Adventure Activities in San Francisco -- Try if You Dare
1. Eat offal at Incanto
For those who aren't Food Network aficionados, offal is what the Merriam-Webster dictionary refers to as "the viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal removed in dressing," or what Chris Cosentino calls "good eating." Chef of Noe Valley restaurant Incanto, he serves up world-class Italian-inspired cuisine that "honors the whole animal," by serving not just the ribs and shank, but also the kidneys, brain, testicles and other vital organs.
The faint of heart or constitution may pass on this offer in favor of more fun activities. Located in San Francisco, Incanto's menu changes daily, but in the right season you could start your meal with lamb heart crudo, mint and borage, then dive into spaghettini, Sardinian cured tuna heart, egg yolk and parsley. My favorite dish at Incanto was duck fries and eggs -- the eggs being not eggs but duck testicles. How's that for a daring idea? A bit chewy but somehow strength-inducing. My friends were both repulsed and impressed, as yours will be if you rise to the challenge. A main course at Incanto will set you back about $20. They are open for dinner Wednesday through Monday. When making reservations, don't forget to ask about Leg of Beast and Whole Pig Dining.
Incanto Italian Restaurant
1550 Church Street, San Francisco, CA 94131
2. Have a one night stand (up) at San Francisco Comedy College
Few things inject fear into the hearts of mere mortals as quickly as the words, "you're on," followed by "and make it funny." San Francisco Comedy College hosts an adventure activity in San Francisco that gives new meaning to the term "stage fright." The college is convinced that being funny is a skill that can be learned, like baking a cake or building a bird house.
Comedy is much tougher than it looks. Just think of all the comedians who have been to rehab (or should have been to rehab). However, if you're in San Francisco, feel adventurous and want to find out if you're one of the chosen few who can stand before strangers and induce spontaneous eruptions of laughter, reserve your spot in the Comedy College's free introductory workshop. You'll learn the "joke diagram" technique, "rehearsal" technique and more. And if it turns out public humiliation isn't your idea of fun activities while on vacation, you can at least feed up on the free snacks.
San Francisco Comedy College
414 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
3. Jump for joy -- on stilts
Right now, as you and I sit quietly at our computers, there are groups of seemingly ordinary people leaping great distances into the air, performing acrobatics and urging their friends to "get high" with them. That's right: there's a new extreme adventure activity in San Francisco, and in terms of urban outdoor activities it's addictive.
Once content to merely glide along the Embarcadero on roller blades, the "powerbocking" crew now attach themselves to spring-loaded stilts and take their extreme sport to the streets. Some do it for the cardio exercise, but more and more are stretching their limits with "parkour" (street-style), and freestyle, which involves acrobatic moves not to be attempted by rookies. I must admit I'm not crazy enough -- I mean brave enough -- to try this myself, but I do enjoy the intoxicating effect of watching them do their thing on lazy weekends in Golden Gate Park.
Ready to participate in some new daring activities and see San Francisco from a whole new angle? All levels can sign up for a two-hour class ($50) at the San Francisco Circus Center, where you'll be able to practice flips on the trampoline, then on the stilts. Happy jumping!
San Francisco Circus Center
755 Frederick Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
4. Pillow fight for peace
It is one of the quintessential San Francisco fun activities to put Valentine's Day, peace, pillow fighting and viral communication into the proverbial fun blender and create a public, feather-filled fracas. Not the only city to participate in this flash mob-esque event, San Francisco has nonetheless detoured from International Pillow Fight Day (April 3), and since 2006, has held the love fest on Valentine's Day. Whether you participate with a loved one or show up solo, this fun-filled San Francisco adventure activity is sure to elicit a gaggle of giggles and inhaled feathers to warm your insides until at least St. Patrick's Day.
A few rules of the road include:
-Tell everyone you know about Pillow Fight!
-Nothing in your pillow but pillow.
-Don't hit anyone without a pillow.
-Don't hit anyone operating a camera.
So grab your pillow and get your tail feathers down to Justin Herman Plaza, 1 Market Street near the Embarcadero Ferry Building, on Feb. 14 before the clock strikes 6PM.
5. Score a fanny facial
When it comes to adventure activities in San Francisco, this seems an appropriate place to end. Not everyone needs to have a bottom as smooth as a baby's, but like so many human pursuits and purchases, logic is pretty far down on the list of priorities.
At zensAsian in San Francisco, dare to entertain ideas that might be a little outside of your comfort zone. Do your best to relax while a stranger exfoliates, peels and moisturizes the junk right out of your trunk. A 30-minute treatment costs $50, and as an added bonus, it promotes an even skin tone. Nudists of the world (and those who gaze upon them), rejoice! The rest of us can take pleasure in simply knowing we endured something most people never will, and our backsides are better off for it. The end.
1311 23rd Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122
- Overview:San Francisco Travel Guide