• female street musician playing guitar

    Takin’ It to the Streets

    April 06

    Dancing, skating, running, walking, and biking are only a few of the ways to take advantage of San Francisco’s Sunday Streets program. Sunday Streets feature free neighborhood festivals with events for the family, live music, and fabulous outdoor fun, all taking place on streets that are temporarily closed to traffic.

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  • family at museum

    Fun Things to do in San Francisco

    March 02

    One of the greatest things about visiting San Francisco is that there are so many things to do and see. Fortunately, the city itself in only around 49 square miles, so you don’t have to go very far to have a variety of adventures. So, whether you’re a noobie or a frequent guest, we’ve included a few suggestions below for some fun things to do while you’re in town.

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  • heliconia psittacorum tropical plant and flower

    Stranger Flowers

    February 03

    If you’ve never been to the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, you’ll be amazed at what they have to offer. Several galleries are filled with an amazing array of everything from Amorphophallus Titanum (Corpse Flower) to Zebra Plants. However, some of their most interesting collections contain those flowers that are considered unusual, unique, or just plain strange. Check out the list below for what’s there.

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  • colorful mosaic stairway in san francisco

    Stunning Stairways

    January 06

    Many visitors to San Francisco are surprised to find that the city is home to several lovely and charming sets of tiled mosaic stairs found throughout the area, each of which features a different theme. For details, see the list below.

    16th Avenue Tiled Steps

    With a theme of “from the sea to the stars” as inspiration, artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher created the handmade named tiles that make up this 163-step stairway.

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  • child playing arcade game

    A Mechanical Marvel

    December 02

    Whether you’re an aficionado or a collector of vintage mechanically operated games and artifacts, or just a fan of mechanical objects of the 20th century, you’ll be charmed and delighted with a visit to Musée Mécanique. Located at Pier 35 on Fisherman’s Wharf, this famed museum is renowned for its interactive collection of over 300 privately-owned antique penny arcade games, mechanically-operated musical instruments, and other such mechanical artifacts.

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  • graveyard cemetery

    Searching for Scary

    November 04

    One spooky thing about San Francisco is that it doesn’t have to be Halloween for ghost sightings and other such phenomena to occur—sightings of The Lady of Stow Lake, screams at the Art Institute, and the chilling sound of gunshots at Alcatraz are common year-round. Whether you’re mildly interested in paranormal experiences or consider yourself an avid ghost hunter, the Bay Area offers an amazing array of sites for both the mildly curious and seasoned paranormal explorers. For details, check out the list below.

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  • mini golf

    Mini Golf in the SF: Three of the Best

    October 07

    Calling all mini-golf aficionados: if you’re seeking the best locations for 18 holes of family-friendly fun, check out our list below for tips on where to go, and what you’ll find when you get there.

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  • guitar player

    Groovin’ at the Taube

    September 02

    Looking for amazing acts and unparalleled performers in concert at a newly-redone, cutting edge venue? If your answer was a resounding YES, then you’ll want to check out the upcoming events at the UC Berkeley Theatre at Taube Family Music Hall. With scheduled performances from such musical luminaries as Devendra Banhart, Todrick, La Santa Cecilia, Bea Miller with her Sunsets in Outer Space Tour, and Frankie Cosmos, the UC Theatre clearly stands out from the crowd when it comes to avant-garde entertainment.

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  • hike with ocean view

    Take a Hike

    August 05

    Two of the best things about San Francisco is that one, the weather is generally pleasant year-round, and two, you don’t have to go very far before leaving the city behind. This is terrific news for nature-lovers, birders, dog-lovers, and hikers, as thousands of nearby trails offer the best of the great outdoors, along with some of the most impressive views in the city. Check out the magnificence of Mount Davidson Park in Sherwood Forest. Featuring the highest peak in the city, this area is especially popular with dog-lovers and families, with over 40 acres of broach paths.

