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11 Fun Things To Do In San Francisco You Haven't Thought of Yet
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11 Fun Things To Do In San Francisco You Haven't Thought of Yet

Ready for a brand new list of fun things to do in San Francisco? Here’s every attraction that’ll make your trip worthwhile.

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5 min read

November 19, 2021

Open, creative, liberal, smart, and kind of weird—San Francisco can be described in so many ways. With a clutter of countercultures, a history of spearheading change, and a constant stream of hopeful and driven newcomers, the City by the Bay has garnered quite the repertoire of cool landmarks and places to see. While visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, eating sourdough, and walking Pier 39 are must-try experiences, the hidden gems are what offer you a true taste of the City by the Bay.

Ready for a brand new list of fun things to do in San Francisco? Here’s every attraction that’ll make your trip worthwhile.

Fun Activities in San Francisco

From the renowned Golden Gate Bridge to the iconic Pier 39, San Francisco is a city full of amazing places to visit and tons of cool things to do.

1. Watch an Acrobatic Ode to S.F. at Club Fugazi

“Dear San Francisco: A High-Flying Love Story” is the newest addition to Club Fugazi’s awesome list of shows. Described as an acrobatic love letter to San Francisco, the show aims to pay homage to the beauty, characters, and resilience of the city through acrobatics, choreography, spoken word, shadow play, and original music. If that doesn't sound like a San Francisco fun thing to do, we don’t know what is.

2. Visit the One-of-a-Kind Musée Mécanique 

Want to take a trip down memory lane? One of California’s more unusual museums, the Musee Mecanique is the most fun place in San Francisco to do so. Housing the largest ever collection of antique, coin-operated arcade machines, the quirky museum showcases over 300 pieces ranging from coin-operated pianos and antique slot machines down to small bird boxes. The kitschy museum on Fisherman’s Wharf is open every day and charges absolutely nothing to check out! 

Bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.

3. Browse the Shelves at City Lights

City Lights is a popular independent bookstore and publishing house in San Francisco, and if you haven’t been yet, you should definitely pay a visit. Those who get a kick out of spending hours surrounded by great books and new titles will find visiting City Lights to be one of the most fun stuff to do in San Francisco. Wander around, buy a book, and head to the light-filled poetry room to snuggle up for your next favorite read.

4. Eat your Way Through Chinatown San Francisco

You can craft a whole day around exploring San Francisco’s historic Chinatown. With so much to see, do, drink, and shop, this significant cultural enclave is an iconic neighborhood and one of the most visited and photographed landmarks in the city. Care for a detailed guide of all the fun things to do in San Francisco’s Chinatown? Check out our article all about it. Dim sums, noodles, boba tea, and other delicious goodness await! 

Tour the city on a 70s-era VW bus and get to know the hippie past and hipster vibe that make up San Francisco today.

5. Get to Know San Francisco’s Hippie History aboard a 70’s VW Bus Tour

Hop aboard a 70s-era VW bus and get to know San Francisco’s hippie past on a super fun excursion. Starting and ending at Fisherman’s Wharf, this two-hour sightseeing tour takes you around the city's top sites and pairs it with cultural factoids and groovy 60s music throughout. No matter how many times you’ve visited the city before, this tour will likely show you fun places in San Francisco you haven’t seen yet.

6. Ride the Nostalgic LeRoy King Carousel

While we’re on the topic of nostalgia, a spin on the LeRoy King Carousel is another fun activity in San Francisco you should try. Found at the Children’s Creativity Museum, this historic looff carousel transports you to a bygone era with organ music and an imaginative ride. Take your friends and family for a spin—no matter how old you are, you’ll always enjoy the ride. 

How To Have Cheap Fun in S.F.

Experience the city in ways you might never have imagined and be prepared to be amazed, transformed, and inspired.

7. Write your Own Fortune at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory bakes thousands of handmade fortune cookies a day. In fact, the cookies you eat after a meal at your favorite Chinese restaurant in town probably come from this very same factory! For one dollar only, you can customize a fortune cookie and take it home with you as the cutest little souvenir—that’s how you have cheap fun in S.F.

Dolores Park offers several features including many tennis courts, a basketball court, a multi-purpose court, a soccer field, a pissoir, and more.

8. Hang out with the Locals at Dolores Park

San Francisco has many beautiful parks and gardens, but there’s something about Mission Dolores that makes it stand out. Offering gorgeous city views, towering trees, and off-leash areas for dogs to run around, this fun place in San Francisco will give you an authentic look into the local’s leisurely pastimes for free. 

9. And Creep around the Mission Dolores Cemetery While You’re There

Founded in 1776, Mission Dolores is the oldest intact building in San Francisco. Its adjacent cemetery—where city founders, criminals, and thousands of Native Americans rest—is the oldest burial ground in the city. While this stop might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a pretty interesting spot in town to explore, and entrance is only seven dollars.

Originally called "Cedar Lane," the alley's name was changed around the turn of the twentieth century to Clarion Alley.

10. Check out the Colorful Clarion Alley

San Francisco is full of bright and colorful murals scattered all around, many of which you should take your time to discover. Perhaps no other alley is as colorful, cultural, and intensely political as the Clarion Alley. There’s always something fun and fresh here, and while some of the messages that are painted can be decidedly controversial, visiting and seeing them for yourself is one of the most fun things to do in San Francisco nonetheless.

11. Get Lost at the Exotic Mescaline Grove

Just across from the beautiful Conservatory of Flowers, you’ll find a forest of enormous tree ferns inviting you to explore. The large trees—which are native to Australia and New Zealand—surround the damp and winding paths, making it a fun place to be in San Francisco. The official name of the area is Tree Fern Dell, but locals have lovingly dubbed it Mescaline Grove for its otherworldly appearance.

Do you have a San Francisco hidden gem in mind that we missed? We’re always looking to discover more and more fun things to do in San Francisco, so we’d love to hear from you!

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