The San Francisco Bay Area has always been a top global destination for urban adventures, cultural experiences, and diverse shopping and dining. Even in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still a great place to be, providing plenty of opportunities to help you make the most out of this extraordinary situation. Just remember to wear a face mask when you go out and follow social distancing protocols to keep yourself, your family, and the community safe.
See this list of amazing activities that you can enjoy amid the coronavirus crisis in the Bay Area.
- Sample the city’s best eats
Many of the area’s top restaurants have reopened for business while adhering to local and state guidelines for COVID-19 mitigation. These include outdoor seating only and arranging the layout to allow for social distancing. A number of restaurants have remained closed but are open to delivery and takeout, so you can enjoy their offerings in the comfort and safety of your home.
While you’re sure to have your favorites in the city, it’s high time to sample other culinary options, especially those that have become synonymous with the Bay Area. Here are a few suggestions:
The ground floor of the iconic Ferry Building is occupied by the Marketplace, a public market that features restaurants, shops, food booths, and a Farmers Market that’s considered one of the best in the country. As of July, 2020, many shops and restaurants have reopened, although restaurants can only serve food in an outdoor area. Some of the must tries are Hog Island Oyster Company, Gott’s Roadside, Cowgirl Creamery, and Fort Point Beer Company. The Farmers Market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
In case you haven’t heard, the burrito is an American invention — and it all started at the Mission. To this day, nothing can top the giant-sized, overstuffed versions from the “original” burrito makers — La Taqueria, El Farolito, Taqueria La Cumbre, and El Faro — and they’re all open for dine in and/or takeout.
This beloved cafe is the stuff of San Francisco legends. It goes back to the Gold Rush when sourdough was first discovered by bakers, and the bacteria that gives the dough its distinct flavor — lactobacilli sanfranciscensis — has since been named after the city. Today, Boudin Sourdough still makes sourdough loaves from a mother dough that was first grown here in 1849. The bakery is open for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.
The world’s most photographed bridge deserves a second, third, or even a hundredth look — its appeal simply never gets old. You can cross the bridge on foot using the east sidewalk, which is open from 5 am to 6:30 pm, or by car or bike any time of the day. The best thing about visiting during the pandemic? Traffic is just about one-third its usual volume. You can take in the spectacular views of the Marin Headlands and the city’s skyline from the bridge with less traffic to distract your attention.
San Francisco has over 200 parks, and many have reopened, either fully or partially, in June. Wherever you are in the Bay Area, you can find a beautiful park nearby to spend some time in the outdoors. Featuring trails, gardens, open areas, and wonderful views, these parks are perfect for a walk, run, or a relaxing picnic. There’s plenty of space for everyone so always be mindful to keep a six feet distance between you and other people.
The top places to go include:
With the numerous landmarks and attractions in the Bay Area, there’s likely one or two you haven’t visited or fully explored yet. Now’s the perfect time to get acquainted with a part of the city’s culture and rich past, while giving yourself and your family a break from getting cooped up indoors. Many of these attractions have reopened to the public but some are at limited capacity or have designated restricted areas. Check their websites first to see if advance reservations are necessary.
These are the top places you shouldn’t miss:
- Alcatraz Island
- Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf
- San Francisco Botanical Garden
- Palace of Fine Arts
- Marin Headlands
- Japanese Tea Garden
As of August, 2020, San Francisco’s amazing museums have remained close to the public, but many have provided virtual tours that can be accessed for free. Going on these virtual tours is an enriching experience you and the family can enjoy together from the safety of home.
Here are some pages to check out:
- deYoung Museum
- The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco
- The Mexican Museum in SoMa
- The California Academy of Sciences’ Virtual NightLife event
- The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art #MuseumFromHome
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