With the weather finally warming up and the sun waking from its slumber, San Francisco visitors will most definitely want to spend a fair amount of their trip in the outdoors. For some insight into what to see and do, we asked locals Reem and Ahmed Rahim, the brother-sister founders of Numi Tea who recently gave us some excellent iced tea cocktail recipes, for the inside scoop on what's happening out and about in the Bay area. Here, they tell us what's up.
Despite its obviousness, Reem says visitors must, must, mustcheck out The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset. "It always amazes me how we can be in a bustling city one minute and 15 minutes later be in such serenity," she says. Then, she adds a follow-up. "Once the sun sets, head over to Sausalito for dinner at Sushi Ran, the best sushi in the Bay."
Speaking of the Bay, Reem also suggested those hoping to get some fresh air hike in the East Bay's Tilden and Briones Regional Parks. "I like to take folks up to Grizzly Peak or Skyline Blvd. in the East Bay. They connect the Oakland and Berkeley Hills and you get gorgeous views of the Bay up there." she explains, before pointing us to the local favorite, Huckleberry Trail.
Brother Ahmed agrees, and tells us the misunderstood city of Oakland's filled with natural glory. "Oakland has some of the best state parks around," he says. "There are gorgeous views of the bay area, and hiking paths meander into all types of beautiful natural terrain, with redwoods, oak trees, Manzanita trees, all types of birds, and fresh bay area breezes."
(Flickr users Jess and Colin shared this view of Briones Regional Park.)
No matter which path you take, both Rahim children suggest you finish off with something sweet, specifically the goods at Ici Ice Cream on College Avenue in Berkeley. "There's usually a line but it's worth it!"
If you're looking to experience art, Reem and Ahmed can't get enough of live music and cocktails Friday nights at the de Young Museum, and they love the first Friday of the month, when almost all of the Bay's galleries open their doors and the streets are filled with thousands of people. The siblings also suggest that you book a table at the popular restaurant Burma Superstar to rebuild your strength after a jaunt through San Francisco and Oakland's art scenes.
They also insist you spend some time out at another requisite sight, The Ferry Market, where you can catch unparalleled views of Treasure Island and check out the city's less famous but just as spectacular Bay Bridge, currently the canvas for artist Leo Villareal's two-year LED installation, The Bay Lights (pictured above).
But if walking isn't your thing, Ahmed suggests driving along the pristine North and South Bay coasts. "From up in Bolinas Bay and Point Reyes down to southern areas of Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur, take a drive and soak up views of the ocean, go for a surf, or catch a glimpse of migrating whales if you're here in the right season," he suggests, wisely.