The 420-Friendly Guide to Exploring San Francisco

by Andy Andersen
hazy san francisco

San Francisco has been and definitely continues to be one of the most 420-friendly towns in California. 

After all, the country’s first-ever head shop opened up here in 1966, just as North Beach’s 1950s Beat Generation gave way to the Haight-Ashbury’s ‘67 Summer of Love. In the ‘80s, Brownie Mary baked and distributed cannabis-infused brownies to AIDS patients. A little over a decade later, the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club was largely responsible for getting Prop 215 (legalizing possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical use) passed in 1996. And while we may not have the biggest 420 celebration in the world (that honor goes to Denver), the term “4:20” did originate right across the bridge in San Rafael, which for sure gives us bragging rights.

All of that is to say that SF is a pretty sweet place to be a consumer of cannabis with an endless list of places to maximize consumption enjoyment. The city’s colorful houses, tree-lined streets, over 220 parks, and views at every turn is a mind-altering experience on its own. To help you narrow things down, here’s a helpful guide to having a 420-friendly day in San Francisco. 

Consumption Laws in San Francisco

When planning out and executing your 420 activities, keep in mind that public cannabis consumption is technically prohibited in the state of California, only allowed in private residences or privately-owned spaces permitted to host cannabis consumption. Possession and use of cannabis are also prohibited on federal lands in California. 

As of January 1 2018, California residents 21 and over may legally carry up to 1 oz or 28.5 g of marijuana for personal use. 8 g of hashish or concentrated cannabis are also allowed for personal carry and use. When planning out your 420 activities, research and make sure you’re fully aware of what’s legal and what isn’t in localized areas. 

Where to Buy Weed in San Francisco 

Why wait for your weed in line at a dispensary when you can wait at home? Use Grassdoor and choose from the scheduled delivery menu, or peruse select products from the ASAP menu, which is delivered to your door in under an hour. Grassdoor carefully selects flower from an elite network of growers in California, including quality edibles and concentrates, as well as trusted vape brands.

Grassdoor takes orders between 9:30 am and 10 pm, and services select zip codes in Los Angeles and Orange County. Enter your address to see if you’re in the zone.

Where to Consume

After you’ve stocked up and partaken, it’s time to head out and make the most of your high. As previously mentioned, always be aware of local laws and guidelines for consumption when planning out your activities. 


Parks and Nature Walks

People-Watch in Dolores Park 

This popular park along the western edge of the Mission is famous for many things: quality people-watching, near-constant sunshine, city views, long bathroom lines, and, for many years: the Truffle Man. Cannabis wasn’t legal at that time, but the Truffle Man realized that if there was one place people would definitely want to get high, it was Dolores Park. Luckily for him, Dolores Park is also known for being very laissez-faire about laws around alcohol and pot consumption, so every weekend for 11 years, the Truffle Man put his homemade pot-laced truffles in copper pots and walked the park selling his wares. He’s not around anymore (he decided to make it all legal), but the sentiment that made him such a popular fixture remains. If you haven’t already discovered this for yourself, give it a go. Good to know: Flour + Water Pizzeria’s to-go window and a quality ice cream shop are both within walking distance, a tip that needs no further explanation.

Play Disc Golf at Golden Gate Park 

There is one place in Golden Gate Park where the smell of pot is constantly wafting through the air: the entrance of the Disc Golf Course on John F. Kennedy Drive (just west of Marx Meadow Drive). The 18-hole course winds through a heavily wooded area and is popular with “disc golfers” (that’s what the hardcore people call themselves) as well as people who “play disc golf” (the ones who are often digging for lost discs in the bushes). All are welcomed and it’s BYO discs.

Listen to the Wave Organ

On an under-the-radar jetty in the Marina you’ll find an art installation that feels like it was conceived by someone who had just smoked a joint or twelve. The Wave Organ is a “wave-activated acoustic sculpture” made of 25 PVC organ pipes and concrete placed at different elevations that play a subtle sound based on the rise and fall of tides and the flow of the water. Once you get ensconced and really listen, you’ll hear the sounds of the sea in a completely new way as you take in views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Pro tip: It’s best to visit at high tide, no pun intended.

Walk the Lands End Trail

Part of the magic of the stone labyrinth that sits on the edge of North America with views of the Golden Gate Bridge is that it’s literally off the beaten path and therefore not completely overrun with people looking for a photo opp. If you can go in the morning on a weekday (no one here is judging you for a Tuesday wake-and-bake session), you might have it all to yourself so you can walk it mindfully. To get there, you have to take the Lands End Trail, one of SF’s best urban hikes that winds along rugged cliffs above the ocean. Once you’re on the trail, look for signs for Mile Rock Beach (also worth a visit) and stay to your right. If we told you any more, we’d ruin half the fun.