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  • little girl riding a bumper car

    Go for the Good Times at Gilroy Gardens

    July 01

    Part amusement park, part splash park, and part horticulture phenomenon, Gilroy Gardens offers first-rate family fun and loads of adventures for every age and interest. The little ones will love the low-thrill-level rides like the Apple & Worm, the Big Red Engine Co., and Bulgy the Goldfish, while older kids and adults can have a blast on the rides designated at thrill levels two and three, such as Balloon Flight, Banana Split, the Bonfante Railroad Train Ride, the Garlic Twirl, and the Mushroom Swing. Thrill-seekers won’t want to miss the level-four Quicksilver Express Mine Coaster!

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  • woman detective

    It’s Murder on this Train

    June 03

    Are you a mystery fan? Do you love the Orient Express and that celebrated sleuth Hercule Poirot? Well, now you have a chance to solve a 1920s, speakeasy-themed, murder mystery on a train. Get ready for a unique railway experience with Murder Mystery on the Napa Valley Wine Train. No magnifying glasses are needed, but wine glasses will be provided. Renowned for their luxury rail tours, gourmet cuisine, and stellar wines from regional vineyards, the Napa Valley Wine Train has joined forces with The Murder Mystery Company in offering three-hour tours.

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  • fortune cookies

    You Will Soon Visit a Fortune Cookie Factory

    May 06

    Although popularly believed to be a Chinese creation, the fortune cookie was actually conceived and came into being right here in San Francisco. They were invented by Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese-American who is better known for creating the city’s Japanese Tea Garden. Regardless of their origins, these fragrant and tasty little golden crescents have become the traditional ending to a Chinese repast all over the country. Since August of 1962, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory has been making custom fortune cookies by hand and from scratch and is one of the few such places left in the U.S.

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  • hippie costume

    Hail to “The Haight”

    April 01

    After becoming famous during the 1960s-1970s as home to the founders, movers, and shakers of America’s counter-culture, Haight-Ashbury remains as one of the city’s most renowned, interesting, artsy, and dynamic neighborhoods. Whether you know it as Haight-Ashbury, the Upper Haight, or “The Haight,” there’s an abundant array of eateries, shops, bars, bookstores, and other retailers that have made their home here. Additionally, a variety of artists, comedians, and musicians perform and display their work at several of the Haight’s venues. Listed here are only a few of our favorites.

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  • sanfranciscobaycruise

    Cruising Around the Bay

    March 04

    Want to get a unique perspective of San Francisco from the water? A cruise around the Bay is ideal for sightseeing and learning more about the city. Leaving from the Fisherman’s Wharf area, each cruise offers stunning views of the city’s bridges, shorelines, gorgeous sunsets, and even the infamous Alcatraz Island. For a pleasant all-purpose tour, check out the 90-minute Sunset Cruise. Indoor seating allows you to cruise in comfort and enjoy the breathtaking scenery while sipping cocktails and enjoying light appetizers.

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  • hibiscusflower

    Fascinating, Fabulous Flora

    February 04

    Heliconia, hibiscus, and Amazon water lilies, along with a myriad of some of the world’s most amazing plants and flowers, all await you any time of year at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. From beginning to end, the Conservatory’s five different galleries all represent five different habitats, and each offers an entertaining education in the world’s flora for the entire family. Visit the Aquatic Plants Gallery for pools that simulate the flow of a river, and are home to such specimens as orchids, bromeliads, lotus flowers, and more.

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  • sanfranciscostreets

    Hop on a PopWheel

    January 07

    For one of the most interesting tours of San Francisco, you might want to consider using a PopWheel. Taking a PopWheel Tour is fun and easy - these little conveyances are Mini-Segways, and are simple to learn to ride. The tour instructor will train you in the use and provide you with a helmet. After that, you’ll be off, following your guide through the streets of the Dogpatch neighborhood and the area around AT&T Park. Dogpatch has become the city’s fastest-growing neighborhood, as new housing complexes and large developments multiply around the area.

