San Francisco is filled with wonderful and weird activities to delight locals and tourists alike. If you want to explore San Francisco behind the scenes, check out this curated list of favorite adventures off the beaten track.
Visit Nob Hill Audium
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Frequently cited as one of San Francisco’s best ‘hidden gems,’ the Nob Hill Audium is the only theater in existence that was designed for sound movement, incorporating every aspect of the building into the theater’s compositional and acoustical possibilities. Audium is a theater filled with 176 speakers to help acoustics wash over listeners, surrounding audiences with the best sound quality and the most immersive listening experience possible.
Head over to the Marina to listen to the Wave Organ, an art installation overlooking the water designed by Peter Richards. This sculpture is set up to capture the movement of the waves, using the natural phenomenon to create music.
Paxton Gate’s shelves are crowded with a mysterious selection of taxidermied animals, skulls and bones, strange plants, and other unusual home goods. Explore the shop to find something completely unique to gift to your quirkiest friends, or decorate your home like something out of the first season of True Detective.
Legend has it that over 200 colorful, feral birds have set up camp among the urban streets of San Francisco. Originally found in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood, these parrots have sparked much curiosity among locals, even inspiring a book called The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.
Next to Interstate 280 and beneath a looming overpass of BART tracks sits one of San Francisco’s best kept secrets: Cayuga Park. It may be isolated in the Outer Mission, one of the city’s most industrial neighborhoods, but this park’s unique aesthetic is well worth the trip over. Thanks to Demetrio Braceros, there are over 375 folk sculptures that now decorate every nook of the park.
The Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers is a garden in Golden Gate Park filled with plants and flowers that are mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. The garden contains over 200 of these plants, accompanied by bronze plaques engraved with the quotations associated with the plants. Weddings are often held in this romantic setting, filled with serene greenery and colorful flowers. The garden features a cobblestone pathway lined with trees, leading to a sundial in the middle of the garden.
As the world of virtual reality is spreading across the nation, you might wonder where you can get a taste of this avant garde experience. That’s where Urban Safari comes in. Unbeknownst to most locals, this San Francisco showroom offers visitors the chance to experiment with virtual reality goggles at affordable rental prices.
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Peek into Savernack Street
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Every day, San Franciscans walk by the city’s smallest art gallery without knowing it. Savernack Street, a gallery that can only be seen through a peephole, is hidden in plain sight on 24th Street in the Mission district. Stop by to spice up your day with a little local tourism.