San Francisco is one of those world-renowned cities that people all over the world know a few things about. Many of its local attractions are widely photographed each year and highly recognizable. San Fran, as locals call her, is located in northern California on the tip of a peninsula in the Pacific Ocean. It is most famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, but many go there each year to visit Alcatraz Island, which is just off the coast. If you’re planning a visit soon, then you’ll be pleased to know that San Francisco has a number of amazing attractions that are somewhat off the beaten path.
This hidden gem is located in the Golden Gate Park area near Huntington Falls. Strawberry Hill is a natural island formation that rises 430 feet in the air and is situated in Stow Lake. The natural beauty of this area is the real attraction here. Visitors find plenty of wildlife in the form of squirrels, birds, and ducks. There’s a beautiful waterfall, along with a unique Japanese temple. You can rent a paddle or row boat and be sure to bring a picnic lunch and your camera. This is an excellent place to bring a date for a memorable, romantic day.
This area was once known as “Los Pechos de la Choca” or the Breasts of the Maiden. At 922 feet high, Twin Peaks offers remarkable views of the entire Bay Area. Though many do come to enjoy the spectacular 180-degree vistas, there are numerous other opportunities to explore the indigenous flora and fauna. A hike through the area will reveal coastal scrub grasses and coyote brush. Bring a camera because you might be lucky enough to view the white-crowned sparrow or Mission Blue Butterfly, which is now endangered.
Palace of Fine Arts
Located in a lovely area of San Francisco, Palace of Fine Arts combines all the natural beauty of this area with some highly eclectic architecture. It’s located in the Marina District and was originally built to house works of art for the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915. In addition to the breathtaking architecture, the area is surrounded by pristine lagoons and lush foliage.
Couples come from all over each year to exchange their wedding vows in this extraordinary garden. This quaint garden is tucked away near the California Academy of Sciences and can easily be overlooked. This serene, but small park features brightly colored trees and flowers, along with wide pathways for roaming. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch and don’t forget your camera.
Yerba Buena Gardens
This lovely oasis in the city offers all the best features of both worlds. Visitors will enjoy colorful trees, flowers, and waterfalls, as well as upscale galleries, theaters, and museums. Among the shops and restaurants are many activities for people of all ages. Revel in a local theater production complete with ballet dancers or visit the Children’s Creativity Museum. Yerba Buena Gardens is on the Top 30 List of best urban gardens in the country.