San Francisco Spring Break Crawl: Cheap Eats and Family Vacation Ideas

Academy of Sciences San Francisco
The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco has an extensive collection of aquariums and marine creatures. Photo: Will Love
For a city relatively small in size (49 square miles), San Francisco is chock-full of green space for spring celebrating -- from Golden Gate Park to the Presidio to small neighborhood stomping grounds. Weave a park visit into your spring break enjoyment, and it'll be hard to remember winter.

Get the All-Inclusive Treatment: Park Chalet
Pay one price for a bundled food or drink experience

Dine and drink in Golden Gate Park on Sunday with the Park Chalet's all-you-can-eat brunch buffet ($27.50). Dishes include breakfast meats, eggs Benedict, omelets, fruit, salad, pizza, French toast and biscuits. The bottomless sparkling wine for adults helps make a spring event out of any ordinary Sunday.

Worship Water: California Academy of Sciences
A fun water-centric activity

In the vast natural wonderland of the California Academy of Sciences, it's impossible to ignore the alluring aquarium exhibits. The 38,000 animals from around the word include coral, sea stars, Crayola-colored fish, sharks, stingrays, African penguins and an albino American alligator named Claude.

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere – Here:Tonga Room
Where to get a great tropical drink

Don your tropical attire and duck into the Tonga Room. This exotic bar and restaurant has been here since 1945, but you wouldn't know it. Grab a seat near the lagoon, choose among the decadent rum-laden libations like the potent Zombie, mai tai or pineapple royale ($12-$18), and watch out for the rainstorms -- which come on schedule.

Closer than Disney World: Bay Area Discovery Museum
A great activity for kids and families

Challenge the boundaries of creativity for your child with a visit to the Bay Area Discovery Museum, across the Golden Gate. Bring in the springtime with the Spring Kids Concert Series, which features interactive performances and sing-alongs with pirates, a bug family, a "multi-instrumentalist" and a founding member of Camper Van Beethoven. The shows are on Saturdays in March at 11 a.m.

Catch Some Rays: Zeitgeist
A place to eat or drink outdoors

When the sun's out in San Francisco, it's often blessing Zeitgeist's outdoor beer garden with its warm rays. Choose between the 48 different beers on tap, one of the bar's famed Bloody Marys, or even an expertly mixed cocktail and pick your place in the sun. Remember sunscreen!


Planning a Caribbean spring break instead? Check out our island finder >>


Jill K. Robinson writes about travel, adventure, lifestyle, food and drink. A Bay Area native, her favorite springtime activity in San Francisco is to walk through Golden Gate Park in the sunshine. A beer break at a local café is required, as well.
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