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Outside Outside Lands

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Between the food, the drinks, the art and the music, there's not much reason to leave Outside Lands, San Francisco's iconic music festival held every summer in Golden Gate Park. But our city by the bay has so much to offer—even within the park itself! Here are some of our favorite activities in and around the festival (and just across the bridge) to explore before and after arrival. You may just have to extend your stay.
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Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
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Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most photographed site in California, but this vantage point never gets old. Explore the hollowed out fort, learn some history, and marvel at the view from the top floor.
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1690 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
In Golden Gate Park, right off Ocean Beach, you'll find two historic Murphy windmills that have just been restored to their former working glory. The surrounding tulips and a picnic area make it a perfect pit-stop on your way to, or from, the...
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1004 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
While hiking through the Lands End area of San Francisco I came across this gem. Built in the late 19th century as the world's largest indoor swimming pool complex, visitors could take a dip in one of the seven pools or take a stroll through a...
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3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
This bakery just opened across the street from Woodshop. It’s a godsend. It’s been rough finding good coffee out here, but they serve Blue Bottle Coffee and breakfast sandwiches on house-baked biscuits.”
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1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
Just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Muir Woods National Monument, a 554-acre park; old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, cover 295 of those acres. Peaceful and lush, the forest is ideal for simply communing with...
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370 Linden St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
The Streets of San Francisco Bike Tour company is not only a must for any visitor to the city, it's also an ideal way for locals to soak up something special about their own backyard. Founded by former international bicycle tour guides that have...
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Golden Gate Heights, San Francisco, CA, USA
Located in Golden Gate Heights, the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project transformed a once-ordinary neighborhood feature into a stunning public work of art. Climb them and you'll find (surprise!) more stairs. Breathe in through your nose, out through...
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4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Outerlands is an Outer Sunset institution. The small restaurant near Ocean Beach serves local, organic cuisine in a rustic-chic setting. Covered floor-to-ceiling in warm, rough-hewn wood, the interior invites lingering over an artisan cocktail or...
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948 Fort Barry, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
Just outside San Francisco, and stones throw ( albeit a good arm), from Golden gate Bridge is Kirby Cove Campground. This is such a gem that hardly anyone knows about, which affords spectacular views of SF, the bridge and bay... This shot is from...
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490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Cotogna is dangerously close to the AFAR Media offices. This rustic sister restaurant to Quince opened last year, and the roomy bar is a cozy place to sit mid-day with a double espresso served neat in a Heath Ceramics cup. The pastas are all...
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100 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The Victorian-era glass and wood structure, which looks like a sugar-coated castle atop a grassy slope, is Golden Gate Park's oldest building. It's also one of San Francisco's most splendid historic sites. Wander through five different galleries...
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220 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
For a dose of culture, head to Park Life in the Inner Richmond. The goal of this gallery-cum-retail space is to feature today’s most engaging contemporary art. Located in a 1,400-square-foot former furniture store, Park Life showcases 10 exhibits...
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75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

While Japanese gardens have come to be an expected feature of many botanical parks around the world, the Japanese Tea Garden, which opened in 1894, was the first public tea garden in the United States. The original plot consisted of less than half...

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Stow Lake, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
In San Francisco you don’t have to go to the Pacific Ocean to spend a day on the water. Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park has offered visitors and locals an escape to nature since 1893. Located in the middle of the park, the man-made lake surrounds...
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525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
For traditional German food in a cozy setting reminiscent of a traditional Bavarian Wirsthaus, you can’t beat Suppenküche in Hayes Valley. Owner Fabrizio Wiest, who was born and raised in Germany, worked as a graphic designer before he moved to ...
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San Francisco, CA, USA
Even if you live here, exploring San Francisco's eclectic neighborhoods makes a fun day out, and with City Guides, it's also free. Founded in 1978, the nonprofit organization has more than 200 trained volunteers who lead history and...
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3639 Taraval, San Francisco, CA 94116, USA
The Riptide is a fun bar with a brick fireplace. It is a great place to hang out in the winter. They host a surf movie night on Wednesdays. 3639 Taraval St., (415) 681-8433, riptidesf.com. This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
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560 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
There are a handful of stores in San Francisco that sell quirky and distinctive clothing, jewelry, and homewares. Eden & Eden is one. The brother-and-sister owners stock some vintage pieces and a nice selection of funky jewelry from the U.K. I've...
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355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
If their New American–style brunch and dinner menus don’t tempt you to Bar Agricole, in SOMA, maybe their recent James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Bar Program will. Cocktails run at $11 across the board, and head bartenders Thad Vogler...