Summer in San Francisco sucks - here's why you should visit in spring


We've all seen those tourists in San Francisco who think summer is the best time to visit, then spend their precious vacation days shivering in shorts and t-shirts. Nope, summer in San Francisco pretty much sucks unless you love fog and cold wind. There's a reason why this quote is so famous: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."

But spring, spring here is lovely, a time for flowers and warm days and the scent of freshly-cut grass. And there's lots to do if you're able to hop away for a perfect spring day in the City by the Bay.

Morning
Right when you wake up, head to one of the city's awesome coffee shops. Four Barrel Coffee and Ritual in the Mission District are perfect for coffee snobs. Blue Bottle is also sprinkled all over the city, so keep your eyes open.

After coffee, it's time for brunch and a quaint outdoor patio. Zazie's is an uber popular neighborhood bistro in the Cole Valley area, but watch out, it often has a line snaking out the front door. Try the eggs benedict or the French toast - yum! This joint is also tip-free, which pretty much rocks because you don't have to do math in your head while suffering through the biggest food coma of your life.

Afternoon
Then, walk off that hearty meal of goodness down Haight Street and poke your head into the countless vintage clothes stores and eclectic shops. You can always find funky clothes for cheap at the Goodwill if you want to save a buck.

Haight street takes you right up to the edge of Golden Gate Park, and if you're really cruising along, keep on walking and meander through the botanical garden, the tulip garden, the Japanese tea garden and the AIDS Memorial Grove. You can also rent a bike and use that to pedal the winding roads. Stop in the Cal Academy of Sciences or rent a boat and paddle around Stow Lake.

Once you're sick of the Golden Gate Park, hop a MUNI train or keep on riding your rented bike down to the Beach Chalet, right near Ocean Beach. You can sit outside and sip brews while chowing down on a Seared Ahi Sandwich or a Beach Burger. Sometimes there's live music, and you can while away the afternoon here on your own picnic blanket in the freshly-cut grass.

Evening
If the beer and sun haven't worn you out by now, make one final stop at the Cliff House, a work of architectural art that overlooks the ocean. It's the perfect spot for a bite of food or another drink as the sun sets over the sea.

That night, you will be exhausted and happy, glad you chose to visit San Francisco in the spring.

Kristin Hanes is a writer and frugal adventurer who lives on a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay. She's frequently published in SF Gate. Follow her on Twitter @KristinHanes