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Top Hidden Gems In The Sunset, San Francisco
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Top Hidden Gems In The Sunset, San Francisco

Picture of Phuong Pham
Updated: 9 February 2017
Bordered on the north by Golden Gate Park and the west by the Pacific Ocean, the Sunset remains close to nature without losing its big-city edge. These hidden spots provide a unique view on the neighborhood, things that set it apart from many other major areas.
Hidden steps_Phuong Pham
Hidden steps_Phuong Pham

Hidden Steps | © Phuong Pham

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The Hidden Garden Steps

There are plenty of things about a city that a guidebook cannot fully describe. One of the most fascinating projects to visit in San Francisco is the Hidden Garden Steps, a mosaic staircase located on 16th Avenue that has recently been expanded and updated with new designs. Even some cab drivers don’t know how to get here.

Hidden Garden Steps, 16th Avenue between Kirkham Street and Lawton Street, San Francisco, CA, USA

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Little Puffer – San Francisco Zoo

Looking for a flashback to the old days? The Little Puffer Steam Train is truly a hidden joy for a lot of people. The train is located at one of our best places in the city: the San Francisco Zoo. This miniature steam train is a great icon of the Zoo, as well as a little golden joy for the residents. Seeing a train coming along the tracks with the steam pouring out the sides will just light you up while visiting the place. Make sure to call the Zoo before your visit because Little Puffer can’t run in wet weather due to slippery tracks.

San Francisco Zoo, Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 753 7080

Bonfire.ocean beach_Phuong Pham

Bonfire at Ocean Beach | © Phuong Pham

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Ocean Beach

One of the best parts of this neighborhood is when you open the windows, you can hear the ocean at night. Ocean Beach is considered the soul of the Outer Sunset, another half of the neighborhood. This natural wonder is truly a city slicker’s delight that you can spot from far away, especially on the steep streets in the area. It might sound odd, but it is true that you can also find the bravest surfers of the city here. Other than surfing and bonfiring, you always can escape from the city to come here and enjoy the view, where the fog enhances the ethereal aquatic atmosphere.

Ocean Beach, Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA, USA

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Stow Lake – Golden Gate Park

The Golden Gate Park is huge, so why not conserve your energy and take a boat across stunning Stow Lake and soak up nature. The lake is a delightful oasis in the middle of the park and well worth investigating during your visit. Ducks, seagulls, and turtles abound, so don’t forget to bring your camera.

Stow Lake Boathouse, 50 Stow Lake Dr, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 386 2531

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Mt. Sutro Open Space Reserve

The Sunset neighborhood is well-known for its large amount of nature. Aside from Golden Gate Park, locals also can enjoy the fresh air of Mount Sutro, a hidden trail in the middle of a suburban looking area. Regardless of some foggy days and muddy roads, every path in the little forest is covered in green and freshness. All the trails are suitable for groups and first-time hikers, from the Eastridge Trail to the Mystery Trail. This hidden gem is totally worth a trip for you to enjoy a refreshing and peaceful hike.

Mount Sutro, San Francisco, CA, USA

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Weekly Farmers’ Market

Just like other cozy neighborhoods, the Sunset has its own farmers’ market for its residents. Every Sunday, the market provides a good variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other local products. This market is not about the size, but rather about the great quality. The Inner Sunset Farmers’ Market is one of the most important factors helping the neighborhood become a complete small town just a quick ride away from the city’s center.

Inner Sunset Farmers’ Market, 9th Ave and Irving St, San Francisco, CA, USA

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Home of the coziest coffee shops and restaurants

We don’t have to introduce too much about this neighborhood – the Sunset is the most laid-back area where you can get great coffee while people-watching. Henry’s House of Coffee, for example, is one of the oldest coffee purveyors in the city. While locals rave about Blue Bottle and Philz’s, Henry’s still wins a large number of fans for his coffee. Visitors are also able to watch him roast the coffee beans with one of the most ancient roasting machines around. This compact area can provide everything you need: quiet places of residence, green parks, good restaurants, and inspiring coffee shops – they are all here.

Henry’s House of Coffee, 1618 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 681 9363

Coffee in Sunset_Phuong Pham

© Phuong Pham