Alternative Guide To San Francisco: Unusual Things To Do

San Francisco © Pixabay
San Francisco © Pixabay
Photo of Courtney Holcomb
9 February 2017

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

Building, Theater
Map View
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.

Listen to the Wave Organ

Natural Feature, Park
Map View
Wave Organ
Wave Organ | © Courtesy of Lindsey Cosgrove
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.

Shop at Paxton Gate

Shop, Store
Map View
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.

Explore Cayuga Park

Map View
Demetrio Braceros carving
Demetrio Braceros carving | © Arnoldnoe/Wiki Commons
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.

Enjoy Shakespeare’s Garden

Map View
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.

Play at the Virtual Reality Arcade

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.

Legolas…? #vr #virtualreality play at

A video posted by Urban Safari (@urbansafarivr) on

Peek into Savernack Street

Art Gallery
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.

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