The best of what to do in and around San Francisco this week
The Presidio is opening a new visitor center, and the park is celebrating with live music and dance performances from some of the city’s most iconic cultural groups. Keep with the nature theme indoors at the Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition this weekend or at the California Academy of Science’s free admission day.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
February 15 | Now open: Restaurant
Glena’s Tacos and Margaritas
Chef Michael Gaines, who was previously at Kin Khao and Central Kitchen, has just opened lunch service for his own spot, Glena’s Tacos and Margaritas (dinner will follow soon). Hit the restaurant for tacos (tofu, al pastor, carne asada, and pescado) and ceviche tostadas. The titular margaritas will arrive when dinner does.
632 20th St., San Francisco | website
February 24 - 26 | Gardening
65th Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition
Whether you’re visiting or not, a trip to the 65th Pacific Orchid and Garden Exposition is a highly recommended and traditional San Francisco way to unwind over the weekend. This year’s theme is perfect for city dwellers: “Big Ideas for Small Gardens.” You’ll be able to get any advice you need to grow your own apartment garden, purchase plants and gardening accessories, and marvel at rare flora.
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Hall of Flowers (San Francisco County Fair Building), 1199 Ninth Ave., San Francisco | From $11 | website
February 25 | Outdoors
Community Day Grand Opening Celebration
The new Presidio Visitor Center debuts this weekend with food, ranger-led history walks, and a daylong program of live music and dancing, including performances by the Tatsumaki Taiko Drummers, the SF Conservatory of Music, the Presidio Dance Theatre, and the Loong Mah Dragon and Lion Dancers. It’ll be a lovely opportunity to experience the cultural breadth and depth of the city while enjoying the natural beauty of the Presidio.
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM | Presidio Visitor Center, Lincoln Boulevard at Anza Ave., San Francisco | Free with RSVP | website
February 25 | Escape the city
The Third Annual Saints & Sinners Ball
Sonoma might not be the first place you think of for a Mardi Gras celebration, but the Third Annual Saints & Sinners Ball is here to ensure a good time should you choose to escape to wine country this weekend. Guests are welcome to arrive early to have a local seafood dinner (served until 9 p.m.) before the host restaurant is transformed into a dance party with live performances from The Element Brass Band, T-Luke and the Tight Suits, and Amor do Samba.
8:00 PM - 1:30 PM | The Reel Fish Shop & Grill, 401 Grove St., Sonoma | From $10 | website
February 26 | Museum
Free Admission Day at California Academy of Sciences
Yes, there’s always a catch to free; in this case, the catch to the California Academy of Sciences’ Free Admission Day is that it only happens four times a year, so a great many people want to go and line up early. Don’t let this deter you, especially if you’ve never been. Compelling reasons to check it out include current exhibits like “Gems and Minerals Unearthed” and “Twilight Zone: Deep Reefs Revealed.” Truth be told, you need more than a day to explore this natural history museum, but a free admission day is a great way to start without feeling pressure to see everything in one trip.
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM | 55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco | Free | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.