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12 Must-Do Experiences in San Francisco

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From the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to romantic fog, and from beatnik history to an obsessive farm-to-table food scene, San Francisco enchants with a host of must-do experiences. This weird and wonderful city on the Bay has managed to be a hot spot for generations of innovators—from hippies to techies—and is still home to a dizzying array of eclectic, only-in-San-Francisco experiences that will please all types of travelers.
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Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
I have an aversion to hills, especially when riding a bike. This is not ideal, because I live in San Francisco and some days it feels like an entire city of hills. This bike ride is one of my favorites not only because it goes right through the...
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Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA
A few blocks east of Goldsworthy's more prominent Spire is this installation of fallen trees snaking through the still standing ones. Wood Line is located within the cypress grove near the intersection of Presidio Boulevard and West Pacific...
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30 Beckett St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Often, when I feel overly strapped to my desk, hankering for a trip to another land, I stroll into San Francisco's Chinatown. Once I'm off the main drags and into the residential neighborhoods or the commercial streets chockablock with shops...
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While summer is universally the most popular time to travel, October and November are, in many ways, the best months to visit San Francisco. The heat of the midsummer sun in the Central Valley of California means fog for much of the coastline...
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982 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
The Warfield Theater in San Francisco opened in 1922 as a vaudeville theater, but lives on as a live music venue in current times. Starting with entertainers that included Louis Armstrong and Charlie Chaplin, its prowess lives on with Pearl Jam,...
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560 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
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There are a handful of stores in San Francisco that sell quirky and distinctive clothing, jewelry, and homewares. Eden & Eden is one. The brother-and-sister owners stock some vintage pieces and a nice selection of funky jewelry from the U.K. I've...
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375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
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A key player in the "third wave" coffee movement is Four Barrel Coffee, founded by Jeremy Tooker—who has a particular love for light roasts and the bright, acidic flavors that come with this method. Don’t let that description deter you, though;...
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600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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With no sign above its unassuming storefront, Tartine is most easily recognized by the line that snakes out its door and down Guerrero Street. People patiently wait for flaky pains au chocolat (the best outside Paris, in my opinion), decadent...
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Dolores St & 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
Mission Dolores Park, aka Delores Park, is one of the most popular parks in San Francisco, especially when the sun is out and the mercury is up. On a sunny weekend, you'll be hard pressed to find a patch of green to plant yourself on, but that's...
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San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Alcatraz—the very name conjures dark images of impregnable prisons, infamous criminals, and daring escape attempts. But the island is not all murder and mayhem. “The Rock,” set a few kilometers offshore in the San Francisco...
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Steiner St & Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

An estimated 48,000 houses were constructed in San Francisco from 1848 to 1915 in the style typical of the day, with ornate woodwork characteristic of so-called Queen Anne design. Earthquakes and fires, most notably those of 1906, destroyed...

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429 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
Built in 1922, the Castro Theatre is a San Francisco Designated Landmark and one of the city’s best-loved and most flamboyant institutions. The exterior juxtaposes a cathedral-like plaster façade with a gauche box-office marquee and vertical neon...