Travel the World via a 55-Acre Nature Walk

Who knows if you’ll ever make it to the 7,000-foot-high slopes of Vulcán Zunil in Guatemala, but you can at least see the rarely collected Lobelia aguana shrub that grows there just by visiting the Mesoamerican Cloud Forest in the San Francisco Botanical Garden. The “living museum” is home to a plethora of gardens that are home to over 8,000 different plants from around the world, as well as plenty of lawns perfect for picnicking or just basking in the sun (if it decides to come out).

Hike Around the City’s Greatest Dog Park

Anywhere with dogs is pretty amazing for a 420-friendly outing. Add in a network of hiking trails, ocean views, dutch sand ladders that go down to a magnetic sand beach, hang gliders taking off from 200-foot cliffs, and the fact that those aforementioned puppers get to run around off-leash, and you’re in paradise. Fort Funston is SF’s most popular dog beach is a cold, foggy, windy paradise that used to house a harbor defense installation and multiple gun batteries (you can still see some of them). It’s worth noting that while the steep walk down to the beach is relatively easy, you will have to go back up again at some point. 

Activities and Installations 


Go to Musée Mécanique for Antique Arcade Games. 

Musée Mécanique is a San Francisco treasure that originally opened at Playland, the long-gone amusement park next to Ocean Beach, but was moved to Fisherman’s Wharf around 20 years ago. The incredibly creepy 6-foot-tall Laffing Sal automation made the trip and continues to scar children with a lifetime of coulrophobia. Also, adults. The museum has over 300 vintage games, including mechanical arm wrestling, pinball machines, peep shows, a disturbing amount of motorized execution scenes, and some rare historical artifacts from back in the day. 

Say Hi to the Sea Lions at Pier 39

If you’re going to hit up Musée Mécanique, it would almost be disrespectful to not stop by and pay your respects to the sea lions who live at Pier 39’s K-Dock. When they’re not sunbathing, you’ll catch them sliding in and out of the water, frolicking with friends, and barking noisily, a delightfully comforting sound that would definitely be annoying if it came from anyone else. 

Listen to a Sound Sculpture in the Dark 

Audium is one of those experiences that has to be lived to be fully understood, but it’s basically a seated theatrical performance where you listen to “a sound-space continuum” in the dark. Ultimately, the fact that it’s hard to explain is exactly why it’s so amazing.

Feel Your Way Around the Tactile Dome

The Tactile Dome at the Exploratorium should be on everyone’s SF bucket list regardless of whether or not they smoke weed. It just happens to be really, really fun if you’re high. That’s because after you enter the completely dark tactile dome, you have to feel your way around twists and turns and textures in order to eventually make it out. Just be sure to make a reservation ahead of time as entries are timed. The rest of the Exploratorium is also a wonderland of hands-on exhibits that you can dig as much or as little into as you’d like.


Satisfy All of Your Cravings at the Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is a hub for the ferries that travel across the Bay, but you’re going because it also masquerades as a food hall where you can find every kind of mouth-watering sustenance you’re craving. Want a burger and fries? You’ll find some of the best in the city at Gott’s Roadside. In the mood for local oysters and one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in town? Enjoy them while sitting by the water at Hog Island Oyster Co. You’ll also find wood-fired bagels, empanadas, artisan ice cream, all kinds of baked goods and other treats, cottonmouth-curing local beer, and plenty of goodies you can buy to enjoy at home.

Eat a Better ‘Crunchwrap Supreme’ at a Señor Sisig Food Truck

Even if you hate Taco Bell (but … why?), you’ll immediately become obsessed with Señor Sisig’s take on the stoner staple. It’s basically everything that a Crunchwrap is: cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream and meat, layered in a crispy tortilla and wrapped in a grilled tortilla. The difference is 1) the quality of ingredients, and 2) the fact that instead of Taco Bell beef (which has a time and a place, but neither of those is right now), you can choose your meat option. Of course, the way to go is the pork tocino, but if you prefer it with chicken or even tofu, you can get that as well. It’s only available at the Filipino-American-Mexican fusion restaurant’s brick-and-mortar locations (the Mission and Oakland), but if you can only find one of the food trucks, you’re still going to be stoked about whatever you’re putting in your mouth.

Eat at Zeitgeist, SF’s Most Popular Beer Garden 

Before every bar and restaurant in San Francisco was compelled to create outdoor seating, there was Zeitgeist, the city’s very popular bar/beer garden with cyclists. Despite the fact that there are now tons of outdoor eating and drinking options, Zeitgeist still rules the roost. Maybe it’s because of the quantity of beers on tap, or the classic Bloody Mary’s. Maybe it’s because of the cheap but delicious bar food, or the sunshine, or the infamous (said with love) doormen. Or maybe it’s just because Zeitgeist did it first and still does it better.

Don’t Miss Out on La Taqueria

You won’t want to miss sinking your teeth into a carnitas burrito from La Taqueria. That’s really all there is to say about that other than: make it a super.

Don’t forget to secure your supply for a 420-friendly day in LA! Head over to the Grassdoor menu ASAP!

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