I can relate: Your friends are all like “Hey, let’s hike up Mt. Tam and then run over to Sol Food for Cubanos and Ponches.”
And you’re all like you don’t want to drive across the bridge and crawl through west Marin and get all hot and sweaty and wait in line for food and then fight traffic INTO the city on a Saturday night when you could just stay home on the sofa.
You don’t particularly like the great outdoors. I confess that I didn’t either, until I was in my late 30s. So here are a few tips for face-saving things to do IN THE CITY with your outdoorsy friends.
Bearish (as in Polar) in the Bay
You: Walk to the end of the pier at Aquatic Park. Look for seals, sea lions, other wildlife.
They: Drop in as guests at the Dolphin Club or the South End Rowing Club (depending on which club is open to public that day). Swim in the (most recently) 58-degree water. Meet you at Buena Vista Café for Irish Coffees.
Strawberry Hill Excursion
You: Walk around the path “inside” Stow Lake – accessed from either of two pedestrian bridges leading from the cement walkway that circles the lake. It’s uneven, rocky and made of dirt. Your shoes will be slightly soiled so it’s almost like hiking.
They: Run up Strawberry Hill, pause to enjoy the views, search for the strawberry patches that supposedly still exist. Meet you at the Chinese Pavilion near the fake waterfall. Discuss the many dining options near 9th and Irving.
Boating on Stow Lake
You: Bring a parasol (or umbrella that resembles a parasol). Climb carefully into rented boat. Adapt a reclining pose evocative of numerous Impressionist paintings.
They: Row or paddle you around Stow Lake. Harder than it looks.
Seal Rock Adventure
You: Check tide tables for next “lowest” low tide at Ocean Beach (April 23, 6:19 a.m. per Magic Seaweed). Walk out and touch Seal Rock (normally inaccessible by foot except during abnormally low tide). Hold your nose because of the bird poo.
They: Jog south on Ocean Beach to Fort Funston and back, then meet you at Louis’ for a classic American breakfast with a view.
Fool Around at Dolores Park (if you can find parking or a place to sit)
You: Join a drum circle. Smoke pot. Maybe get a sunburn.
They: Play hacky sack, practice outdoor yoga or do contact improv. Maybe get a sunburn.
Baker Beach Au Naturel
You: Take off all your clothes (at the north end of Baker Beach). Maybe get a sunburn. Call Uber to drive you to Rob Hill.
They: Hike uphill from Baker Beach to Rob Hill, set up camp (reserve ahead), start grilling hot dogs..