5 Themed Day Excursions in San Francisco for Under $10 (lunch/breakfast included):
Avant-Garde Architecture in Japantown
Jumpstart with beignets or bao (buns) with Vietnamese coffee ($6) at Out the Door before walking tour of high modern landmarks (Konko Temple, First Unitarian, Cathedral of St Mary, Peace Pagoda), followed by picnic of Benkyodo mochi ($1) on hidden, historic Cottage Row. Total cost: $7
Mission Art Attack
Walk down mural-lined 24th St and duck into Balmy Alley to see where the Mission muralista movement began. Swing by Tortas Los Picudos for the most generous torta sandwich this side of Mexico City ($6), then scope out the latest show at Eleanor Harwood on your way to witness poetry in motion at Potrero Skate Park. Backtrack to 22nd St for a tiny horchata cinnamon cupcake at Mission Minis ($1) and head to Mission Comics & Art to witness comic artists in action. Total cost: $7
Browse the Ferry Plaza farmer's market for free samples, recipe advice from artisan cheesemakers & outspoken foodies, plus Namu's kimchee tacos (2/$5). Swing by the Rincon post office to see the WPA mural of SF history completed by Anton Refregier - after 92 changes to satisfy SF's vocal arts community. Join the parade of walkers down the Embarcadero, past the Claes Oldenberg "Cupid's Bow" statue everyone in SF loves to debate. Twitter's SoMa HQ is on Folsom, and Tweet alerts spread the word about gourmet street food carts that congregate in nearby South Park - check www.twitter/sfcarts for daily arrivals, and join the swarm for Chai Cart's malt chai ($3). Total cost: $8
Ecotour the Marina Waterfront
Go fly a kite on the reclaimed airstrip of Crissy Field, then warm up with organic coffee ($2) inside the walls of the Warming Hut, insulated with blue jeans. Walk along the water to the Wave Organ to hear the music of the Bay piped through listening tubes, then head to Fort Mason, where the LongNow Foundation's 10,000-year clock may alter short-term environmental thinking, and Greens serves to-go black-bean chili so savory, you won't realize it's vegetarian ($7). Total cost: $9
Join the surf crowd at Trouble Coffee for an eyeopening fresh-squeezed grapefruit shot or coffee ($2), served indoor amid beachcombing decor or outside on the bench with the wetsuits. Swing by Mollusk to check out displays of local art and artist-designed hoodies before hitting Ocean Beach, then warm up afterwards with Outerlands grilled cheese & organic, housemade soup combo ($8). Total cost $10
About "Lonely Planet's San Francisco Guide":
Lonely Planet's San Francisco City Guide is written by two local authors and gives in-depth coverage of San Francisco's history, arts, architecture, neighborhoods, shopping, dining scene, nightlife, sports and day excursions. Including interviews with local celebrities like Traci des Jardins, interesting sidebars, authors' top picks and an index of green and sustainable businesses and organizations, this is a guide to San Francisco like no other. From well-known tourist attractions to the quirky gems that even some locals don't know about, Lonely Planet's San Francisco has something for everyone.
For more information, visit www.lonelyplanet.com.
About author Alison Bing:
Over 15 years in San Francisco, Alison has done everything you're supposed to do in the city and many things you're not including falling in love on the 7 Haight bus and gorging on Mission burritos before Berlioz symphonies. Alison holds degrees in art history and international diplomacy- respectable diplomatic credentials she regularly undermines with opinionated culture commentary for radio, newspapers, foodie magazines and books including Lonely Planet's California, USA, Coastal California, California TRIPS, San Francisco and San Francisco Encounter.