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101 fun + unique things to do in San Francisco | USA

You can do just about anything you want to in San Francisco. In fact, outlandish activities are really encouraged here. There’s an app for any convenience. Dinner can be $1 oysters and $3 tacos if you know where to look. You can join Sound of Music sing-a-longs, catch stellar views from unassuming hills, and wander into nearly-naked street fairs on accident. It’s like one ongoing costume party here. Be your weird self, and you can probably find a whole community of people as weird as you are.  I guess what we’re really saying is that you don’t have to look very far at all to find fun and unique things to do in San Francisco.

When we moved here 4 years ago, we had no idea just how much fun we were in for. We’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what makes San Francisco so unique to us, but it definitely has something. And since we’ve made lists of “51 things to do” in cities where we’ve only spent a long weekend, we figured we owed San Francisco more. 50 more, to be exact.

Are you on your way to SF? Please don’t call it Frisco. And check out our list of 101 fun and unique things to do in San Francisco – one of our very favorite cities!

101 weird+ fun things to do in San Francisco

very San Francisco experiences

1. Wander the best street art in San Francisco in the Mission

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Street Art Tour in the Mission2.Go for a run through Golden Gate Park 

3. Go thrifting in the Haight

4. Bring a picnic to Dolores Park

5. Rent a bicycle to cross the very foggy Golden Gate Bridge

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Bike the Golden Gate Bridge6. Catch the sunset and Golden Gate Bridge views from Baker Beach

7. Grab a bag of fortune cookies at Chinatown’s Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

8. Rent a Scoot and ride it around the city for the day

9. Take in the view from Bernal Heights

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Get a local view of San Francisco from Bernal Heights10. See a concert at The Independent

11. Get lost in the woods of the Presidio

12. Wander the impressive collection of fine arts and take in the view from the De Young Museum

13. Pay a visit to the iconic City Lights Bookstore to browse one of the world’s largest collections of banned books

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Check out the Banned Books at City Lights14. Enjoy San Francisco summer with a Movie in the Park at Dolores

15. Drop in for a donation-based yoga class at Yoga to the People

16. Bundle up for a windy San Francisco Giant’s game

17. Host a barbecue in in Chrissy Field

18. Appreciate the living wall and modern art at newly renovated SFMoMA

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Wander SFMoMA19. Find the hidden stone labyrinth at Land’s End

20. Take in the city view from iconic Sutro Tower

21. Catch the cable car at California + Drumm for a more local route

22. Spend the day playing Japanese arcade games and noshing on ramen in Japantown

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Explore Japantown23. Grab a beer and some truffle popcorn while catching a movie at the Alamo Draft House

24. Head to the Castro Theater for a sing-a-long to your favorite film

25. Venture to the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market for a taste of local produce

eating San Francisco

26. Dine in style at Foreign Cinema

27. Get a scoop of Secret Breakfast (bourbon and cornflake) ice cream at Humphry Slocombe

28. Eat all the sourdough bread you can get your hands on

29. Taste too many tacos and join the debate over the best tacos in San Francisco

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Best Taquerias in San Francisco30. Grab some killer Southern-style brunch at Farmer Brown

31. Pick up a sandwich at Cheese Plus for a picnic at the park

32. Head to Off-the-Grid at Fort Mason for some serious food truck grubbing

33. Chow down on an “animal-style” burger at In-n-Out

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Eat In-n-Out34. Grab a slice of the pizza-of-the-day from Arizmendi

35. Get a taste for Burmese cuisine at Burma Superstar

36. Enjoy the simple pleasures of well-made toast at Trouble Coffee

37. Stuff yourself full of dim sum and shop for cheap souvenires in Chinatown

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Get Dim Sum in Chinatown38. Sit down for an inexpensive 5-course meal at Mr. Pollo

39. Grab a very cheap bahn mi or fried fish sandwich at Duc Loi

40. Order a bunch of Asian-style wings at San Tung

41. Sample local oysters and gooey raclette at the Ferry Building

drinking San Francisco

42. Drink too many tall cans on the back patio of El Rio

43. Sip on one of the deadliest margaritas amongst creepy piñatas at Latin America Club

44. Keep your bags close and go dancing at Badlands

45. Grab some upscale cocktails, supreme charcuterie, and $1 oysters at Hog & Rocks

46. Order up a mai tai at Li Po — even Anthony Bourdain has voted it one of his favorite unique things to do in San Francisco!

