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24 Things You Must Do in San Francisco Before You Move
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24 Things You Must Do in San Francisco Before You Move

Picture of Deanna Morgado
Updated: 6 December 2017
When the time has come to say farewell and move out of San Francisco, there’re a few things that you’ll have to do just one more time (or maybe for the first time). Here are 24 to do in San Francisco before you move.

Roller Disco at Church of 8 Wheels

Once a place for Catholic gathering and worshipping, this 120-year-old church has been converted into one cool roller skating rink. On Friday and Saturday nights, skaters can come, dress up, roller and disco skate around like it’s 1975.

Inside the Church of 8 Wheels. San Francisco, CA. | © Kathy Drasky/Flickr

Catch a Beach Blanket Babylon Show

This completely over-the-top musical show is considered one of the most San Francisco shows around. Beach Blanket Babylon is the longest running musical shows and has performed over 15,000 times. It’s a spot-on comedy of pop-culture and current events with colorful and outrageous costumes and headdresses.

Play Beer Pong at Bar None

Try your skills at one of the most popular beer pong venues in the city. The regularly held games and tournaments will surely be missed after moving out of San Francisco.

Visit the Wood Line Sculpture

Artist Andy Goldsworthy constructed what would’ve been discarded eucalyptus branches into a hauntingly beautiful and exquisitely impressive sculpture. Walking this 1,200-foot trail in the Presidio invokes a special type of connection to the city.

Walkin’ in a *eucalyptus* wonderland 🎄

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Spot the Wild Parrots

Trying to find the Wild Parrots is like San Francisco’s own little scavenger hunt. You never know where the flock of wild conure parrots that bless the city skies will be, but the best place to start is by Coit Tower. Take as many snaps as you can when you do find them, so you’ll always have the memory of the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.

Parrot Pair on Walk Signal | © Ingrid Taylar/Flickr

Attend the Folsom Street Fair

It’s intense. It’s leather-clad. It’s as underground San Francisco as a street festival can get. Leave the kiddos at home to pack for moving day – it’s adults only.

Folsom Street Fair | © Tom Hilton/Flickr

Brunch It Up

While plenty of other cities have brunch options, San Franciscans swear by the city’s late morning/early afternoon hybrid meal scene. Make as many stops in the Dogpatch or Fillmore District for the best brunch.

The Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race

Bring out your competitive inner child at the Bring Your Own Big Wheel race. This race, where anyone who can bring their own tricycle can participate, is one of the most fun annual events happening in San Francisco. It’s completely free and an absolute must for San Francisco.

Bring Your Own Big Wheel | © Dawn Endico/Flickr

See an Opera

Get fancy as the clock counts down to your move-out date by going to one of San Francisco’s iconic operas.

Practice Yoga at Grace Cathedral

It doesn’t matter your faith or how you identify, on Tuesday nights, anyone can lay their mats out on the labyrinth inside the beautiful Grace Cathedral. The darkened space brings in a welcoming and zen evening of yoga.

California Academy of Sciences Nightlife

On Thursday nights, the California Academy of Sciences stays open for special events exclusively for adults. It’s a perfect way to experience the curious nature and exhibits of the expansive museum.

Get an Irish coffee at Buena Vista Cafe

The Irish coffee was perfected back in 1952 at San Francisco’s own Buena Vista Cafe right by Ghirardelli Square. People come from miles around to try this spot-on concoction. Take advantage of living in the city (for the time being) with the perfect Irish coffee.

Famous Buena Vista Cafe Irish Coffees | © Lauren Bosak/Flickr

Eat San Francisco’s Famous Sourdough

Sourdough bread from San Francisco is unlike any other. Head out to one of the many bakeries in the city that sell this amazing bread and stock up. If you can, pack one of your moving boxes with loaves of San Francisco sourdough. You know it’s that good.

Game On at GameVibes

Located at the Folsom Street Foundry, GameVibes is both a bar and one of the best places for lovers of all kinds of games. On Thursday and Friday nights, people head to GameVibes for arcade games, video games, board games, and more.

Another day another dollar. Chillin at work come by if you have the chance. #gamevibes

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Eat a Green Goddess Salad

The Green Goddess is a salad dressing that was created in the city of the bay in 1923. Today, the Wayfare Tavern in the Financial District still serves the original dressing and salad it comes with. It’s a very old San Francisco thing that every local needs to try.

The Alemany Farmers’ Market

Also referred to as the “people’s market,” the Alemany farmers’ market is one of the more laid-back markets in the city, drawing in the locals. It was also the very first farmers’ markets in California.

Alemany Farmers’ Market | © stu_spivack/Flickr

Musée Mécanique

After living in San Francisco for any amount of time, you’ve probably came to realize that Fisherman’s Wharf, while beautiful, is completely filled with tourists. That being said, before leaving the city by the bay, you’ll have to do one last visit to Musée Mécanique. The museum contains authentic 20th-century music boxes and vintage arcade games open for play.

Visit a Fortune Cookie Factory

Not too many people know that the fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco. It’s just one more thing that makes the city so special. The Fortune Cookie Factory is a humble shop where you can see the making of these delectably insightful cookies right before your eyes. It’s a great way to strengthen your connection to San Francisco even after you’ve moved away.

Sing Alongs at Castro Theater

Famous Castro Theater puts on singalongs while screening wonderful musicals such as Mary Poppins. Attendees are even encouraged to dress up to the singalongs to win prizes.

Mary Poppins sing-along at the Castro Theatre | © Matt Zimmerman/Flickr

Meditate at the Rock Labyrinth

Head down Lands End in the Presidio, camera in hand, to the rock labyrinth. This is a favored spot of San Franciscan meditators and for good reason. It’s right against the bay, crashing against the labyrinth that is covered in rocks. After meditating, make sure to snap as many photos as possible to keep the memory.

Land’s End | © Anita Hart/Flickr

See the Balmy Alley Murals

Balmy Alley San Francisco’s most mural-concentrated places in the city. The block’s street artwork started back in the mid-’80s, used to express citizens’ emotions over the political injustices and human rights issues in Central America at the time. The Balmy Alley Murals hold tight to its mission today and is still used for artists to interpret their feelings on the world’s issues into art.

Eat as Many Burritos in the Mission District as Possible

Get your fill of delicious burritos. San Francisco didn’t invent the burrito but most locals will swear that the city perfected it, primarily in the Mission District. Although it may not be advisable, maybe you can pack as many burritos as you can in the same moving box as the San Francisco sourdough.

Explore Alcatraz at Night

Most who have visited or lived in San Francisco have toured Alcatraz Prison. However, many haven’t experienced this former military prison during its “held night” tours. It’s a whole different way of seeing Alcatraz that every San Franciscan should do at least once.

cell block d | © sean hobson/Flickr

Go on One More SF Hike

San Francisco has become known for its amazing urban hiking scene. There’s no better way to say goodbye to the city than to lace up your hiking shoes and head out to as many different trails as you can.