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Three Cities for a Song

DO AS THE LOCALS DO On Sundays, a large stretch of Golden Gate Park (Kennedy Dr. between 19th and Stanyan Aves.) is closed to cars and turns into a sea of cyclists and in-line skaters. Rent your own wheels at Surrey Bikes & Blades (50 Stow Lake Dr.; 415/668-6699). Or go paddleboating at Stow Lake (www.parks.sfgov.org).

GETTING AROUND Cable cars are for tourists. Locals use the city's bus and streetcar system, Muni (415/673-6864; www.sfmuni.com; $1.25 for adults, 35 cents for children 5-17). If you're spending the week, nab CityPasses (www.citypass.com; $36 for adults, $28 for kids 5-17): seven days of unlimited rides on Muni (and cable cars!), plus reduced admissions to the Exploratorium (3601 Lyon St.; 415/561-0399; www.exploratorium.edu) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (151 Third St.; 415/357-4000; www.sfmoma.org). Only have stamina for one museum?Make it SFMOMA.

LUNCH AND SNACKS Join the debate over whether the dim sum at Yank Sing (101 Spear St.; 415/957-9300; www.yanksing.com; lunch for four $60) is the city's best. • Taste the Bay Area's prize produce, cheese, and baked goods at the Farmers' Market at the Ferry Building (Market St. at Embarcadero; www.ferryplazafarmersmarket.com), land of the free sample. The adjoining Ferry Building (www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com) has first-rate food stalls and restaurants. Look for the Slanted Door (Vietnamese), Lulu Petite (take-out sandwiches and homemade potato chips), and Scharffen Berger chocolate—sorry, Ghirardelli, this is the city's finest.

DINNER'S READY Plouf (40 Belden Place; 415/986-6491; dinner for four $65), an outdoor French seafood café, specializes in mussels and roast chicken and frites. Also ideal as a lunch stop. • Pasta Pomodoro (1875 Union St. and six other San Francisco locations; 415/771-7900; dinner for four $45), near the Marina District, is fast and satisfying—unless you're on Atkins. • Scoop sushi from floating boats at Isobune (1737 Post St.; 415/563-1030; dinner for four $65) in Japantown.

BEST CHEAP SEATS SBC Park (Third and King Sts.; 415/972-2000; www.sfgiants.com), home to the San Francisco Giants baseball team, has up to 500 bleacher seats on sale for $16 each on game days.

TO KEEP TEENS HAPPY Head to the Haight, for CD shopping at Amoeba Music (1855 Haight St.; 415/831-1200) and vintage clothing at Wasteland (1660 Haight St.; 415/863-3150).

WHERE TO STAY The Hotel del Sol (3100 Webster St.; 415/921-5520; www.jdvhospitality.com; doubles from $149, including continental breakfast), in the Marina District, is as groovy as it gets. Doubles are wildly colorful (think blueberry and tangerine), if tight. And there's a heated outdoor pool. • The Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf (2500 Mason St.; 415/362-5500; www.sheratonatthewharf.com; doubles from $139) also has a heated outdoor pool. • The nautically themed Argonaut (495 Jefferson St.; 415/563-0800; www.argonauthotel.com; doubles from $149) is a new boutique hotel on Fisherman's Wharf. Frette linens ahoy! Climb aboard the 1886 Balclutha and other historic vessels in the Maritime Park (499 Jefferson St.; 415/447-5000; www.maritime.org) next door.

BEST GUIDE Locals turn to the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle's Datebook—a.k.a. the Pink Section—for listings of plays, screenings, and kids' activities.

TIP It's chilly when the fog rolls in. Save yourself the cost of a tacky sweatshirt. Year-round, pack a pullover.
—Laura Hilgers


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