You may not need a reason to enjoy all the incredible nature at our disposal, but if you do, here’s a gentle nudge: on June 9, a number of national parks in the state are free for Get Outdoors Day, including our own Muir Woods just a short jaunt north of the city in Mill Valley. The 554-acre park has one of the last old growth Coast Redwood stands left in the state, nay, the world, and a 1.5-mile trail to enjoy it. The $7 fee is waived for Saturday, and you can even park and ride the Muir Woods shuttle, which also picks up/drops off at the Golden Gate Transit bus stop and Sausalito ferry if you choose total car freedom.
The Haight Ashbury Street Fair is Sunday and for the last 35 years has been one of the best street fests going. It’s the spirit of the event that makes it so, which is mostly a big party. Haight Street is blocked off from Masonic to Stanyan, with booths for food, barbeque, beer, funky crafts and, this being the Haight, some hemp-related vendors (including California Grow Mugs – just add hot liquid and the Golden Gate Bridge graphic on the mug suddenly has a marijuana forest growing behind it). The bars and restaurants along Haight are hopping as well, and a stage is setup at Stanyan for live music throughout the afternoon. This year’s main act is The Tubes, which is kind of cool, and apt, since they’re a local band (formed here back in the ’70s) and their satirical bite comes with an over-the-top stage show (or at least used t0).
Since 1994, Sunset Music has been freeing electronic music from dark clubs in the wee hours and presenting it in beautiful daylight settings. Sunday’s Sunset Island picnic party on Treasure Island’s Great Lawn is just such an event, from noon until sundown. The lineup includes several Sunset artists, as well as a few bigger electronic artists like Magda, who’s sound is more industrial Detroit with Richie Hawtin-influenced beats. This music is obviously not everyone’s cup, but I came to appreciate it from my years in Miami, and it really befits a setting like this.
Here’s a couple reasons to make the drive south this weekend: The Monterey Wine Festival (noon-4pm) and the Monterey Beer Festival (12:30-5pm). At $35 and $40 respectively, you probably need to choose your poison. The beer fest features 80-plus local and craft breweries, and the wine fest includes a number of the area’s best wineries, restaurants and fine food proprietors. If you’d rather not venture that far south, try the Vintners’ Festival put on by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association. It’s the second of two weekends, and includes 27 wineries and restaurants spread around Santa Cruz County.
If you’re in the North Bay, and want to stay there, you can check out the Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music in downtown Novato, Saturday and Sunday. Or in the city head downtown to the sculpture court at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for Indie-Pino, a music fest of indie Filipino bands, starting at 1:30pm.
That’s all I got.