We’ve done a lot of things during our two short months in California, and we barely scratched the surface of the outings offered in the Bay Area. While we missed some big things like Alcatraz and walking across Golden Gate, we have done some amazing things during our time. These five will definitely be repeated if/when we return to the Bay.
1. “The Big Lebowski” at the Paramount
If anyone talks to Matt and I long enough, you will discover our affinity for “The Big Lebowski”, the Coen Brothers 1998 masterpiece starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi. We watched the movie together for the first time at the very beginning of our relationship and it immediately became a staple in our home. We quote it, tell others about it and watch it frequently. So, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that our favorite film would be featured on the big screen during our first weekend in Cali. The Paramount Theater, which I have previously written about, is a stunning venue and made our first weekend here amazing. Plus, they served White Russians during the film. The Dude abides.
2. Walking down Haight Street
During our second trip into SF, I knew we had to visit the infamous Haight-Ashbury area. The mecca of Hippie culture in the postwar 1960s, Haight Street still vibrantly reflects the olden days, with head shops, tie dye and murals lining the walk. We spent a good while walking, popping into nearly every store. We encountered many oddities: a man who told jokes for a quarter,a pair of giant legs sticking out of a wall, and a crystal shop with a meditation area in the back. With so many interesting shops and oddities, I could definitely spend another day strolling down this street.
3. Getting Tattooed at Temple Tattoo
I already knew I’d be getting some new ink before we’d even set off for California. Being an area know for innovation and creativity, the Bay has some AMAZING tattoo shops and artists. After I had finally decided on my design, I searched for the man (or woman) for the job. I finally found Heath Preheim at Temple Tattoo in Oakland and knew he was the guy for me. Heath was amazing, dealing with my weird ramblings and occasional yelps of pain during our two hour session. I’m so glad I decided to add another tattoo to my collection while we were out here. If you’re ever in this area, I HIGHLY recommend this place.
One of our fellow Airbnb-ers invited out onto his sailboat one random Friday and we eagerly accepted. While I’m not a huge fan of boats, sailing is a way of life in this area so I figured I should give it a try. We stayed out for a few hours and the views were stunning. We happened upon a neighborhood of house boats, which were pretty amazing. Furthermore, sailing is definitely a team sport, meaning Matt and I had to pull on ropes, open sails and steer more than once. I can completely understand why people up here enjoy it so much: the breezes are wonderful and you definitely feel a swell of accomplishment when you finally dock for the day.
5. Saturday night comedy
There is ALWAYS something to do in the Bay area, most of which are pretty inexpensive. Our favorite example of this would have to be comedy night at the It’s Your Move game store in Temescal. Every Saturday night, the game store converts into a comedy space for the Critical Hit Comedy Show, complete with a stage, couches and amazing performers. Cover is only $5 and it’s BYOB, so it isn’t odd to see people walking in with six-packs and full bottles of wine. The show last about two and a half hours and is a great way to spend a Saturday night. We visited multiple times and will definitely make a point to drop in again!