In less than 3 months, Kevin and I will officially tie the knot in downtown Los Angeles. To celebrate, Kevin’s friends from his Stanford days invited us up to San Francisco for a low key celebration. It’s a great place to celebrate a gay bachelor party given San Francisco’s progressive attitudes and a wide range of activities. We lived in San Francisco for over 2 years, and we’re still finding new things to do.
While you can easily plan a wild weekend in San Francisco. That’s never really been us. We’ve never been into the party scene. And let’s face it, we’re pushing a certain landmark age neither of us will admit!
So whether you’re planning a LGBT bachelor weekend — or just looking for a list of fun things to do — below are our recommendations for a weekend in San Francisco.
5. Saturday Farmer’s Market
Okay, so this would be on my itinerary whether it was a special weekend or not. The Saturday farmer’s market at the Ferry Terminal Building is my favorite spot in the city. I honestly think I went there every weekend when we lived up there. It was just 10 AM, but I twisted Kevin’s arm to make our first stop — hot chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate.
I attended a food festival in LA last year and got free coupons to try it out. But having no self control, I also ordered chocolate chip cookies and sampled every chocolate bar they had (probably about 12 kinds!). Though I have SOME self control and held back from getting the brownie flight. I mean, it is breakfast time and that would just seem crazy (as I ate my cookie).
4. Drag Show at Oasis
Oasis is a club and performance space located in the industrial SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. This place wasn’t around when we lived in San Francisco, so were glad to have the local SF friends suggest it. The venue hosts weekly rotating acts ranging from screenings of RuPaul’s Drag Race to celebrity impersonators (like our night with “Joan Rivers”) and musical acts. We were just glad to be sitting at the BACK of the room. It’s always funny when the drag queens pick on others. Though, sometimes it does work out for us. Like the one time in Palm Springs — when the drag queen joked that Kevin and I looked too young to drink. Well, everyone else in the room was probably 80+, but we’ll take it when we can get it!
3. Chinatown Walking Tour
Sure, we’ve done walking tours before. But we quickly realized that there are parts of San Francisco that we literally never set foot in. Our friends organized a tour that focused mostly on Chinatown, but also touched on North Beach (the Italian section) and the Embarcadero (near the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market).
As a kid, I have fond memories of visiting San Francisco’s Chinatown. It was one of our first big family vacations and remember seeing so many unusual things — even if slightly shocking to a 6 year old — like a street person making out with the Chinese lions at the Chinatown Gate! (and likely high on something!).
This was a major workout — something like 5 hours of walking! We love getting in steps and always forget just how hilly San Francisco can be. Our guide took us to places we never knew existed, like the tiny patch of redwood trees at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid Building, a peek inside the secret underground tunnels that were used possibly during prohibition and still can be seen under the Artist and Craftsman Supply Store and Chinatown’s very first Michelin-starred restaurant called Mister Jiu’s.
But I was most thrilled by where the tour ended! There is a new food hall that I’ve been wanting to try called China Live (which sounds more like a TV show to me than a food emporium). There is a wine bar, cafe and cute gift shop. They also have clean bathrooms and that’s always a plus in Chinatown!
2. San Francisco Pole & Dancing
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I found out we’d be taking a pole dancing class at San Francisco Pole and Dance. But not so surprisingly, we’d be the only guys in this class. That certainly doesn’t mean this was easy! Far from it. Just 5 minutes into class, my arms were burning and I was sweating (not ideal with a slippery pole either). Who knew pole dancing required so much upper strength? While some of us were better at the routine than others, we all mastered it (sort of ) by the end. And I have to admit, I think I was pretty good. Though, I’m not sure Kevin would like this as my new hobby!
1. Hiking Lands End
Like the name of the hike suggests, Lands End trail is at the very far end of San Francisco. Again, Kevin and I love to keep active and couldn’t have asked for a better way to get out and catch up with friends while taking in the gorgeous scenery.
The network of trails takes you along the long abandoned Sutro Baths (once a public swimming pool), caves and a labyrinth. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate a warm(ish) San Francisco day. And after a few hours hiking here, we don’t feel so guilty about all those cookies we ate at the farmer’s market!