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Top 5 Things San Franciscans Never Do…But Should

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It’s pretty easy to get into a routine. You get outta work (virtually or literally), and you head to the same watering hole or food joint. Afterwards, maybe, you hit up the concert or music show of the talent du jour that was on some friend’s spotify. You take random selfies with friends, post to socials and go home. You’ve become a creature of habit, or had one too many staycations.

What should you try in San Francisco if you’re looking to spice things up? If you’re like me, you’re willing to try anything new. If this is you, too, we’ve made a list for you. This is a list of top 5 things that San Franciscans never, ever do, but should. And no this isn’t click bait (Well, maybe a handful of San Franciscans do this stuff but who’s counting?).

Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim photo by Felix Wong (via CC BY 4.0)

Escape from Alcatraz

The city has been blessed with many iconic events: Santa Con, The Brides of March, The Hunky Jesus Contest, but you’ve been to them all and are looking for something new. This event inspired by the film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood is for the most hardcore of swimmers who want to brag that they escaped from Alcatraz. This cold and epic swim that requires you be in tip top shape takes place on June 12th. To swim, you pay a registration fee, and are strongly encouraged to be able to swim 1 mile under 40 minutes.


Sailing, James Barcelona (c) 2023

Volunteer for BAADS, The Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors

Anywhere from 15 to 50 disabled sailors look forward to volunteers making sure everything runs smoothly each week. It’s a great way to sail and for a good cause, too.

McLaren Park via SF Rec & Parks

McLaren Park

There was that one time everybody showed up to the soap box derby at McLaren Park last year, but yeah, it’s empty most of the time. If you want to deny your suburban brethren the excuse of not finding parking and flaking on your BBQ, this is the place to host your BBQ. Plentiful parking abounds!

ingleside sundial

Ingleside Sundial, James Barcelona (c) 2023

The Giant Ingleside Sundial

Hop on the M Oceanview and get off at Victoria Street and Ocean Avenue. Use the map app of your choice to navigate to the sundial. There are these concrete seats that can seat about 2. It’s perfect on a nice day, if you grabbed grub to go on Ocean Avenue at a place like Pakwan.

That road through Glen Park Canyon in this pic O’Shaughnessy Boulevard. Photo by Calbookaddict via Wikipedia Commons

The Longest Hill Bomb in the City without a Stop Light

It’s O’Shaughnessy Boulevard. Starting at Portola Drive and O’Shaughnessy Boulevard, head south with the stead of your choice. I prefer a my beat up road bike that I got on Craigslist. Prepare to enjoy 1.3 miles of uninterrupted down hill. Hopefully your brake’s work. At the end, ride into Glen Park and enjoy all it has to offer.

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James Barcelona

James Barcelona

James Barcelona is a writer in San Francisco with a penchant for film photography and learning languages.