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aug 10 2010

San Francisco: 5 best August values

SF Street Food Festival

San Francisco's second annual Street Food Festival is a chance to sample must-taste food from 44 different restaurants and food carts, all in one place. Featuring some of the city's best, like Delfina, the Slanted Door, Bi-Rite Ice Cream, Chez Papa, and 4505 Meats, this day-long block party in the Mission should definitely be on a visiting foodie's to-do list. Additionally, there will be creative cocktails from Beretta and Rye on the Road, plus games for kids. August 21, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., along Folsom and Treat streets, and in the adjacent Garfield Park.

Painted Ladies house tour

Located on Alamo Square, the colorful Queen Anne Victorian homes, also known as the Painted Ladies or Postcard Row, are much-photographed icons of the city. The view with the modern downtown skyline in the background, is a dramatic sight (maybe you recognize it from the opening credits of Full House). Currently, the oldest, largest, and most ornate of these homes is up for sale and open to the public for house tours—if you're willing to act interested in buying the $4 million home, of course! The beautifully restored interior features gas-lamp fixtures, fireplaces, and a large turret window. It has been 35 years since one of the houses was available for public viewing, so consider this a rare chance for a peek inside. 722 Steiner St.

The Oakland Museum

The Oakland Museum of California features exhibits on art, history, and natural science, and the recently completed $53 million renovation makes it worth a trip across the bridge. Now through January, the 25 Years of Pixar exhibit provides an insider's view of the creative process behind the Bay Area animation studio. See drawings and sculptures from computer-animated favorites including Ratatouille, Up, and Toy Story 3, plus screenings of Pixar's feature and short films. 1000 Oak St., one block from the Lake Merritt BART station. 510/238-2200, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday; 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays (closed Monday and Tuesdays). $12 per person admission, and the Pixar exhibit is an additional $12 per person.

Free Film Nights

This month, Free Film Night in the Park is hosted right downtown at Union Square. The film, Alfred Hitchcock's classic Jimmy Stewart-Grace Kelly vehicle Rear Window, has the perfect level of suspense for the dramatic setting. August 28, 8 p.m., Union Square.

DIY Printing

The new Levi's Workshop is a hands-on community print shop that's free and open to the public. Print anything from T-shirts to posters to notecards. Through August, visitors can sign up for classes on letterpress, screenprinting, and type-setting, and see posters by local artists and "pioneers"&mash; people like chef Alice Waters and skateboarder Tommy Guerro. If this social experiment goes well, Levi's plans to roll out similar workshops across the country. Sign up one week in advance either online or in person for DIY screen-printing. 580 Valencia Street, 415/522-0877, Tuesdays 12-5 p.m., Wednesdays-Fridays: 12-7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed Mondays.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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