Anil Merchant By Anil Merchant • September 8, 2017

Things to do in San Francisco (part 1): Hidden Gems

San Francisco is one of those cities that you can keep coming back to, yet still find something new to explore. There are obviously the traditional touristy things like seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, Lombard Street and so on. But there is so much more to this Golden City than the obvious spots you see in everyone’s pictures. Having spent the last few years in this beautiful city, these are my favorite three off-the-beaten-path places you should check out during your next trip to San Francisco:

Mount Davidson: You might have heard of Twin Peaks or Bernal Heights because these are the more popular viewpoints in San Francisco. But did you know that Mount Davidson is the highest natural peak in the city, with an elevation of 928 feet? It is hidden within the hills but a short hike will take you up to the top, where you can experience breathtaking views of the city. The best time to go is during sunset, but make sure to pack a jacket because it gets pretty windy up there.


Balmy Street: The Mission neighborhood in San Francisco is known for its quirkiness and unique history. It has historically been a haven for free thinkers, musicians, misfits and change-makers. While the street art all over the Mission district is extremely thought-provoking, 54 Balmy Street stands out as a true hidden gem that not many people know of.  This tiny alleyway filled with incredible murals depicting the history of the Mission district should definitely be in your list of things to do in San Francisco.


POPOS: Privately owned public open spaces or POPOS in short are another hidden treasure in downtown San Francisco that not many people have no clue about. There are a total of 68 POPOS within downtown, that are in the form of atriums, plazas, rooftop gardens and small parks. There are included to add nature and openness to the dense urban nature of the financial district and SoMa neighborhoods. Add this to your things to do in San Francisco, and walk around exploring these peaceful joints. An interactive map of all of them can be found here.


Watch this space as we add more cool, unexplored places to check out and things to do in San Francisco. And while you are planning that wonderful trip, make sure to check out SocialDrv for a comfortable, personalized and incredible travel experience from SFO to your destination. Happy travels !