San Francisco, California, is a place best known for being the tech capital of the world, the birthplace of the 1960’s hippie movement, and a vibrant LGBTQ community. We often see images of the city’s Golden Gate Bridge and the Painted Ladies, as made famous by Full House. But there is definitely more to see to the city than these landmarks. On your next trip to the Bay Area, consider going to the following spots for some great pictures, learning, and relaxation.
The Conservatory of Flowers
The Conservatory of Flowers is a massive greenhouse and botanical gardens where you will find exotic flowers and plants. It is home to 1,700 different types of plant species which you can learn all about by booking a tour. The Conservatory holds different events throughout the seasons, which you can check out on their website. Its amazing architecture also makes it a great place for photographs. It is one of the oldest buildings standing in Golden Gate Park dating back to 1876.
Cost: $6 Adults, Children 5-11 $2
The Fairmont Rooftop Garden
Walking through the beautiful Fairmont Hotel is an adventure of its own. You will feel like you just walked into a royal palace when you see its grand staircase and gold toned lobby. Tucked away in the back of the hotel is a peaceful rooftop garden which is open to the public. You would never imagine this place exists in the middle of the city. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy a great view of the city, this is the place.
The California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s largest natural history museums. There are all types of exhibits such as a planetarium, an aquarium, and a four story rainforest! It is also home to Claude the Albino Alligator. On Thursday nights they hold a 21+ event called “Nightlife.” There are cocktails, music, and after hours admission to all the exhibits.
Cost: Adult $39.50, Children 4-11 $29.95
Stow Lake Boathouse
Ever wanted to have a Notebook moment where you are rowing a boat in the middle of nature with your love or with your own company? This lake is the perfect place to recreate that scene. The Stow Lake Boathouse sits in the middle of Golden Gate Park where you have the option to rent row boats, pedal boats, and electric boats. Row your boat and enjoy the views!
Have a picnic at Baker Beach where you’ll get picturesque view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the South Bay!
At Sutro Baths you will find the ruins of what was once a home to the city’s biggest salt water bath house. It was lost to a fire in 1966 but some pools remain. This is a great location to explore and take a walk. It is best known for being a picture perfect sunset spot.
Hidden Garden Steps
The Hidden Garden Steps is a public community art project featuring a 148 step mosaic tile staircase. Creators of the staircase art shared that, “the catalyst for the project was a desire by our community to stop the graffiti, tagging, and littering on the 16th Avenue staircase. We felt that the way to reestablish the stairs as a safe place to use and enjoy was to re-envision them as a public art space.” There are two staircases to check out along 16th Street. Make an adventure out of it and see if you can find them!