Even for life long Bay Area-nites, San Francisco can always find a way to jumpstart your curiosity. Every city-dweller has their favorite getaway, but what if you’re hungry for something new and serendipitous in your favorite city by the bay?
To shake up your trip or daily routine, here are the top 10 hidden gems you can find in San Francisco:
343 Sansome Roof Garden
Deep in the concrete jungle that is the Financial District, there is a hidden oasis where you least expect it. On the 15th floor of 343 Sansome Street, you will discover a hidden garden, freely open to the public. With verdant trees, intoxicating lilies, and plenty of seats, this is a perfect place to grab a sandwich and take a tranquil breather.
If you’re looking for a perfect place to get things done, without paying astronomical prices for using a coffee shop’s wifi, the Workshop Cafe is your salvation. The cafe not only makes the best cappuccino in San Francisco, but it also provides a wallet- friendly way to find fast wifi at $2 an hour. Whether you are a visiting business owner or a local creative, this is a great place to work in silence.
If you’re a fan of milk tea, Boba Guys will be sure to top Starbucks as your latest necessary luxury. This cult business has grown exponentially since its founding in 2011. Although there are several locations, the tucked away store near Union Square is a local favorite. Featuring a wide variety of specialty drinks from matcha to jasmine to horchata, the extensive menu allows you to choose the perfect drink to suit your palette.
Flora Grubb Gardens
To channel your inner botanist, the Flora Grubb Gardens can teach you the best ways to make your plants prosper. Segregating the plants based on sun exposure, you will be fascinated by how the arrangements are placed. From discovering a family of succulents in an antiquated Corvette to dangling sweet peas floating above your head, this is an exquisite place for everyone.
Sprinkled along the San Francisco bay, The Wave Organ is a living musical instrument which is played by the ocean. Crafted from carved granite and marble, the subtle music created here must be heard to be believed. Come here at high tide to experience the finest music.
Seward Street Slides
When you’re greeted with signs stating “No adults unless accompanied by a child,” you know that you’re in for a fun ride. Surrounded by Seward Park, all you need is a bit of cardboard to slide down to the bottom and feel like a kid for the day.
Lover’s Lane Trail and Wood Line: Presidio National Park
For a taste of the great outdoors, Lover’s Lane is one of the most underrated hiking spots in San Francisco. With fragrant eucalyptus trees flanking the trail, follow the trail of trees all the way to the top for a refreshing walk. Like the name suggests, this is a lovely spot for active couples and families alike.
16th Avenue Tiled Steps
If you’re looking for a beautiful yet functional work of art, The Tiled Steps on 16th avenue are definitely a feast for the eyes. Evoking images of the ebb and flow of the ocean, the mosaic stairway leads you to extensive views of San Francisco’s Sunset district. For the best view, climb to the top at twilight.
Alison Koenig is a writer crafting nonfiction about technology and traveling. After traveling extensively with long stints in Italy and Sweden, she now lives in Northern California to nurture her career aspirations and adventurous lifestyle.