New Year Adventures in the Bay Area 2013


Easy Does It

Happy New Year! Ease into 2013 by exploring new horizons best served on a cool winter's day.

Fort Baker Sunset

50 Shades of Golden

Looking for fresh perspective to kick off 2013? There’s a hidden vantage point for that. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and steer east down a labyrinth of turns to Horseshoe Bay—one of the best places to watch the sunset from a totally unique angle. Stroll down the tranquil Fort Baker pier and it’s likely to be just you and a few crab fishermen inhaling the bay air as the sun dips and churns out an array of golden hues across the bridge and over San Francisco. New year, new point of view!

BURGER AND BEER BONUS: Keep things glowing at Mike’s Place—the Presidio Yacht Club outpost with a locals-only vibe. Pair an Anchor Steam with Bob’s Pepper Burger, made bartender Bob’s way (smothered in sautéed green peppers). Kick back at one of the large windows looking out to the twinkling city and the Golden Gate. There’s live music most nights. Cheers!

Heading north across the Golden Gate Bridge, exit at Alexander Ave. in Sausalito, and follow signs to Fort Baker. Fort Baker Pier (also called Moore Road Pier on some maps) is located waterfront at the southern end of Moore Rd. Mike’s Place at the Presidio Yacht Club is usually open Thursdays through Sundays. Hours and shows vary, so check the calendar for more info. To get there from the pier, follow Sommerville Rd. east around the edge of Horseshoe Bay. The bar is located on the second floor of the Presidio Yacht Club, accessible from a wooden stairwell on the side of the building. Horseshoe Bay is dog-friendly. No dogs at Mike’s Place.

McKinley Square Park

Topsy Curvy

Put a fresh twist on the new year with a little help from a road dubbed the “the crookedest street in the world.” And it’s not named Lombard. After seven sharp turns (and a sinuosity measuring higher than Lombard’s), Vermont Street peaks at McKinley Square Park in the quiet neighborhood of Potrero Hill. In the 1950s, grazing goats used to rule this turf. The goats may be gone but the vista at this four-acre respite—called “Twisty Hill” by locals—remains much the same: spectacular! Poised above the urban hustle, with a view stretching across the Mission and the northern section of San Francisco, the cypress-dotted spot lets you spy the commotion from a tranquil distance. Amble the dirt walking trails for a potpourri of perspectives. West-facing benches are superb for watching the sun set over the city, and a community garden looks out to Mount Davidson, Twin Peaks, and Sutro Tower. Excellent way to top things off.

BOW-WOW BONUS: Buster will love the off-leash dog play area.

McKinley Square Park is located at 20th St. and Vermont St. on Potrero Hill. Free street parking is available. To reach the stairs, park at the base of Vermont’s twisty section and go up the paralleling steps built into the hillside. Visitors can also access the park without climbing, by parking at 20th St. and San Bruno Ave. Dog-friendly.

Full Moon Hike Chabot Space Science Center

Moon Over Chabot

2013 takes on a new shine over the undulating trails behind Chabot Space and Science Center at the apex of the Oakland Hills (and 1500 feet above the bay). Join one of their full-moon winter night hikes through fragrant coast redwoods and eucalyptus groves. Routes range in length (usually 3 to 5 miles round-trip) and difficulty, but the celestial thrill is constant. Gaze upwards for a crash course in constellations and watch as the moon crests over the horizon. (Chabot provides binoculars.) As the stars curl across the atmosphere, you can almost feel the earth’s rotation.

OUT OF THIS WORLD BONUS: On Friday and Saturday nights, Chabot’s giant telescopes—including the largest telescope open to the public west of the Mississippi—stay open late for celestial viewing and starlit views of the Bay Area.

The Chabot Space and Science Center is located at 10000 Skyline Blvd. in Oakland. Hikes cost $10/person. Reservations are encouraged (510-336-7306), though walk-ups are welcome, space permitting. Telescope is open Friday and Saturday nights, from dusk or 7:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Use the gate at the back of the center and follow signs to the observatory entrance gate. Parking is free at the Chabot lot. No dogs on night hikes.

Ride & Shine 2013

So your 2013 resolution is to spend more time exploring California’s great outdoors? Good on ya! Here’s a great way to make it happen (and meet new people, support a great cause, get in shape…): Sign up for AIDS/LifeCycle 2013, one of the most classic bike rides in the world, rolling from San Francisco to Los Angeles through California’s most iconic landscapes. Anyone can participate, regardless of background, fitness level, or experience. Register now and get $20 off using promo code SHERPA. Expert-led training sessions will get you outdoors regularly—from easy spins to intensive hill training. You’ll also benefit from advice on fitness and nutrition—plus get to know other riders at social gatherings. It’s all in preparation for the main event: An amazing, fully supported 7-day ride with hot meals, massages, gear transport, pit stops, and lots of cheering. It’ll be a blast for a good cause: Helping the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provide vital HIV prevention, treatment, and support services. You belong here! Check out this video to see what it's all about and join a (complimentary) training ride to learn more. 2013 is your year to ride!

TIP: Space for the 2013 AIDS/LifeCycle will fill up soon—register online with promo code SHERPA and get $20 off your registration fee.

Stop by the Kick Off Expo February 2—meet other riders, attend workshops, clinics, demos, and get great deals on gear.

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