Today I am sharing some of my favorite SF locations ranging from must see tourist hotspots to lesser known gems!
1 The Conservatory of Flowers
The Conservatory of Flowers located on John F Kennedy Drive is a stunning greenhouse that is completely filled with over 2000 species of flowers and foliage. It is housed in a Victorian style greenhouse that was opened in 1879. Adult admission for SF residents is $6, for non residents it is $9. Discount admission is available for children and seniors. Until January 6th they are doing a special Night Bloom exhibit that combines lights and music in the greenhouse to create a vibrant display.
2) Tiled Steps
San Fransisco actually has several unique walkways but my favorites by far are these two. On the left we have the 16th Avenue Tiled stairs. They are a collaborative effort by over 300 neighbors and feature moon and sun designs as well as fish and flora. To the right we have the Hidden garden steps located on 16th Ave. They feature flora and butterflies that look like they belong in an actual garden.
3) The Painted Ladies
This is definitely what I would consider a classic tourist hotspot. San Francisco’s painted ladies are a Historical Landmark located on Steiner St. and Hayes St. right across from Alamo square park. I highly recommend packing a picnic and relaxing in the area. Parking is difficult to find, especially on the weekends so be prepared to walk.
4) San Francisco Swings
The city has several swings with iconic views that have a history of being cut down. The Bernal Heights Park swing takes a bit of a hike to reach but offers an amazing view of the city. This swing also has a history of being removed and its social media popularity usually means it’s a bit crowded.
The Kirby Cove swing has been cut down and repaired several times. The view of the bay is gorgeous. If you are in the area for a day trip be sure to leave your car at the Vista Point next to Battery Spencer. Fair warning it will be a hike to reach the beach and the swing.
5) Museums: SFMOMA and The Museum of Ice Cream
If you have a limited amount of time in the city and can only check out a few exhibits I highly recommend SF Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Ice Cream. Both Museums have their merits. SFMOMA has a great mix of temporary exhibits as well as permanent displays. The spiders are part of Louise Bourgeois’s The Nest display and are permanent fixtures. Another permanent fixture is the rainbow neon art by Dan Flavin. I highly recommend seeing them in person!
The Museum of Ice Cream is more of an interactive experience than a Museum. It features fun Ice Cream trivia, brightly colored exhibits perfect for photos, and plenty of delicious treats. I have a separate blog post for this location if you’re interested Here
6) Iconic Rainbow Lattes
San Francisco has a plethora of amazing coffee shops but in my opinion if you only have time to try a few add HOMESF to your list. This coffee shop specializes in brightly colored lattes in a variety of fun flavors ranging from their Cookie Monster Latte to their classic Rainbow Birthday Cake latte.
7) Golden Gate Bridge Viewpoints
For epic views of the Golden gate Bridge you have several options. My personal favorite is the view from the beach at Kirby Cove- which also features a pretty cool swing.
Other honorable mentions are the view from the Golden Gate Outlook next to the Battery Godfrey as well as the view from the trails just past the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point.