I've received so much great input, and it's all taking shape. Here is my rough itinerary for the week of the new year. As we get into December, I'll be calling around to see what is closed for the holidays:
Arrive SFO around 10am. BART to Nob Hill, where I'll be staying. Hopefully I can get settled by noon.
Head to the Asian Art Museum, hopefully in time to ring the bell. I've confirmed that there's a City Hall tour at 2pm (they run every day M-F), and I was told that I cannot make a reservation, because I'm not a party of 8 or more. If I have time, I may also try to check out the Main Library.
For lunch and dinner, I may have to forego a traditional restaurant and just try to catch a pub that is open for happy hour. I should probably go to a grocery store before I head out for the night.
I won't be too rowdy at the fireworks show. I have a full day ahead.
This is my GoldenGateBridge/hiking day. I'll try and see what is open for breakfast, maybe getting some pork buns in Chinatown. If renting a bike looks like a good idea, then I'll see if I can do that. I'll travel around the trails in that area in the morning, including the 1pm Presidio bus tour (if they are running).
If the bike takes me to the Legion of Honor, then I can cross that off the list a day early. Depending on daylight and my adventures, I may end up at the Beach Chalet for an early dinner. Or if I'm in the Golden Gate area, then hopefully I can get a shepherd's pie at Liverpool Lil's.
This is an art day. I'll be looking for an early breakfast, maybe at Dottie's or Pinecrest Diner.
Then it's off to the Botanical Gardens, Japanese Tea Garden, and de Young Museum. The afternoon will be taken up by the Legion of Honor or relaxing in Golden Gate Park (if I saw that museum the day before). Lunch will be somewhere nearby.
Hoping to get some chowder at Bar Crudo, then it'll be off to the FirstThursday art walks. The Upper TL artwalk is near to Lers Ros (on Larkin), which means I can get some late night pork belly.
Beer and art day. Breakfast will be at Tartine or Mission Beach Cafe.
In the morning, I'll walk the Mission area to look at the murals. Precita Eyes is not giving a tour on that day, but I'm hoping I can get a map of the murals and make my own tour. Somewhere along the way, I'll get a burrito and check out some of the Mission Art galleries, such as the Hosfelt Gallery.
At 1pm, I've booked the tour of the Anchor Brewery. I've also booked a brewery tour of Speakeasy at 3:30. Hopefully I'll be able to talk beer with beer people. It's something I always look forward to doing when I travel.
Dinner will be at Mission Chinese or Alamo Seafood Grill. Or whatever, I guess. And then I'll see where Friday night takes me.
This is sort of a "fudge" day. I'll try to get to the Ferry Building in the morning for breakfast (and the farmer's market). But after that, it's sort of wide open. I can explore some of the neighborhoods I've missed. Get a sandwich at Ike's. And I have to catch Trader Joe's at some point. I am from Hawaii. I have a list of things I need to get from Trader Joe's.
My flight leaves in the early afternoon. Plenty of time to clean up, get a nice breakfast, and get to the airport.
So much of the itinerary (as well as the long list of contingency options) were researched and suggested here on TripAdvisor. Thank you all for all of your advice. I know I'm going to have a great time.