Exploring San Francisco: Going Off the Beaten Path

Every holiday destination will have its share of popular attractions- sites that grace the pages of brochures and Instagram timelines. After a visit to your Eiffel Towers and Pyramids, you will naturally be eager to let the world know that you have crossed said attraction from your bucket list.

Experiencing such world-renowned sites will no doubt be a thrill, but you can make your trip even more memorable. Take time to go off the beaten touristic path and discover some of the location’s hidden attractions. You may discover even more compelling stories to share with your social media followers.

San Francisco is well known for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge and its famous, or infamous, Alcatraz Island. But there are many other things to do or see in the Golden City that you won’t find in brochures.

Taking In The Sights

There is a lot to see in and around the city itself, starting with the engineering marvel of the Golden Gate Bridge. No one will believe you’ve been to the Golden city without a picture, or a selfie, with the one-mile-wide suspension bridge in the background. As the sun drops into the horizon, taking these pictures will make them even more dazzling.

A cruise out to the renowned Alcatraz Island is another of San Francisco’s must-do activities. There are a number of operators offering boat tours across the bay to the mound of rock that housed some of the world’s toughest outlaws.

You can enjoy a drink along with the captivating seascapes before you’re regaled with tales of the prison’s history. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of sea lions or dolphins frolicking in the water.

Most visitors will round off their tour of San Francisco with a bus tour of the city. This is a great way to see the diversity and rich history this locale offers in a couple of hours. A typical tour will involve a jaunt through the Castro, the Mission, North Beach and Chinatown. Along the way, you will be entertained with tales of famous individuals who lived there.

These kinds of tours will give you an appreciation of the cultural and historical wealth of San Francisco in a matter of hours. They are great if you have just a weekend to hit all the city’s important sites. However, if you’re hoping to really get under San Francisco’s skin while steering clear of crowded tourist traps, you need to go off the beaten path.

Out Of The Way Perks

San Francisco has a lot to offer the curious traveler beyond the Golden Gate and other well-storied attractions. There are several unique, quirky things to see that you won’t find on every other visitor’s Insta timeline, places that say you really took time to explore the city. Not only will they give you great photo ops, but they will also quench your thirst for unique art and a new adventure.

Sail the Bay

Many operators offer boat tours across the waters of the bay, but not many will do the trip on a sailboat. Sailing the bay will give you a new perspective of the bay and a new or reminded appreciation for the art of sailing.

Twin Peaks Hiking

San Francisco offers many treasures to the outdoor enthusiast. The 922-foot-high Twin Peaks are surrounded by a mix of coastal scrub and lush grasslands. The hike itself is not grueling and will reward you with stunning views over the Bay.

Airplane Tour

There are many options available when it comes to “taking in the sights” in the Bay area. Globally-known landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, or other touristic gems. As well as lesser-known areas like Jack London Square and the waterfront area in Oakland, with plenty of Oakland events to attend rather than or along with the main itinerary items for a typical trip to San Francisco.

Instead of a bus tour or perambulating the streets on foot, you can take it all in from above. An air tour can be done either on an air balloon or in a helicopter. If you think the Golden Gate looks amazing from below, wait till you see it from above.

Explore Ocean Beach

This magnificent stretch of beach that borders the Pacific Ocean cannot really be classified as one of San Francisco’s hidden treasures. If you have planned to spend time at Golden Gate Park, spare some time to explore Ocean Beach as it is right next to it. If you consider yourself a surfer, the waves there are to die for.

Take One More Day

If you have a guided tour of San Francisco planned, be sure to add an extra day or two to explore the city at your own leisure. Talk to the locals and get some recommendations from them. Or do your own research and mark some of the lesser-known sites for exploration. You will be rewarded with the experience of a lifetime and awesome pics.

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