San Francisco may be only 49 square miles, but don’t let that trick you into thinking there’s a limit to what this exciting city has to offer. You wouldn’t believe how much there is to do here. San Francisco is special because it has so many unique features, including the largest Chinatown in North America, more than 300 secret staircases, and much more.

You might stay in San Francisco for weeks or even years and still not be able to partake in all the attractions and entertainment it offers. Here is a list of the top outdoor activities that are unique to this fantastic city.

Insider tip: Due to the diverse microclimates in San Francisco, packing layers is a must if you want to make the most of your trip there (and be prepared to shed the layers throughout the day). The sun could appear at any time, and the ocean breeze and fog could swiftly reduce the temperature by 10-20 degrees.


Explore this iconic park’s 1,017 acres, from bucolic lakes and meadows to vibrant activity destinations.

Photo: Golden Gate Park: Mid Park Ramble

The California Academy of Sciences, the De Young Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, and the Conservatory of Flowers are just a few of the many popular attractions that can be found in Golden Gate Park. For a unique experience and an insider tip, you can rent pedal and rowboats at the Stow Lake Boathouse the only lake in the Park that permits travel on the water. Afterward take a short hike up Strawberry Hill to the tallest point in the Park and take in an incredible view of the San Francisco


 The 4,200 ft. suspension bridge opened in 1937, spans 1.7 miles with around 120,000 vehicle visitors every day. 

Source: CNN / cnn.com / DeAgostini/Getty Images

Tourists and locals alike enjoy walking, biking, or driving to take in the picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco skyline. The Golden Gate bridge has a distinct beauty, even on a misty day.


Source: goldengatehotel.com

The nostalgic ride of what San Francisco once was, but still is in the modern day is quite exhilarating when climbing and descending the San Francisco hills clinging to a metal pole. You can travel along the cable car lines and visit popular destinations like Nob Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Union Square and the Financial District. 


Many of these staircases have gorgeous inlay mosaic tiles that feature images such as sea life and astrology. 

Source: Collage pic from Google and Pinterest, https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/northern-california/san-francisco/san-francisco-stairways/ Image: 16th Avenue Moraga Mosaic Steps, Filbert Steps, Lincoln Park Steps, Lyon Street Steps,

The stairways can be seen in different hidden areas throughout the city where locals use the stairs for an intense workout. 


The oldest Chinatown in North America and outside Asia is right here in San Francisco. 

Source: Andrew Lloyd / Alamy Stock Photo

Immerse yourself in the experience of old Chinese markets with colorful architecture accented with hanging lanterns along the main street. You can enjoy the authentic and diverse shopping, dining, and grocers  in a modern city backdrop.. 

Don’t forget to visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory to take a peek inside of how the popular fortune cookie is made and of course see what your fortune is for today! 


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