When the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in October 2012, they did it with the unlikeliest of good luck charms: a baby françois’ langur. The tiny monkey had been born at the San Francisco Zoo, and its arrival coincided with a winning streak for the Giants. In honor of this serendipitous connection, the zoo named the orange-headed monkey Romo, after the relief pitcher who clinched the World Series championship. Today, guests to the San Francisco Zoo can visit Romo and several of her monkey buddies at the Doelger Primate Discovery Center, which is just one of dozens of meticulously crafted animal exhibits.
Amid verdant city parks and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the zoo has been a part of the San Francisco community since it opened in 1929. Nearly 700 species of animals crawl, swim, and fly over its nearly 100 acres. Visitors traversing the space can explore elaborate exhibits and attempt to telepathically communicate with anything from birds and reptiles to invertebrates and mammals, including hippos, polar bears, and big cats.
One of the zoo’s most impressive habitats is the 3-acre African Savanna, which recreates a sprawling natural environment for free-roaming giraffes, zebras, kudu, and ostriches. Nearby, lemurs swing and leap through the treetops inside one of the country’s largest outdoor lemur habitats. In the Hearst Grizzly Gulch, panes of transparent plexiglas separate visitors from enormous Montana-born grizzly bear sisters Kachina and Kiona.
Connect the Dots helps nonprofits, shelters, and low-income housing properties reduce their environmental impact by retrofitting their buildings. It supplies conservation materials and tools, implements frameworks and support structures for future action, and tracks water and electricity usage to ensure organizations see the immediate results of their environmental efforts. The financial savings incurred can help these organizations allocate funds to fulfill their missions. Since its inception, Connect the Dots has greened 116 facilities with 36 organizations, saving 8.7 million gallons of water, 843 pounds of waste diverted from landfills, and 158,000 kWh of electricity.
The instructors behind U.S. Training Group use their experience in law enforcement to teach clients how to responsibly protect their homes. The defense experts lead courses—including women's-only classes—that cover skills from cultivating the proper mindset to learning self awareness. Additionally, a FAQ page covers basic information to prepare students for training.
Beneath twin lanterns rests the entrance to a quiet punch house modeled after the classic British punch houses of the Victorian era. These are not punches of fruit or fist, but rather of rum, the chosen inebriant of Hobson's Choice. The bar stocks more than 120 varieties of this sugary spirit, including Old Grog, Myers's, and Neisson Réserve Spéciale, as well as rare and limited-quantity batches. Beneath a line of antique chandeliers dripping with sweet, sweet history, the staff fills glasses with specialty cocktails such as the Planter's Punch, a mixture of Coruba dark Jamaican rum, fresh orange juice, lemon juice, and grenadine. To chase these libations, they also serve food catered by the nearby Asqew Grill.
Park 77 hydrates palates with drink specials and entertains patrons with beer-pong courts, arcade games, and billiards tables. The neighborhood sports bar boasts an outdoor patio and beer garden, where guests can mingle and wildlife can catch up on favorite sporting events playing on a jumbo, outdoor TV. Inside, pub fare circles the crowds, light emanating from flat-screen TVs flickers across cartoon pinup girls on pale yellow walls, and a long, wood-paneled bar pours draft selections including Guinness, Fat Tire, and Stella Artois. Within the expansive interior, heated games of pinball and skeeball set the backdrop for themed gatherings, such as College Fridays.
Both kids and adults can learn the art of cake decoration within the walls of Sugar 'n Spice. During classes, they fill bags with buttercream icing and pipe flowers, ruffles, and letters on the tops of cakes and cupcakes. Grown-ups can even learn to bake cakes and cake pops for upcoming birthdays, weddings, or mortgage closings. Those wanting to practice their skills at home can pick up the necessary accoutrements at the on-site shop.