6 Attractions Off the Beaten Path in San Francisco

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When you think of San Francisco, California, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is likely the first thing that comes to mind. Thanks to its diverse culture and scenic beauty, the city has so much more to offer. While Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, and Chinatown are a few of the best-known San Francisco sights, the charming city is home to an array of hidden gems you won’t want to miss. If you’re looking to escape the crowds, check out these six attractions off the beaten path in San Francisco.

Wave Organ

Image via Flickr by gastondog

Head to the jetty that forms the small boat harbor in the Marina District of San Francisco to check out the Wave Organ. Designed by artist Peter Richards and master stonemason George Gonzalez, the wave-activated acoustic sculpture consists of 25 PVC and concrete organ pipes. Waves crashing against the pipe ends and moving in and out of the pipes create subtle sounds. For the best listening, visit the Wave Organ at high tide.

Musée Mécanique

Image via Flickr by Digital Sextant

To see the world’s largest privately-owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines, visit Musée Mécanique. Take a trip down memory lane as you interact with the more than 200 objects on display. Located on Pier 45 in Fisherman’s Wharf, the museum is close to many budget-friendly hotels, such as the Holiday Inn San Francisco-Fishermans Wharf. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is free to enter.

16th Avenue Tiled Steps

Image via Flickr by sergejf

In the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood, you’ll find a colorful mosaic of 163 tiled steps with a sea-to-stars theme. The local community banded together to sponsor the art project that features the work of artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher. The stairwell is free to view and is open all day.

Seward Street Slides

Image via Flickr by teamboost

If you love adventure, you won’t want to miss a chance to ride the Seward Street Slides. Located in the Noe Valley neighborhood, the slides are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to bring a piece of cardboard to prevent friction and increase speed. While both slides look similar, the yellow one is a bit steeper and slightly faster.

Mission Murals

Image via Flickr by jmcgross

San Francisco is known for its more than 1,000 murals. Take a stroll through the Mission District to see the largest concentration of murals in the city. Dating back as far as the 1970s, the murals come in all shapes and sizes and include everything from painted pieces to mosaics.

Camera Obscura

Image via Flickr by IrisDragon

Based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci from the 15th century, the Camera Obscura in San Francisco captures incredible 360-degree live images of the Seal Rock area. You’ll find the giant camera behind the Cliff House at 1096 Point Lobos Avenue. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., cost of admission is just $3.

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the day, visit these six attractions off the beaten path in San Francisco.

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