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  • Experience the Best of Broadway

    December 03

    The best shows on Broadway – the Tony winners, the Grammy winners, and the box-office smashes, are all waiting for you right now at any of the SHN’s (Shorenstein Hays Nederlander) three San Francisco Venues. Dying to see “Hamilton,” or “A Bronx Tale?” How about “Mean Girls,” “Hello Dolly,” “Mary Poppins,” “Come From Away,” or “Anastasia?” Want to take the kids to a performance of “Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or the “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Concert?” All of these, and much more, are a part of SHN’s upcoming performance season.

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  • An Illuminating Experience

    November 05

    Illuminate your artistic sensibilities with exhibits of light art by some of the world’s most innovative and renowned international light artists. Featured at various San Francisco museums, no less than of these 10 ingenious displays can be seen at the four venues listed here. First, don’t miss a visit to the Contemporary Jewish Museum to take in “PaRDeS,” a symbolic light installation in the museum’s Grand Lobby. Look up to see artist Dave Lane’s “Lamp of the Covenant,” a dazzling light sculpture measuring 90 feet long hanging from the ceiling. Next, head over to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for three of artist Dan Flavin’s fluorescent light works featured in the SFMOMA’s “Pop, Minimal, and Figurative Art: The Fisher Collection.”

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  • The Presidio: Where San Francisco Began

    October 01

    From its beginnings as a home for Native Americans to its control by Spain and then Mexico, to its tenure as a U.S. Army post, the Presidio has a long and fascinating history. Today’s Presidio is a national park, which features a visitor’s center and a museum and cultural center. Miles of trails reward hikers with wildflowers, and other seasonal flora and fauna. The Presidio is a favorite destination for picnickers, Frisbee-tossers, kite-flyers, and nature-lovers. Spectacular scenery is part of the experience here, and it’s a terrific place to catch the colorful beauty of a sunset or sunrise.

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  • It’s Time to Discover the San Francisco Opera

    September 03

    The San Francisco Opera is famous for masterful performances and outstanding productions of every opera from the traditional classics to the bold and avant-garde, and this year’s season is clearly no exception. In addition to the operatic offerings of the season each year, guests can look forward to weekend galas, as well as other lively and entertaining programs, such as “Opera in the Park.” Thanks also to the sponsorship by the San Francisco Chronicle, tens of thousands of opera fans descend annually on Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park for “Arias al Fresco.”

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  • USA Today Awards Snaps to Bay Area Beaches

    August 06

    When most people think about hitting the beach, San Francisco is not usually the first place that comes to mind. While the City offers stunning scenery, a thriving arts scene, major league sporting events, and some of the best ballet, opera, theater, and symphony performances in the world, the fact that two of the state’s finest beaches are only about 90 minutes away may escape notice. But, with USA Today’s 10 Best California Beaches experts recently selecting Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz as #7 and McClures Beach in Marin County as #8 in the top ten, now is an ideal time to hit the beach.

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  • Experience the Excitement of Pier 39

    July 03

    Discover a variety of sea creatures, set sail on a cruise in nearby waters, check out Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze, and the Musical Stairs – it’s all waiting for you at Pier 39. Indulge your inner child on the famous San Francisco Carousel. Handmade in Italy, it’s decorated with some of the City’s most famous landmarks, including Chinatown, Coit Tower, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Choose from more than 30 beautifully carved and adorned animals to ride, as you listen to the music of the organ and enjoy your view of the promenade.

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  • A Great City for Sports Fans

    June 04

    With college sports teams, professional leagues, and several major-league sports franchises, it’s no wonder that San Francisco and the surrounding area have such a strong appeal for sports fans. Whether you prefer ice hockey, baseball, soccer, football, basketball, or all of the above, the Bay Area offers exciting games almost year-round. Both the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers have been scoring touchdowns with fans for over half a century, and, if you’re a soccer fan, be sure to scope out the sharp and swift moves by the San Jose Earthquakes.

