Off the Beaten Path – A Day in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge

I’ve only been to San Francisco once. It was the first week in July and I froze my arse off! It was the middle Golden Gate Bridgeof summer! I only packed summer clothes. Unbeknownst to me, San Francisco can be quite cold in the summer! It was in the 40’s and I had to purchase a sweatshirt. It was also rainy and foggy, so I wasn’t able to appreciate any of the views. I did drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog just to say I did it. My work took most of my time, so I wasn’t really able to explore the city. If I ever go back, here are a few places I’d like to check out! Have you been to any of these? If so, please comment below and let me know what you think!

The Wave Organ

The Wave Organ

The Wave Organ is an acoustic sculpture meant to capture various sounds from waves crashing against and through the ends of the 25 pipes placed throughout. The pipes are located at various elevations that extend down into the water and the sounds include rumbles, gurgles, sloshes, hisses, and other typical wave sounds which are more active during high tides. They are best appreciated by sitting on the stone platforms and benches near the mouths of the pipes and just listening. Each pipe sounds a little different and the ‘stereo booth’ provides a place where the sounds from the pipes emanate from three sides. The granite & marble used to construct the sculpture were brought in from the demolished Laurel Hill Cemetery north of San Francisco. The old Gold Rush-era cemetery was relocated to make room for housing, giving Peter Richards and George Gonzales the materials in 1986 as an Exploratorium project dedicated to Frank Oppenheimer (1912-1986) the Exploratorium’s founder.

Located on a jetty in the San Francisco Bay, the park offers 360 degree views of San Francisco’s Marina District, of downtown San Francisco’s skyline, the East Bay hills, Sausalito, Mt Tamalpais, the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marine Headlands. Crissy field is about 1.8 miles along the trail and walkable within 35 minutes or so.

Things to Know:

It can get windy and cold, so bring a jacket. The pictures can make it look bigger than it is. The sounds do not produce ‘music’. It’s more like listening to a large sea shell. Make sure you visit during high tide ( when the organ is most active.
It’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year


Parking is available between the St. Francis Yacht Club and Golden Gate Yacht Club. You can park on Marina Green, but there’s no land bridge that connect you from the parking lot straight to this location. Unless you don’t mind walking at least half a mile or more do get to this place and you are not in a rush.

Public restrooms are available at Marina Green Restrooms West and are open 8am-8pm near Little Marine Green Picnic area off Yacht Rd.

How to get there:

The Wave Organ is located in the Marina District of San Francisco Bay.
From the Golden Gate Bridge, follow US-101 South to Girard Rd in San Francisco. Take exit 437 and follow Marina Blvd to Yacht Rd. You will have to backtrack as you can only go right on Marina Blvd.
From Oakland, take I-80 West to left on The Embarcadero. Take a left on Bay St to a right on Laguna St. Follow Marina Blvd to a right on Yacht Rd.

Fees: Admission is free

Time to enjoy: 30 minutes

Roadtrip: Day-trip,
Tags: unique, scenic-overlook, tourist attraction, historical places

Paradise Loop on Tiburon Peninsula

The Paradise Loop is a short and easy road loop around Tiburon Peninsula. