San Francisco Hidden Gem Attractions

THE 10 BEST Hidden Gem Attractions in San Francisco

Best San Francisco Hidden Gem Attractions

Traveller rating
Neighbourhoods
Good for
73 places sorted by traveller favourites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
Showing results 1-30 of 73

What travellers are saying

  • Johnny Novo
    New York City, NY135 contributions
    I hoofed it here from my hotel in SoMa, having really no idea what this place was and to be quite honest after doing a bunch of research I still don't really know ahahaha.

    I know it was built for the world fair in 1915 to exhibit works of art, but that being the only purpose had me skeptical. Like there is no real purpose or meaning to this thing and people talk about it like it's the Statue of Liberty or somethin. I don't know, I guess I like to be fake deep sometimes.

    I came locked and loaded, fully ready to hate on it but immediately understood when I arrived. The Palace appears out of nowhere and blindsides you with its beauty. The only comparison I can make is when you see one of those people in real life that has an ineffable natural beauty and aura and you get those little unexplainable butterflies flying around in your stomach. You can't help but appreciate it, you can't help but smile.

    I took my airpods out and snapped the case closed, pausing my Lofi-Sunday playlist as I just wanted to be fully present in the moment. Take in the energy, breathe in the air. As sad as it is to say, this is how I know I have a deep reverence for a place ahahaha.

    My boy, Bernard Maybeck SNAPPED on this, as he was trying to evoke a decaying ruin of ancient Rome and he captured that exact feeling. Architects need to get more shine. How do you even do that?!?! Especially in 1915 with no internet and likely limited resources. Bernard has all my respect ahaha.

    I've said it before, and I'll likely say it again: Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one else can see.

    WE SEE YOU BERNARD!

    IG @jnov_
    Tiktok @jnov__
    Written 24 January 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • focusport22
    171 contributions
    This is a great museum on the life of Walt Disney and his family. They also have the train that was in Walt’s backyard.
    They touch upon the different decades and show a lot of things that people may not know about.
    Written 27 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jane C
    Beauly, UK259 contributions
    I love finding out more about how things work, particularly when they are as historic as the cable cars in San Francisco. It's not a fancy museum, but it has all sorts of interesting things to see in there, including watching the cables in action. Definitely worth stopping to see it.
    Written 17 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ZenDark30
    Portland, OR2,472 contributions
    A close second to Fisherman’s wharf in terms of visitors, this 2 mile trail from Eagles Point to the USS San Francisco is on the top ten of San Francisco must dos.

    Along the way there are lots of scenic overlooks to taste the sea air and catch your breath. Interpretive signs tell stories of the wildlife, geology, natural and human history. Did I mention the Golden Gate Bridge views?

    If, you can, I dare you to keep pace with the multiple barges, freighters, and cruise ships.

    I recommend for families and anyone with a modicum level of fitness. There is one staircase otherwise terrain is fairly level.
    Written 7 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Nicki G
    1 contribution
    This is an excellent theater to go to solo! Every seat is a good one and the staff are very welcoming. First class writers, actors, and production overall. Affordable tickets as well.
    Written 9 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Princess
    Washington DC, DC206 contributions
    Beautiful both inside AND outside... with the latter being quite scenic! Great little collections of art here, would revisit.
    Written 13 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Previa1994
    Chicago, IL6,368 contributions
    Fort Point is an awesome location which combines history and scenic beauty.  This is one of the best spots for the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  One is almost directly under the bridge at water level.  In addition, the historic fort is worth visiting for understanding the history of the Bay.  One can walk through the fort and see the historical displays.  Twice a year there are historical enactments; which I think is the best occasion to visit the fort.  Fort Point is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.  Ample free parking is available.  Admission is free, but check the website for times when they are open.
    Written 9 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • CRLF
    Weymouth, MA28 contributions
    This is a beautiful place with amazing views. It's also a sobering place in our country's immigration history. I appreciated the chance to experience both sides of Angel Island. The ferry trip from Tiburon was only 15 minutes and provided a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog. It is about a 30 minute walk / climb (1.3 miles one way) from the dock to the area with the Barracks Museum and the Immigration Station Museum. Immigrants were held in the barracks for weeks or months in crowded rooms, where they carved emotional poems in Chinese into the walls. The exhibits provide a lot of information about discrimination against Asian immigrants. The building has only been preserved versus restored, so it felt authentic and you can really imagine the conditions faced by the immigrants. If coming from Tiburon, note that you'll have to park in one of the public lots in town for at least $5 and allow extra time to walk to the dock. We took the 11:00 ferry there and the 1:20 ferry back, which wasn't enough time to see both museums. I'd recommend taking the 10:00 instead.
    Written 23 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Joanne
    Lake Mary, FL1,768 contributions
    Very interesting to see a decommissioned sub in the middle of a tourist area. There were not many people visiting, and it was rather pricey. However, there is an associated WWII museum just across from the ship that you can visit free with some interesting exhibits (very small).
    Written 22 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • nzwestie
    Hamilton & Waikato Region, New Zealand457 contributions
    We loved these steps, enjoyed the little bit of exercise. Looking at all the gardens and places on the way up. Going down you get to see a different view. Def recommend this one
    Written 2 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Samantha D
    7 contributions
    My family went to check out the beautiful staircase, and we were not disappointed! The work that went into making this, we say thank you to those that maintain it and the garden around it! The whole experience was lovely, looking at the staircase, looking from the staircase out over the city to the ocean and enjoying the gardens!
    Written 20 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Erick Tseng
    San Francisco, CA546 contributions
    A wonderful way to get exercise and explore the beautiful coastline of Northern California. The California coastal Trail winds up and down the oceanside shore and takes you through some of the most stunning vistas in the country, perhaps the world. At times, you'll feel like you're on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, staring out at the turquoise blue waters of the Mediterranean.

    And now, especially during Covid, this is a fantastic way to get outside in a safe, socially distanced way.
    Written 6 March 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • travel-junkie3PO
    San Francisco, CA1,632 contributions
    3 of us went to the Magic Theater and HIGHLY Recommend it!

    We've been to several close-up magic acts and Jay's is top-notch. He has a lot of interaction with the audience and the whole experience is like having the show in your home (if it was in a Moroccan Casbah).

    We left...Gob-smacked! It's a great show for kids, family, date night--everybody in the 40-seat theater had a fine time.

    Not only Jay Alexander a great magician--the Moroccan theater is really fancy (started out as a speakeasy!)

    Before the performance, you can purchase drinks and fine Moroccan food and make it "Dinner and a Show."

    Park at the ACE Parking lot at 400 Taylor Street, directly across the street--you can reserve parking on line for $25.
    Written 18 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • valleygirl3092
    Walnut Creek, CA99 contributions
    Hidden Gem! Only recently learned of this historic house & happy to have discovered it. Only open on weekends & three docent-led tours per day. Really enjoyed learning about SF history, SF fire & lifestyle in the era of this home & those of other early SF residents of upper/middle class
    Written 12 March 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Quinten Jiskoot
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands530 contributions
    We made a walk through the Mission District and saw the most famous mural alleys, like this one. While Clarion is the most impressive, Balmy is not bad at all either. Sometimes you see small groups with a guide, it is part of some city tours.
    Written 14 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.