Best Low-Budget Boating San Francisco 2006 - Spreckels Lake and Stow Lake
Yacht clubs are terribly overrated, and all of that keeping up with the Joneses is quite a bore. We prefer to indulge in a much more, um, refined activity, a luxurious sojourn away from the predictable Marina masses. We're talking about a bundled-up afternoon watching the motorized sailboats at Spreckles Lake in Golden Gate Park, a tradition that goes back generations. Heck, some of the boats on the water have probably been handed down at least a few times. And those who might want to get their feet (a little) wet can head east to Stow Lake for another mainstay the cheap boat rentals ($19 an hour for a paddle boat, $14 an hour for a rowboat; both seat four). True, they're a bit old and rickety and perhaps not antiseptically clean (you'll have to wait for five-seater electrics, coming this summer, for that). But you won't have to learn any sailing mumbo-jumbo to use them.