Off the Beaten Path Itinerary
San Francisco Activities
Looking to see San Francisco like the locals or have a completely different tourist experience of our bay city? We’ve outlined a few highlights for those seeking unique activities in San Francisco that reveal its colorful side.
Though we’re not off the beaten path, our inn the perfect home away from home for your San Francisco adventure! If you want a bit more privacy, you can always check out our Cottage Apartment.
Check-in and familiarize yourself with your room for the weekend, get dressed, and then hit the town.
Your first stop is in the SoMa district where you can pretend prohibition is still in effect as you sneak into the Alchemist Bar & Lounge. This speakeasy meets steampunk bar has a specialty house cocktail menu that uses Chinese herbs and has a rotating guest bartender menu to shake things up a bit.
Stay in SoMa and hit up the laundromat at Brainwash. It’s a café meets bar meets pool house meets laundromat. Brainwash was an accident in the making but has embraced its unique identity and serves up wonderful entrees, salads, burgers, and so much more. Don’t be surprised if you see locals load up their laundry and then grab a bite to eat or order off the happy hour menu.
Wrap up your night with a bit of good luck. Though Chinatown is well-known, if you head off the tourist sections and visit Ross Alley you’ll be greeted by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory! Enjoy trying a fresh fortune cookie!
Paint the town red first thing this morning, well not really, but you can take a street art tour where you’ll learn about San Francisco’s graffiti culture. You’ll even get to learn some graffiti techniques and try your hand at spray painting. The tour is at 1 a.m.
Come back for some well-deserved sleep and then enjoy a fresh breakfast before starting your first full day in San Francisco.
Now, you’re ready for an unconventional tour of San Francisco, so say hello to Vantigo! Hop into the ’71 cherry-red VW Bus and learn about the brews and breweries of the Bay Area! If ales aren’t your thing, they do offer winery tours and tours of San Francisco’s traditional sights or a nighttime city lights tour. Tours can last between two and four hours.
At night, indulge your other senses as you try out Opaque, a dining in the dark experience. Your other senses take over and dining becomes a sensational affair as you rely on your taste buds rather than your eyes to eat.
If you love Sunday brunch and have thick skin, head over to the Red Door Café, 1608 Bush St., for quite the quirky adventure. The owner is well-known for the rules of his establishment, such as not asking stupid questions and no parties larger than two, but the food is fantastic and the atmosphere is fun for those not easily offended.
For a different kind of Sunday fun day, head over to Archimedes Banya for a relaxing and social start to your day. This bathhouse includes saunas, pools, steam rooms, and emphasizes the bathing practices of Greek, Roman, Japanese, and Russian cultures. You can indulge in massage or traditional spa treatments before visiting the tea and beer bar and retreating to the rooftop deck to soak up the sun and the views.
If you’re not up for a full day at the spa and want to add some good karma to your trip, hop on the BART and head to Berkeley for Karma Kitchen. This volunteer-only restaurant works on a pay it forward service where you aren’t charged for your food but offered the chance to pay for another patron’s dinner or contribute to the restaurant’s next month’s food purchase. Karma Kitchen operates on the last Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you’re so inclined to add a few of the iconic San Francisco sights to your itinerary, view our activities page to help plan your perfect trip to the Bay Area.