There are a number of things I find myself feeling grateful for this morning: my body's unprecedented cooperation with actually getting out of bed when the alarm went off, despite the heavy darkness outside my bedroom window; the clear passage to the counter at my favorite coffee shop, free from its usual crowds in the still-fuzzy first light of day; and the perfectly timed arrival of the 49 bus, which takes me from the Mission, the San Francisco neighborhood I call home, to Fort Mason, the little national p
Once upon a time, in the City by the Bay, there lived a great emperor. He wore a long, Napoleonic coat topped with epaulets, carried a saber, and was saluted by an adoring public everywhere he went. He regularly attended governmental meetings, tried to abolish congress, and made written proclamations decrying everything from racial injustice to those who would dare call his city "Frisco."
It's the classic dilemma for visitors to any big city: do you take in all the high-culture highlights a metropolis has to offer, or keep the vacation budget under control? In San Francisco, the pull of the arts is particularly strong, and the price tag can be especially intimidating.
Luckily, if your budget isn't quite as high-end as your taste in entertainment, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our guide to getting cultured without going broke in San Francisco.
San Francisco may be short on snowfall and reindeer, but come December, we’re as holly-jolly a city as you’ll find anywhere. The City by the Bay is ready to spread some holiday cheer this season with trees, lights, music, and culture galore. Best of all, it’s easy to get into the spirit no matter what your budget. As a special holiday treat for you, we’re rounding up the very best ways to make merry on the cheap in San Francisco this year.
So, you’ve hopped a ride on a cable car, gotten spooky on Alcatraz, and gone for a stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge. Maybe you’ve even snapped your picture at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury and worn your legs out climbing up to Coit Tower. You’ve hit all the tourist hot spots, and now you’re thinking you've got San Francisco's go-to guidebook neighborhoods all checked off.
"I'm not going downtown," the bus driver calls over the intercom. I'm aboard the N Judah -- one of San Francisco's Muni Metro light rail lines -- and downtown San Francisco is exactly where I'm heading. I'm making the trip to go ice skating in Union Square, but that's the only set plan.