What to Do in San Francisco
Collected by Tamara Palmer, AFAR Contributor
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
Golden Gate Park was formed out of an expanse of sand dunes to the west of the city in the nineteenth century—a history that is still discernible in the rolling topography of much of the park’s more than 1,000 acres. Over 13 million...
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...
San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Most people driving through San Francisco's Sunset District head to Sutro Baths, the Cliff House, and Ocean Beach. However, if you take a subtle right turn at Fort Miley you will find a beautiful coastal trail that offers unbelievable views of the...
Pier 15 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
Ask anyone you know who grew up in the Bay Area about the Exploratorium, and they’ll likely be able to share stories of class trips and seeing their hair stand on end at an installation about electricity or fun-house mirrors that...
55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The California Academy of Sciences is an unfortunately stuffy name for an institution that is anything but staid. The country's largest natural-history museum includes an aquarium, a planetarium, an enormous rain-forest exhibit under a...
1004 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
While hiking through the Lands End area of San Francisco I came across this gem. Built in the late 19th century as the world's largest indoor swimming pool complex, visitors could take a dip in one of the seven pools or take a stroll through a...
151 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
It had been a long wait for modern art lovers, but after a three-year closure and a $305 million renovation and expansion, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) reopened in May 2016, and was it ever worth the wait. A new 10-story...
One, Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
Outdoor markets always tell a story about their city: what goods are for sale, what foods are locally grown and how the residents interact with one another as they buy and sell their wares. San Francisco's Saturday Market at the Ferry Terminal...
375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
If you're a book lover, you'll be intrigued and delighted by this rare space dedicated entirely to the appreciation and teaching of the art of traditional bookmaking. The first center of its kind on the West Coast, San Francisco Center for the...
Fort Funston Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA
You can hang out at Fort Funston in San Francisco all day and watch hang gliders go by. This was an especially weird day to be an observer: the sun broke through park of the clouds in a circle, which makes it appear as though the glider is about...
Filbert St, San Francisco, CA, USA
In a city as steep and hilly as San Francisco, it’s no surprise there are some noteworthy stairways. On the east side of Telegraph Hill, the Filbert Steps reign as some of the most popular in the city. They wend their way up to the iconic Coit...
Golden Gate Heights, San Francisco, CA, USA
Located in Golden Gate Heights, the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project transformed a once-ordinary neighborhood feature into a stunning public work of art. Climb them and you'll find (surprise!) more stairs. Breathe in through your nose, out through...
680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
San Francisco is not only a beautiful city, but it is also home to some exquisite natural landscapes, such as Lands End. I will never forget the first time I hiked the main Coastal Trail: I couldn't believe I was still in a city because of the...
1096 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
There is a little place on South Van Ness Avenue where miniature golfing (aka putt putt) (aka get-ball-in-hole) happens. The main features include a 14-hole course, a full bar at the front and arcade games on the side. I admit this place has...
3176 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Six bowling lanes, a full bar, and delicious "technique-driven comfort food" await you at Mission Bowling Club in San Francisco. Thoughtfully designed, this 21-and-up venue champions local artists by displaying their works on the wall. With indoor...
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...
0-11, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
The '60s and '70s in San Francisco were synonymous with psychedelic "hobbies," but tripping in the new millennium on Pier 39 is something you can now enjoy, legally, with the entire family. This labyrinth of 77 mirrors and black lights...
83 Marina Green Dr, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA
Head to this jetty near the Golden Gate Yacht Club in the Marina district and listen. The Wave Organ was built in 1986 in collaboration with the Exploratorium that was formerly housed nearby in the Palace of Fine Arts. The hands on science museum...
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The de Young Museum, with its perforated copper facade and spiraling tower in the center of Golden Gate Park, is as dramatic outside as it is inside. Follow the widening crack in the sidewalk into the atrium. It's an Andy Goldsworthy–created...
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