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  • 6 Fabulous Museums near Yerba Buena Gardens

    May 07

    Located between Third and Fourth streets and Mission and Folsom Streets in downtown San Francisco, the Yerba Buena Gardens are a marvel of design. A peaceful green island nestled in the heart of San Francisco’s downtown, the park includes a historic carousel, an elegantly-crafted waterfall, a memorial of Martin Luther King, Jr., and beautifully-manicured gardens. However, one of the best reasons to visit the Gardens is their proximity to some of the City’s best attractions, particularly our museums.

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  • The Play’s the Thing at the San Francisco Playhouse

    April 02

    Located in Union Square’s Theater District, the San Francisco Playhouse can best be compared to one of NYC’s Off-Broadway companies. Founded by Bill English and Susi Damilano in 2003, the Playhouse has garnered a reputation for both its rapid growth and the consistency and excellence of its productions. It’s an ideal alternative to larger theaters, as it offers the audience a professional theater experience in a more intimate setting. Their goal is to provide an inspirational and creative space for theater lovers to come together with actors, writers, directors, and designers to create and honor the works presented.

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  • San Francisco’s Exotic Chinatown

    March 05

    Only minutes away, San Francisco’s Chinatown presents an exotic adventure for tourists and locals alike. Where else can you visit a joss shop, a Buddhist temple, a fortune cookie factory, and enjoy delicious Dim Sum, all in a few hours? Many tours are available for those who don’t feel comfortable wandering around on their own – some are free of charge, while others cost varying amounts, depending on the length and type of tour. If you’re generally fit, and have the stamina for a 2-3 hour walking tour, the free tour offered by San Francisco’s Public Library is an excellent option.

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  • A Walking Tour of Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco

    February 06

    Cinephiles, classic film fans, and Hitchcock aficionados won’t want to miss this tour. Hosted by the San Francisco Library, they take visitors on a walking tour of Nob Hill and Union Square, as these two areas were the primary locations for Hitch’s film “Vertigo.” Many of the locations in these neighborhoods were particularly pleasing to Hitchcock, along with the many additional iconic attractions and elegant architectural details found in the City. The director also made several other films here, including “The Birds,” “Family Plot,” and “Marnie.”

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  • Catch a Cable Car for a Fun, Self-Guided, Tour

    January 08

    Imagine hanging off the side of a cable car, the bay breeze in your face, as you climb and descend the renowned hills of San Francisco. With its clanging bells and singing cables, the cable car has become the traditional symbol of the city’s transportation as well as part of its culture. Cable cars have been traversing the city for almost 150 years now, carrying residents and visitors alike on regularly scheduled routes. These iconic cars are a fun way to tour the city at your leisure, taking whichever line you choose, and hopping on and off where and when you wish.

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  • The Art of the Mission

    December 07

    One of the city’s most interesting attractions is “Mural Alley,” where hundreds of colorful, and frequently provocative, painted murals can be seen. An ever-changing and vital part of the city’s public art scene, these are a fascinating mélange of Depression-era WPA art, early 20th century Mexican muralists, and graffiti artists whose offerings demonstrate a heavy influence by graphic comics and/or pop culture.

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  • The Historic Embarcadero District

    November 07

    From its beginnings during the Gold Rush era, when it was a port named Yerba Buena Cove, the Embarcadero district has been one of the marvels of San Francisco. Shipping and public travel was, and still is, thriving, and was largely responsible for the prosperity and growth enjoyed by the city and the region. As the area grew, the architectural styles varied, so that now the district features an eclectic mix of Late Gothic Revival, Mission, Spanish Colonial Revival, Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Italian Renaissance, and Beaux-Arts, along with the utilitarian structures of the port areas.

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  • Exploring Nob Hill

    October 02

    Built with fortunes made in silver, gold, and the Central Pacific Railroad, Nob Hill has become associated with the rich and the powerful. The railroad barons known as the Big Four were the first to build on this hill that rises over 300 feet above the waterfront. These four, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker, and Collis Huntington, were then followed to the hill by James C. Flood and James Flair. Their flamboyant homes were architecturally excessive by 1870s standards, so much so that they were described in 1882 by Robert Louis Stevenson as “The Hill of Palaces.” They even installed their own cable car line, in 1878, which still operates today.

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