Three Last Minute, Broke-Ass Tours of The Bay
Last minute, your old buddy/weird aunt/foreign intrigue is in town and wants to hang! More to the point, they want to have a Bay Area experience on a Fresno budget. What to do? Well, freak out no further. I have your problems solved! I have been falling back on these three Bay Area tours when guest strike and imagination is adrift for years, and they have always gotten positive reviews. What makes these tested and approved cheap ass adventures extra fun is they are easy to tailor to your guest’s preferred vice. Loadie aunt? Insert marijuana here. Friend on the wagon? Candy store mother fucker! Partaaaay buddy? See aforementioned categories and add a tall boy in a brown bag.
Nothing conjures up romantic notions of San Francisco quite like the waterfront. Now this tour you can approach two ways. If you are in Oakland, hop a boat and cruise get off at the Embarcadero, if you are in San Francisco you can manifest you and your visitor there on the public transportation of your choice. Once at the Embarcadero, take them on a long stroll towards Pier 39 and take in the sights. If you are going to smoke a bowl or crack a picnic beer, I suggest doing it at this part. The first stop on your tour will be at Pier 39 to wonder at the weirdness of the sea lions. Now, you’re going to want to let your substance – be it THC or friendship – settle in a little. Once you are both adequately at one with nature, you are going to stroll on over to Musée Mécanique for some vintage game magic. This is your time to shine as a baller, because if you are equipped you can produce a roll of dimes for both your guest and you and boom. Fun city. When the pinging and binging and spinning of the games start going to your dome, you can escort your visitor to the final stop in your tour – to get scared by San Francisco’s own World Famous Bushman! This tends to be my favorite part of the tour. Once you have gotten your seven jollies out laughing at your amigo’s fear, the two of you can pull up a slice of sidewalk and take in the enjoying sites of other tourists being scared shitless.
This tour starts at the 12th Street and Broadway BART Station in Oakland. Get yourself and your foreign entity there however you have to. Located near ferry, bus, and BART lines, it’s pretty effing easy to get there. Once at Ye Ole BART Station, start walking in the direction of China Town. If you are into weed, I seriously suggest you maybe hit it a few times. Just to, you know, get in the mood. Once you have hit Oakland’s China Town take your time, cruise into the little shops. Take in the hanging ducks, buy a chrysanthemum tea, and oogle at the truly everything stores. Also make a conscious effort to lead your friend into one of the several shops that are filled to the brim with cars, jewelry, cellular phones all made of paper. These marvelous effects are made to be burned with the deceased to provide for them in the afterlife. While you are tripping the fuck out on that, do try to remember to purchase a few million yen worth of Hell Bank Notes. Not only do they make fine presents, they are also handy in the event you cross paths with the Devil and he is a little light in the pockets. When you begin too China Towned out, start walking in the direction of Lake Merritt and stop to buy some dim sum – but DON’T EAT IT. You are going to trot that pink box of deliciousness down to the Lake Merritt, your last stop, and crack open a beer and have yourselves a fine picnic. Take in the scenery and the people watching. Your friend had fun. I promise.
This is the slowwww jam of the three tours. Ideally you and your plus one are going to have some bicycles or vehicle at your disposal. If you don’t, it’s not the end of the world, but you are setting yourself up for quite a walk. Now let’s square this away, Alameda is cute. Like in a high volume of old timey shops, classic cars, garage sales and beautiful front lawns way. It is very much has a throwback Americana-lost sort feel to it. I love to bike in this town because the speed limit across the whole island is 25 MPH and there are bike lanes everywhere, so even if the person I am showing around isn’t a cyclist, they usually feel comfortable pretty quickly. Our tour begins at the Salvation Army on Park Avenue. This place is great, packed to the ceiling with all sorts of cheap weirdo treasures. Take your time, scouring the racks and bookshelves and treat yo’ selves to a budget shopping spree. Following your Park Avenue excess experience, pop on your bikes and get yourself over to Webster Avenue because it is time for some GD pinball! This place is sure to be a hit with your companion, I mean the only way you couldn’t like the Pacific Pinball Museum is if you were dead. Home to 100 different pinball machines this is the place to bloop and bleep the day away. Once you have had your fill, get your ass to a liquor store and head on over to the Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach to crack a beer and watch the sun sink into the beautiful Bay.