Things to do in San Francisco

Getty Images

With alleyway galleries, world-class museums, bay cruises, and tons of green space, the city is an activity playground, and there’s no shortage of th... Read More

With alleyway galleries, world-class museums, bay cruises, and tons of green space, the city is an activity playground, and there’s no shortage of things to do in San Francisco.

Because there are so many things to do in San Francisco, it’s wise for visitors to start their trip by taking a walking tour of the city. These tours, which are led by local volunteers well versed in the city’s history, are free and cover a wide swathe of the metropolis, from well-known landmarks to more out-of-the-way hidden gems. A visit to Golden Gate Park and the de Young Museum are top attractions, and if you’re still looking for what to do in San Francisco, live music and theater are other activities worth checking out. We suggest stops at The Strand, Swedish American Music Hall, and the Ferry Building—one of the city’s major landmarks—before you leave the foggy city by the bay.

Read Less
  • Adventure Cat Sailing Charters

    Veer from the crowded city sidewalks and take a carefree charter on a boat for a different perspective of San Francisco. A fleet of first-rate... Read More

  • Basic Training Class

    Working out might not be at the top of your list while on vacation, but consider this: Few people know the city’s hills, parks, and secret verdant... Read More

  • California Academy of Science

    The California Academy of Sciences covers a broad reach, blending innovative and interactive exhibits that make this a local favorite. Part natural... Read More

  • de Young

    The de Young is one of the most renowned museums in San Francisco, and it attracts big names in historic and modern art for its ongoing exhibitions.... Read More

  • Doc's Lab

    Doc Ricketts is the neighborhood’s go-to spot for subterranean entertainment: every night features a different act, be it music, comedy, or racy, light... Read More

  • Dolores Park

    The Holy Grail of parkland in San Francisco—it’s by far the most popular and most iconic, known for turning into a daytime party every weekend. It... Read More

  • Exploratorium

    Since relocating to a brand new space on San Francisco’s scenic Embarcadero promenade in 2013, this science and art museum has drawn people in droves... Read More

  • Golden Gate Park

    This 1,017-acre landmark might be world famous, but it’s still full of hidden gems. Visit the bison paddocks on the park’s west end, where urban buffalo... Read More

  • Green Apple Books on the Park

    One of the Bay Area’s most beloved book stores has a new outpost next to Golden Gate Park. Green Apple on the Park boasts a highly curated selection of... Read More

  • KitTea

    A Japanese-style teahouse and cat adoption lounge. A sleek trendy cafe that seamlessly blends into swanky Hayes Valley, with a well-appointed lounge... Read More

  • Lafayette Park

    Since undergoing a recent $10 million renovation, Lafayette Park has become the go-to oasis for young families and couples with off-leash dogs to chill... Read More

  • Lands End Lookout

    Learn about the history of San Francisco’s lesser-visited west side at the new LEED Platinum Lands End Lookout center. The thoroughly modern building... Read More

  • Nob Hill Spa

    A stunning view of the San Francisco skyline can be seen from the indoor pool at the thoughtfully designed Nob Hill Spa. But if that’s not reason enough... Read More

  • Ocean Beach

    This vast swath of sand borders the Great Highway on the western stretch of San Francisco. Watch local surfers catch gnarly (and freezing) waves, stroll... Read More

  • Off the Grid

    Every Friday from 5–10 p.m., a caravan of the city’s best food trucks takes over the parking lot at Fort Mason, for its own boisterous moveable feast.... Read More

  • SF Masonic

    The Masonic auditorium is the pinnacle of Nob Hill. And for good reason—not only has it been hosting musicians since Bob Dylan’s early days in the 1960s... Read More

  • SF Jazz

    SFJAZZ brings the intimate soulfulness of America’s best jazz singers and musicians into a glossy 35,000-square-foot venue, which opened in 2013. Well... Read More

  • Streets of San Francisco Bike Tours

    In any city, bike rentals are often one of the biggest tourist traps. But Streets of San Francisco Bike Tours sources local experts to lead rides... Read More

  • Swedish American Music Hall

    The old world European meeting space now has a new life as a music venue with a modern lineup curated by Noise Pop (which runs the uber-popular Treasure... Read More

  • The Ferry Building Farmers' Market

    The best way to see the Bay Area’s bounty of heirloom produce and flowers and meet the farmers who grow them (and also supply the city’s top restaurants... Read More

  • The Strand

    This new $34.4 million, 283-seat auditorium is a major expansion for San Francisco celebrated repertory theater company, the American Conservatory... Read More

  • Urban Putt

    People expect many things in the Mission: trendy restaurants and handmade jewelry to name two. But a miniature golf course? Such is the case at Urban... Read More

Back To Top