San Francisco: 5 best May values

Courtesy ING Bay to Breakers
The starting line of the Bay to Breakers marathon

Bay to Breakers Marathon

The annual Bay to Breakers 12K race* is a quintessential "only in San Francisco" experience. More mobile party than sporting event, the marathon draws more than 50,000 participants (some runners, mostly walkers) who start at the Embarcadero and head through Golden Gate Park out to the beach. Costumes are a must and range from Elvis impersonators to superheroes to Star Wars storm troopers—and some people wear nothing at all (don't say we didn't warn you!) Last year more than 100,000 people showed up to watch the show. While corporate sponsor ING has more recently tried to put an end to the public drinking—no more kegs on wheels—revelry is guaranteed. Top places to watch include Alamo Square, the front of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, and the Finish Line on the Great Highway on the beach. May 16, 8 a.m.-11 a.m,

*Whoops, we originally said "marathon."

Yerba Buena Outdoor Concert Series

The free weekend outdoor concerts at Yerba Buena Garden's grassy lawn in downtown kick off this month. The series showcases an eclectic mix of classical, jazz, and world music, plus traditional and modern dance performances from cultures around the world. This month includes shows by renowned Arabic musician Bassam Saba (May 22, 1-2:30 pm) and a Taiwanese dance performance (May 9, 1-2:30 pm.) Come June, Yerba Buena offers lunchtime (12:30-1:30 p.m.) concerts as well, drawing gaggles of office workers looking for an outdoor mid-day break. Mission, Folsom, 3rd and 4th streets.

Capsule SF Design Festival

This street fair of independent designers in Hayes Valley features clothing, house wares, jewelry, kids clothes, and more by 130 local designers, many of which you might know from Check out these gold arrow necklaces by Oakland artist Nous Savon, vintage-inspired house wares by India Rose, and clocks made from recycled bicycle parts. This is definitely not your mother's arts and crafts fair. Hayes Street and Octavia, Sunday May 23rd, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., free.

A New Taco Truck

Wake up your taste buds with Curry Up Now's new food truck featuring a rotating menu of Indian street food with a California-Mexican twist (up for a chicken tikka masala burrito, anyone?). You can find the truck during lunchtime rounds in the Financial District. For current locations, follow Curry Up Now on Twitter. From $4.25.

Half-priced Tickets to Wicked

During the month of May, you can get half-priced tickets to Wicked, the Tony and Grammy award-winning Broadway musical. The show ends September 5, 2010, so act fast. Purchase through,, and Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone and use the promo code 4WEST. You can also get tickets in person at the Orpheum Theater Box Office1192 Market Street, 415/ 551-2000, tickets start at $44.

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