Ten Under-the-Radar Activities to Try in San Francisco


When many people think about visiting San Francisco, visions of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge come to mind. These are both popular attractions that thousands of people visit every day. However, San Francisco is also home to some lesser-known attractions that can make for an enjoyable vacation experience. Below is a list of 10 recommended by travel counselors, tourists, and locals.

1. 16th Avenue Tiled Steps:

The 16th Avenue Tiled Step Project brings a sense of beauty and awe to the entire city. Each of the 163 steps contains an intricate mosaic that will make people want to climb the stairs as slowly as possible. Once at the top, those who endured the climbing workout receive the reward of a spectacular view of the ocean and the city of San Francisco below.

2. San Francisco Decorator Showcase:

Running from now through May 28, this event highlights landscape and interior design from top designers around the world. The transformation takes place inside of a private home in San Francisco. Admission is $40 for adults.

3. Visit one of the City’s Free Museums:

While San Francisco has its share of museums that require an entrance fee, it also offers several free museums. Some of these include the Wells Fargo History Museum, the Cable Car Museum, and the Randall Museum that displays animals native to the area.

4. Take a Brewery Tour in Nearby Oakland:

Visitors who don’t want to drive from San Francisco to Oakland can take a short ride on the local BART. Oakland is home to severe biergartens that also offer large outdoor spaces to socialize with friends, eat, and play games.

5. San Francisco Zoo:

The zoo in San Francisco is one of the highest rated in the entire nation. Visitors can see more than 1,000 species of exotic, rescued, and endangered animals. They will also enjoy the abundant plant life and lush gardens.

6. Visit the Mission District for Lunch:

This area is known for many things, but the excellent food served at its Mexican restaurants especially stands out. Diners to La Taqueria and other Mexican restaurants in the district swear that the food is better than what’s served in Mexico.

7. Hike at the Presidio:

This national park boasts 24 miles of trails that take hikers through eucalyptus groves, meadows, and overlooks. It is the former home of a military base.

8. View the Street Art at Clarion Valley:

This alley in the mission area has many colorful and political murals to enjoy. Since many local people don’t even know about the murals, it should be a leisurely walk without the need to fight crowds.

9. Go to the North Beach:

This area, affectionately known as Little Italy, is not well-known by tourists. It offers Italian foods, bars, shops, boutiques, and other authentic experiences.

10. People Watch at Dolores Park:

This park is where locals like to go, and the word is that anything goes. It’s a great way to spend a day just observing people picnicking and engaging in other various activities.

While visitors to San Francisco may still want to take in the popular attractions, including some activities from this list will surely make it a vacation to remember.

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