What's New in San Francisco This Summer?

You don't have to twist most people's arms to visit San Francisco, where there's something going on every minute of every day. New activities and attractions are constantly being added to the city's top museums, rides and theme parks. Here's a sampling of some new things to see and do in the city by the bay for the Summer 2011. JetBlue has flights into nearby Oakland on sale for around $49-59 one way from some cities. Summer is a great time for sunshine and fun in San Francisco.

ColorFest at the Exploratorium invites the public to a celebration of light and color. From perception to pigments, the extravaganza features color-related exhibits, film programs, speaker series, performances and activities. Explore the bright red Cochineal insect dye used by the Aztec and Maya peoples or deep indigo color created from plants of the genera Indigofera and Isatis. Discover how the first color photograph was produced 150 years ago using the three-color process. Watch as the museum floor is transformed into a hands-on exploration of light and color. Exploratorium @ The Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 561-0360, Open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays. exploratorium.edu

Replicate Your Fingers at the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf Immortalization is within guests grasp at the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf. Wax Hand Making is available Wednesday through Sunday at the end of the self-guided tour. Visitors can have an exact model of their hand, in any position they choose, created in wax in just a matter of minutes. waxmuseum.com

Snakes & Lizards: The Summer of Slither, at California Academy of Sciences (home to more than 38,000 live animals from around the world,) features more than 60 new scaled reptiles that have taken up residence at the academy as part of the museum's newest exhibit showcasing a variety of amazing squamate adaptations, including projectile tongues, deadly venom, remarkable camouflage, and surprising modes of locomotion. The exhibit goes through September 5, 2011. calacademy.org

San Francisco Bridge 2 Bridges Cruise is a new attraction from Red and White Fleet. Passengers cruise under both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, each magnificent architectural wonders where the featured views are up close and personal. The tour includes headphone audio in 12 languages. This is the only tour that goes under 2 bridges! redandwhite.com

SkyScreamer at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo is a tower ride that takes the concept of spinning around to a new level of thrills. At 150 feet high with a capacity of 32 guests sitting two across in open-air swings, the star points upon which the swings are attached will climb to the top of the tower, spinning as it ascends while riders orbit around. At full swing, guests revolve in a 98-foot circle at speeds of 43 mph for 2.5 minutes. The theme park isn't all about rides. It also includes marine-focused displays with lots of exciting sealife. sixflags.com

The Secret World of Tarantulas at San Francisco Zoo through Labor Day weekend, examines the eight-legged arachnids. Visitors take a scientific journey and help shed new light on these supposedly fierce giants. Tarantulas in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and Tarantula Town, a special kids'area with a stylized tarantula burrow that doubles as a photo spot, offer a look inside this world that fascinates all ages. sfzoo.org

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