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Mai Tais at Li Po47. Experience how good coffee can really be at Sightglass

48. Head to Zeitgeist for a craft beer or a bloody mary

49. Join the twenty-something crowd for drinks and a night at the museum with California Academy Nightlife

50. Learn to love rum at the kitschy Smuggler’s Cove

51. Enjoy a craft cocktail with weird ingredients – herbs, eggs, miso – anything goes!

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Craft Cocktails52. Stand in line at Boba Guys for an Asian-style bubble tea

53. Sip watermelon beer at 21st Amendment

54. Nurse any ailments with a freshly squeezed juice from Sidewalk Juice

55. Taste the outstanding cocktail list at ABV or Trick Dog

events + festivals in San Francisco

56.  Get glittery for San Francisco Pride

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: San Francisco Pride57. Join the Carnival Parade in the Mission

58. Wander the alters at Garfield Square in honor of Día de Muertos

59. Get down at Treasure Island Music Festival or Outside Lands

60. Find a tutu or a gorilla suit for the very epic Bay to Breakers

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Bay to Breakers61. Head to Golden Gate Park for the free outdoor bluegrass festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

62. Celebrate Christmas early by donning your best Santa suit for Santacon

63. Experience Japanese culture at the J-Pop Summit or Cosplay Festival

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: J-POP Summit64. Tour all of the city’s best beer bars for SF Beer Week

65. Catch the latest indie films at the San Francisco International Film Festival

keeping San Francisco weird

66. Get your bootie to the Pirate Store 

67. Tour the armory-turned-adult-film-studio at the San Francisco Armory

68. Browse the exotic taxidermy, rare plants, and other oddities at Paxton Gate

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Paxton Gate69. Get your skates on for some Burning Man-worthy fun at Church of 8 Wheels

70. Order a beer at San Francisco’s smallest bar — Black Horse London

71. Try to find the secret slides of Bernal Heights

72. Head to the Castro for a drag show

73. Play some seriously old school arcade games at Musée Mécanique 

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Gaming at Musée Mécanique74. Watch dachshunds race in the annual Weiner Dog National

75. Find your way out of a Real Escape Room in Japantown

76. Be nice to the sassy waiters (or else) at Red Door Café

77. Check out the herd of bison that call Golden Gate Park home

78. Work out the kinks at the russian-style Archimedes Banya

79.  Play Big Buck Hunter over some IPAs at Barcade

80. Make your way to San Francisco’s very own cat café

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: KitTea Cat Café in SF81. Participate in a round of Jericho — an urban version of capture the flag

82. Join in on a hack-a-thon and create the next big thing

83. Drop into a coworking space for a day of remote work in a startup-like space

84. Learn how to DIY a terrarium, bread, jewelry, or whatever the hell else you want to make with one of San Francisco’s many workshops

85. Go for a jump alongside energetic 10-year-olds at the House of Air trampoline park.

San Francisco + beyond

86. Head to Yosemite National Park for some of California’s best scenery

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Escape to Yosemite National Park87. Venture to Berkeley for dollar days at the horse racing track

88. Go for a hike in the Marin Headlands

89. Take the ferry out to Angel Island

90. Spend the day spotting whales off the coast in Pacifica

91. Take a day trip to whale watch in Monterey

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Whale Watching in Monterey92. Spend a long weekend at the grand Lake Tahoe

93. Go wine tasting in the unpretentious Sonoma town of Healdsburg

94. Take a road trip on down the Pacific Coast Highway

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: California Road Trip

just because

95. Explore San Francisco’s many unique neighborhoods one-by-one

96. Swipe right for your very own San Francisco Tinder/Bumble date

97. Ride in a Lyft/Uber instead of calling a cab

98. Take the MUNI across town and enjoy all the people watching

Unique Things to do in San Francisco: Riding the MUNI99. Stay in an unusual Airbnb

100. Download some of the apps that make everyday in San Francisco a whole lot more convenient

101. Follow @KarltheFog on Twitter

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Don't get stuck in the usual tourist traps! There are tons of fun experiences and unique things to do in San Francisco. Check out our list of 101!

Damn, we’ll miss this city! Have you ever visited? What are your favorite unique things to do in San Francisco?

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