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12 Things To Do In The Bay Area That Are Actually Awesome

12 Things To Do In The Bay Area That Are Actually Awesome

Making a list of things to do in the Bay Area that are actually awesome? Here's a list of the top 12 activities in the San Fran Bay Area.


4 min read

January 02, 2022

Between historic cable cars, beautiful Victorian architecture, and that iconic bridge you keep hearing about, San Francisco is undeniably one of the world's greatest cities. The entire region, in fact, demands your exploration. However, at this point, we must say that caution's due— you might leave your heart there. Things to do in the Bay Area are plenty, with the vibrant and diverse East Bay cities like Oakland and Berkeley, not to mention, a cultural and culinary hotbed; you're truly in for a treat.

Fun Things To Do in the Bay Area For Families

Shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions await at Pier 39.

1. Go to Pier 39 in San Francisco

Lined with restaurants and shops, Pier 39 is one of the top places in the Bay Area if you’re visiting with family. After the tots have greeted the resident sea lions and made friends with them, go and ride the fun carousels together. The Mirror Maze and 7D Experience make for truly unique toddler-friendly activities.

2. Ride a Cable Car in San Francisco

As iconic as visiting the Golden Gate Bridge is, riding one of San Francisco's historic cable cars is truly the best way to get to know the city. There are three lines that operate in the city—two between Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf and one on California Street—they take you through San Francisco’s most famed neighborhoods at practically no cost.

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3. Pop By Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

If you’re looking for the most fun things to do in the Bay Area with your family, Golden Gate Park is an obvious pick—it comprises the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the de Young Museum after all. Go on a pedal boat ride in the surrounding waters or race the tykes to the top of Strawberry Hill; there’s even a chance for you to befriend the resident bison!

Places To Visit in The Bay Area For Couples 

Despite urban legends creeping people out, Stow Lake is a lovely place to have an afternoon picnic.

4. Have a Picnic at Stow Lake 

Romantics looking for a quiet escape, look no further than the serene Stow Lake. Found in the heart of Golden Gate Park, this Bay Area attraction is highly popular among boaters; whether you want to impress your boo with your moves on the electric boat or pedal together on the calm waters, Stow Lake is where romance blossoms (and so do pretty landscapes).

5. Visit the Bay Bridge at Night

Does the idea of dazzling light displays from the amazing San Francisco waterfront sound like an epic first date? We’re glad we’re not alone in this. Ranked among the largest light installations in the world, the Bay Lights put on a mesmerizing show every night starting at sunset and through the morning. And the best of all? It uses the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as its magnificent canvas.

Life is better on the open sea. A bad day on a cruise is better than a good day anywhere else.

6. Go on a Sunset Cruise on a Luxury Yacht 

Take in the beauty of San Francisco Bay with an unforgettable sailing cruise at sunset. Admire a few of the city’s most renowned, bucket-list-worthy items, and add a delicious dinner to the evening as the skies slowly fade to crimson—it’s truly one of the best things to do in the Bay Area with your S.O.

7. Dine at Top of the Mark

There is no better place in the Bay Area for couples than an intimate and breathtaking rooftop venue. And among the classiest of its kind is Top of the Mark, perched atop the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco. The 360-degree panoramas alone will make you fall in love.

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8. Climb the Moraga Stairs at Grandview Park

Discover a secret passage to a scenic hill in the Sunset District—the Moraga Stairs are a beauty to behold. Their vistas spread over the neat layout of San Francisco’s west-central neighborhood, with the waters of the bay sparkling in the distance.

The Best Things To Do in The Bay Area With Friends 

The City by the Bay is full of colorful public artworks that invite tourists and locals alike to marvel at them.

9. Admire S.F.’s Famed Street Art 

One of the most interesting outdoor activities in the Bay Area is looking for street art. Over a thousand murals dot the city; some hide in plain sight (like the ones you’ll find in the Mission District) and others are tucked inside historic buildings like the Rincon Center.

10. Stroll Around Fisherman’s Wharf 

As much as you wish to avoid touristy places, skipping Fisherman’s Wharf is a regrettable decision, to say the least. Picture this—a district placed right on the waterfront packed with all the magnificent vistas imaginable, deliciously fresh seafood, access to ferry rides, a bunch of adorable sea lions, and even an aquarium! You’re in for an unforgettable adventure.

The Painted Ladies actually symbolize the California Gold Rush. Bay Area builders wanted to show off their newfound wealth with these grand homes.

11. See the Famous Painted Ladies of Alamo Square

You may know them as the ‘Full House’ houses, but the charming row of pastel-colored Victorians with a green grassy park in the foreground goes by many names—you’ll hear them being called the Seven Sisters, or the Painted Ladies, or just the houses of Alamo Square. And when it comes to landmarks, these Bay Area attractions are as iconic as they come.

12. Explore the neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury

If your friends are music lovers, graffiti enthusiasts, or into really funky street art displays (like the famous woman hanging out the apartment window), then exploring Haight-Ashbury is one of the best things you guys can do in the Bay Area. Music posters adorn every wall, free shows take place regularly, and charming eateries await to appease your appetite. 

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