Even though it's San Francisco's biggest summer music festival, Outside Lands isn't for everyone. If you'd rather avoid the crowds, exorbitantly priced drinks and porta-potty lines, there's no shortage of alternative ways to spend the three days that the fest sets up in Golden Gate Park. Here's what we recommend doing if you won't be joining the masses at Outside Lands this year.
1. Make your Instagram feed jealous. Instead of Instagramming the windmills at Outside Lands like everyone else, consider climbing one or more of San Francisco’s most picturesque steps and staircases instead. Your calves and your IG followers will thank you.
2. Go to the beach. Soak up the sun at a local beach this weekend (it is summer, after all). If you want to make a night of it and roast a few s’mores, spark your own oceanside bonfire at these Bay Area beaches.
3. Take a hike. Trade bumper-to-bumper city traffic with acres upon acres of scenic trails.
4. Admire SF's other parks. Pack a picnic and use the weekend to explore San Francisco's less-famous parks. Whatever you do, avoid Golden Gate Park like the plague.
5. Go to the revamped Oakland Zoo. The Oakland Zoo recently recently underwent an amazing renovation, doubling the park’s exhibit size. Animals on display include endangered California condors, grizzly and black bears, mountain lions, bison and more. Make sure to ride the new gondola for a bird's eye view of the entire zoo.
6. Find peace of mind. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed from all the festival hoopla, side-step the festival grounds and give your brain a break at one of these SF meditation spots.
7. Sip wine, lots of wine. If you need to get out of the city all together, head across the Bay Bridge to Oakland's Jack London Square for an under-the-radar wine walk. The waterfront 'hood is home to over a dozen bespoke wine bars within walking distance of each other.
8. Tour SF's new rooftop park. Salesforce Transit Center is hosting a block party this weekend with food trucks, live music and insider tours of the brand-new transportation center (including a chance to walk on the Cable Stay Bridge!)
9. Commune with seals. You'll find perfect paddle boarding rental shops, calm waters and friendly seal colonies just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito.
10. Volunteer. Want to give back to our community? Most San Francisco food banks and public pantries, including Meals on Wheels, have same-day sign ups for volunteers. If you can't make it in person, consider cleaning out your cabinets and donating any non-perishables.