"Most festivals seem to feature mud and/or dust. That's why I love Coachella [next April in California's Mojave Desert]. Large variety of great bands every day, beautiful weather, and it's the only festival held upon finely manicured polo fields."
Launched in 2008 by the people who created Bonnaroo, this 60,000-strong celebration of public lands, at Golden Gate Park, offers gorgeous views and top-shelf eats: everything from Hog Island Oyster Company's freshly shucked specialty to (natch) a wine-sampling area with Napa labels.
Don't miss Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, the National, and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, fronted by a bluesy rocker who brings to mind both Aretha Franklin and Lucinda Williams. Three days, $225; sfoutsidelands.com.
Intermission Really appreciate those hills on a running tour of Chinatown and other historic sites (two people, $60; sfruntours.com).
Crash The Stanyan Park, a restored Victorian hotel, lies within sight of the park ($139; stanyanpark.com).