‘Non touristy’ tourist day in SF

‘Non touristy’ tourist day in SF Claimed

1 day | August | Mom & 19 yr old son | urban exploration

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Trip Overview

One day mom/19 year old son visit to San Francisco. We live nearby, but not in the City, so it was a 'staycation' tourist visit for us where we tried to do things we hadn't really explored before, in addition to some we had.

Full Itinerary

A fun mom/son day visit to SF to eat, explore, relax and be entertained. This did not include the tourist ‘regulars’ (Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf etc), but focused more on the area toward the other side of the city.

– 16th ave stairs visit – this is in a neighborhood off 19th ave where the steps have beautiful mosaics on them and are surrounded by incredible succulents. Great view at the top

– Tartine is a great bakery and cafe that now has multiple locations. There is one on this side of town at 1226 9th Ave. Great bread, pastries, sandwiches etc. Eat breakfast or lunch there or take to the next stop (be sure to grab a cookie for later in the day!). The other place I considered for breakfast burritos was Bean Bag cafe

– Sutra baths/Cliff House/Camera Obscura. These are all located along the coastline at Lands End Trail, 680 Point Lobos Ave, SF. Park and walk down to see the remnants of what was a HUGE indoor saltwater swimming pool right on the coastline. You can walk the trail to the right all the way to Lands End for views of the Golden Gate. As you face the ocean to the left of the baths there is the Cliff House (famous restaurant right on the water). Walk just past that and you’ll see a building that says ‘Giant Camera’ on it. This is a camera obscura that was once part of a Kiddy Park that was in this area. Pay the $3 entrance fee and see this cool giant camera that somehow has a moving video of the area’s surrounding projected onto a cement disc in the middle of the room – based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci. Very cool!

– We were short on time but wanted to head to the Presidio next to the Disney museum and to Andy Goldsworthy’s ‘Wood Line’ in the forest. If you have time add these in.

– Then off to the de Young museum. We went to a special exhibit on Ed Hardy’s Tattoos but go to anything there – it’s great! They have a cafe as well and the natural science museum is across the road as well, plus it’s in Golden Gate Park where there’s the Japanese Tea Garden, real buffalo, boat rentals etc etc.

– Next off to downtown where we parked at Sutter Stocken garage, grabbed a Starbucks and headed to Buddha Bliss spa. We booked ahead (necessary) and had great deep tissue massages. You can also have Thai (they will walk on your back if you want them to!).

– Union Square is a couple blocks away so we did some shopping 🙂

– Grabbed a quick bite at Sears Fine Food off Union Square

– Went to a show at the San Francisco Playhouse – just around the block

A great day!



Time of year


Type of Trip

Urban exploration


quick getaway/weekend

Who Went

Family with adult kids


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