound pretty good if you walked the 2.7 miles to the park).
How about checking a fog bank rollin in from the ocean? Take a look, and keep looking at Frederic Edwin Church’s “Rainy Season in the Tropics.” There will be many exhibits to enjoy and talk about in the museum’s café, which is surrounded by Eucalyptus and redwoods (you are in a park, remember).
You’re close, so why not visit the Japanese Tea Garden, one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco. You’ll find the classical arched drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, serene koi ponds and a zen garden. Cherry blossom trees bloom throughout the garden in March and April. San Francisco is all about food, and the Tea Room, with its selections of beverages and snacks, will not disappoint.
There is much, much, more to experience within the 1,017 acres of the Golden Gate Park. You’ll discover gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails, and monuments, plus an array of cultural venues, events, and activities.
You and your S.O. won’t want to miss out on the inescapable experience of Alcatraz Island. Due to the excellent ferry service, you can tour the island, once home to the infamous, and then make your escape easily. Ticket prices are in the $37.00 range and the tours sell out quickly. If you want your visit to the rock in the evening, you will probably need at least a week to reserve and purchase ticket.
Once the home of Al Capone, and the famous Birdman of Alcatraz, Robert Stroud, the history of Alcatraz will surprise you. You’ll visit the cell used for solitary confinement, and the usual prison accoutrements sure, but you also visit civil war-era buildings, cannons, and subterranean rooms from the early days when the island was a harbor defense fort and a military prison. Visible reminders remain from the American Indian Occupation, which occurred from 1969 to 1971 – an important milestone in the American Indian rights movement.
Okay, you two are off the island. Now, you really should plan on riding on a cable car. Yes, its touristy, but, hey, its San Francisco. Check out the routes. The cost is around $7.00 each. You can hang off of the side (at your own risk), but that’s part of the fun.
A Bay Area Afternoon
Keep up the tourist experience as you must experience Fisherman’s Wharf. C’mon, there’s good food, seafood in orientation I hope. You don’t go to a steak house for pasta, and then complain that it’s not authentic, do you? But, if you really, truly, can’t imagine yourself with anything from the plethora of underwater offerings, there are other goodies to be had.
There is fun to be had, other than the gastronomical, such as the Aquarium by the Bay, Madame Tussaud’s, the 7D exchange, Ripley’s Believe It or Not with its Odditiorium, and, oh boy, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace.
Now go take a nap, both of you. Make it a short nap (or whatever), so you have time to get ready for Date Night San Francisco.
Date Night in San Francisco (and Oakland)
Tank18... Wine. Food. Fun. The Tank18 Tasting Room is located at the winery in the SOMA district. Wine Flights are on offer. A casual tasting of their 4 wines with a cheese sampler plate to help you remain sober. Wine by the glass or bottle can also be purchased to enjoy with various treats from the menu in their lounge area.
Wine Bar not your thing? Make an impression with your suave sophistication and steer your date to Mr. Tipples’ Recording Studio. The ambience will set the stage with the dim lights, ritzy furnishing, and how about that live jazz. No cover charge, so you can enjoy some pub grub (nothing over $10.00) with your cocktails ($12.00 range).
Either of you living la vegan lifestyle. For a classy date head to Classic Cars West in Oakland. The vintage car dealership and art gallery (yes – car dealership and art gallery) also house a beer garden where you can enjoy the comfort food of Hella Vegan Eats. The menu varies daily. If your date is coordinated well you can also enjoy Uptown Oakland’s First Fridays and stroll through the vendor booths and the other art galleries.
It goes without saying, you may have already taken selfies at the corner of Haight and Ashbury. If not, why not?