It’s barely even noon on an oddly sunny day in San Francisco. Despite the early-ish time of day, you’ve already seen the unimaginable. Herds of unicorns. Spectators cheering from roof tops. Nudists roller-skating past police officers like it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Flash dance mobs. A large group of Elvis impersonators. DJ’s on every street corner. Kids competing to sell lemonade on the sidelines. People throwing tortillas everywhere. Is that guy dressed as a cat… carrying a box of kitty litter?
If you typed in “what to do after Bay to Breakers”, and this blog post popped up, I put my money on it that you are in San Francisco right now, wearing an epic costume that you spent weeks planning. And now you are standing at the finish line of the most zany, yet magical, 100 year old footrace. You can’t possibly be ready to let the good times to end just yet.
So, now what? There really isn’t that much going on at the finish line side of the race, so after you get your medal and t-shirt, you’ll have to catch an Uber. (Bay to Breakers does have its own Finish Line Festival, which is worth at least checking out before you head off.)
Given the fact that you will probably want to be around like-minded people in costumes, I’ve got you covered with the main places where the magic continues.
The Panhandle is a stretch of park leading up to Golden Gate Park that forms a panhandle (go figure). It is also a part of the course and a great spot to watch the “centipedes” roll in. There are live bands set up in the area making this one of the most popular viewing points of the race. If you’re looking for bites and brews, Barrel Head Brewhouse is a solid spot that welcomes the Bay to Breakers crowds.
Haight-Ashbury is a haven for hippies, and Bay to Breakers participants alike. The Haight-Ashbury district was named after the famous intersection known as the birthplace of America’s counter-culture in the 1960’s. Here you will find revelers parading in their costumes as they pub-crawl down the infamous streets. There are also several restaurants to eat at if you need some carbs post-race.
Hayes Hill is probably my favorite part of the whole race. Despite the climb of this unforgiving hill, the people watching in this area is unsurpassed. The steep porches to Victorian homes are decorated with costumed onlookers and DJ’s abound. This hill is what separates the people who are intent on finishing the race from the rest. If you want to join the festivities on the sidelines, Hayes Hill is another vantage point that can’t be beat. (Bonus Tip: Bay to Breakers offers a prize to the fastest male and female runner to make it up the hill. This year’s prize was $2,500 and some Under Armor swag!)
Mission Dolores Park is where you will find even more costumed merrymakers, and perhaps some fire dancers. The park is known for being packed with participants gathering on the day of Bay to Breakers. Plus, the panoramic view of the city on this beautiful day is not one to miss!
Do you have a favorite spot to celebrate after Bay to Breakers? If so, leave a comment below!