4 Little-Known San Francisco Gems You Should Definitely Check Out

San Francisco is a city known for spots that everyone should see at least once in their lives. Whether these sites have landed on movie screens across the country, or they are simply favorites made popular by the locals, they can be overpopulated by tourists and marketing hype. It might be hard to believe that the city still harbors little-known gems, but it does! Here are four that you shouldn’t miss!

  1. Mile Rock Beach:
    mile rock beachPhoto Source: ourescapades.com

    In a city dominated by beaches, Mile Rock Beach might not have made it on your radar. Often overshadowed by more famous beaches such as Baker Beach or Ocean Beach, you can reach Mile Rock Beach by parking near the Cliff House. Hit the trail that leads to Land’s End and make your way around the cypress trees. Drink in the view and enjoy vistas that are 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean before hiking down the stairs to the water itself.

  2. Mt. Sutro Open Space Reserve:
    mt_sutroPhoto source: outdoorproject.com

    Did you know that you can enjoy secluded hiking in one of the busiest cities in the world? While Golden Gate Park offers plenty of mesmerizing green spaces, chances are that you’ll share that experience with at least a handful of other admirers. Instead, walk up to the end of Willard Street to find the Mt. Sutro trailhead. Once you enter it, you’ll be plunged into a completely different environment. The hilly eucalyptus grove is infused with seclusion, slices of sunshine and darting hummingbirds. Best of all, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another human or house during your time there.

  3. Fire Access Road for a View of Mount Tam:
    pan viewPhoto Source: sevenwondersofmarin.blogspot.com

    San Francisco is known for its incredible views. The thing is that everyone else knows all about the famous vistas to catch a great view, so they’ll probably be crowded. Take a trip off the beaten path and head to Stinson Beach using the Panoramic Highway. Look for a fire access road called Pan Toll Road. When you see the paved parking lot, take a left and start looking for a fairly nondescript dirt pull-out on your left. Take a hike along the back of this hill until you see a stand of trees lining an outcropping of rocks. Stop and enjoy the breathtaking view of the bay with few others — or no one — around to spoil it.

  4. Balmy Alley:
    balmy alleyPhoto source: wikipedia

    Love public art so much that you want it to envelop you, body and soul? Balmy Alley, located in the city’s Mission District, should be your destination. For more than 30 years, this alley has been the site of an extensive collection of rotating murals. With new material going up frequently, it’s San Francisco’s most-concentrated mural collection.

Which of the above gems are you most excited to see? Did any get left off the list that are must-sees? Share your experiences with other readers!

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