What are the Most Unique Things to Do and See in San Francisco?

San Francisco, a city known for its steep hills, vibrant neighborhoods, and eclectic charm, is a treasure trove of unique experiences. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, there’s always something fascinating around every corner. 

At Incredible Adventures, we have crafted a wide range of San Francisco tours that showcase the best of the City by the Bay, and we’ve used our local insights to put together this list!

So join us as we explore some of the most unique things to see and do in San Francisco! Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions for our team.

The golden gate bridge is red.

Golden Gate Bridge: A Marvel in “International Orange”

No visit to San Francisco is complete without beholding the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge. Not many cities can claim one of the most iconic structures in the world as their own, so by definition, this awe-inspiring suspension bridge is a unique sight!

Whether you view it from Baker Beach, Marin Headlands, or take a stroll across its pedestrian walkways, the Golden Gate Bridge offers breathtaking views of the bay, the city, and the Pacific Ocean. Don’t forget your camera – the photo and selfie opportunities are endless!

For a different, jaw-dropping perspective on this engineering feat, head out to sea on one of our San Francisco Bay sailing tours!

A unique view of the ocean from a stone walkway.

Wave Organ: Hear Nature’s Symphony in San Francisco Bay

For a truly unique auditory experience, head to the Wave Organ located on a jetty in the Marina District. Built in 1986 and crafted from salvaged materials, this acoustic sculpture harnesses the power of the tides, amplifying the sound of the waves to create ethereal sounds. 

As the waves lap against the pipes and tubes, a harmonious symphony emerges, creating a tranquil atmosphere. It’s an offbeat gem that combines nature’s rhythm with human ingenuity.

Alcatraz island, san francisco, california.

Alcatraz: Unravel the Mysteries of “The Rock”

It doesn’t get much more unique than a notorious prison on an island in the middle of San Francisco Bay! How could we leave Alcatraz off this list? 

The boat ride out to Alcatraz Island is like stepping into a bygone era of dangerous criminals and daring prison escapes. The audio tour provides a chilling insight into the lives of the inmates and the intense security measures of this once escape-proof prison. 

When you land on “The Rock”, you explore the cellblocks, the warden’s house, and the scenic gardens. And in addition to the captivating history, the views back across the bay are spectacular!

We offer numerous Alcatraz options as part of our San Francisco tours, from the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz Night Tour to the Two-Day San Francisco City Tour and Alcatraz Tour.

Lombard Street: Crooked (and Unique) by Design

Prepare for a unique driving experience on Lombard Street, famously known as the “Crookedest Street in the World.” This one-block section of a much longer east-west road features eight hairpin turns, beautifully landscaped with flowers and greenery. 

While it’s a delight to navigate by car, the panoramic views of the city from the top are equally breathtaking. Taking a leisurely stroll and marveling at the architectural ingenuity that transformed a steep hill into a charming winding road is one of the most pleasant stops in our city.

A unique cable car on a San Francisco street.

Ride a San Francisco Cable Car: A Nostalgic Journey!

No visit to San Francisco is complete without hopping on a cable car. These historic vehicles provide both transportation and a thrilling experience. Climb aboard, hang on to the side, and enjoy a scenic ride as the cable car traverses the city’s iconic hills. Ringing bells, stunning views, and the wind in your hair – it’s a unique San Francisco adventure!

Looking for more local travel advice? We think you’ll love our blog Fun Things to Do at the Weekend in San Francisco.

A unique bridge with cars on it, offering a range of things to do in San Francisco.

San Francisco Sea Plane Tour: Soar Above the City by the Bay

For a truly unforgettable experience, take to the skies with a San Francisco Sea Plane Tour. Witness the city’s skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz from a unique vantage point. The thrill of taking off and landing on the water adds an extra layer of excitement to this aerial adventure. It’s a perspective of San Francisco that few get to witness, and the memories will last a lifetime.

There’s no bad view of San Francisco, but a sea plane tour gives you the best view!

Hidden Garden Steps: A Beautiful San Francisco Secret

Discover the Hidden Garden Steps, a secret tiled staircase tucked away in the Sunset district. The neighborhood itself has little else by way of tourist attractions, so this mosaic wonder still flies somewhat under the radar.

Adorned with vibrant mosaic tiles, this staircase is a testament to community artistry. The intricate designs lead you through lush gardens and offer a serene escape from the bustling city. It’s a hidden gem that showcases the creativity and collaboration of local residents.

If your trip to our city will have an artistic streak, we think you’ll appreciate our blog Where is the Best Place to See Art in San Francisco?

In San Francisco, there are plenty of unique things to see and do. One such experience is watching a boy sliding down a slide.

Seward Street Slides: Slip and Slide in San Francisco!

Embrace your inner child at the Seward Street Slides in the Castro District. These concrete slides are not your typical playground equipment – they’re a thrilling ride for all ages. But beware of the signs that read: “No adults unless accompanied by a child”.

Grab a piece of cardboard (or use your hands) and slide down the smooth, curving slopes. But the slides aren’t just a unique way to experience the city’s playful side; they are also the result of community activism. The site was slated for development, but the local residents fought to keep their open space. After their victory, the slides and the surrounding park were built instead!

Check out our picks for the top five neighborhoods to visit in San Francisco and get to know our remarkable city even better! 

Peephole Cinema: San Francisco’s Miniature Movie Marvel

In the Mission District, art unexpectedly meets cinema. Located in a former apartment building in the Mission district, the tiny Peephole Cinema showcases short films visible through a peephole 24/7. 

It’s a whimsical and intimate experience that brings a touch of magic to the city streets. Stop by, take a peek, and be captivated by this miniature movie marvel.

A unique view of San Francisco from a hillside.

Don’t Miss Out on Our Tours of San Francisco!

Now that you know the most unique things to do and see in San Francisco, it’s time to start putting together your dream itinerary! Browse our full range of San Francisco tours and find out more about the many adventures waiting for you in the City by the Bay and the surrounding areas.

Do you have any questions for our team? Please don’t hesitate to contact us for the answers you need.