4 San Francisco Hot Spots That Tourists Rarely See

When it comes to visiting San Francisco, there’s a list of go-to hot spots for tourists. But beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, and other iconic sites, there’s so much to explore in the City by the Bay. If you want to discover some of San Francisco’s hidden gems, be sure to add the following hot spots to your must-see list.

Cliff House

Image via Flickr by Sharon Hahn Darlin

Located along the western shore of San Francisco in the Vista Del Mar neighborhood, you’ll find the beautiful Cliff House. This stunning structure has a long history that dates back to 1863. It originally served as an upscale seaside destination for the wealthy but went on to suffer from multiple fires over the years. It has been rebuilt several times and now houses two dining establishments, a casual bistro, and an upscale restaurant. Don’t miss the chance to wander out on the balcony and take in the stunning panoramic views of the Pacific coastline and take a look at the large-scale camera obscura that projects images onto a surface using only natural sunlight.

Land’s End Labyrinth
If you want to continue exploring the little-known seaside gems in San Francisco, make your way to the Land’s End labyrinth. Created by San Francisco artist Eduardo Aguilera, the complex maze is made out of stones and inspired by monastery labyrinths, which were designed to aid in contemplation and meditation while walking through them. There are beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge from this scenic spot. In fact, you might want to stay in one of the San Francisco hotels located in the nearby Sea Cliff or Vista Del Mar neighborhoods to enjoy a similar view from your room.

Seward Street Slides
The Seward Street Slides are an unexpected treat found in the Seward Mini Park,  just a 10-minute walk from the Metro Castro Station. There are two long slides made of concrete that curve down a hill for a fun thrill ride that makes you feel like a kid again. To go down the slides, you’ll need to bring a piece of cardboard to slide on, adding a fun DIY element to this hidden gem. Make a note that the slides are only open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday so you don’t miss your chance to take a ride.

San Francisco Columbarium
Visiting the resting place of noted San Francisco residents is definitely an unexpected activity, but once you see the Neptune Society San Francisco Columbarium in person, you’ll understand why it’s worth the visit. This stunning historical landmark is found in the residential Richmond district, making it a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. The atrium features elegant stained-glass windows and thousands of beautifully carved niches where urns are stored. Among the famous individuals interred there are Harvey Milk and Chet Helms.

Celebrate San Francisco’s off-the-beaten-path attractions by visiting these unique spots around the city. You’ll love that each of these destinations offers a glimpse into San Francisco’s heart and history that you won’t find at the more popular sightseeing spots.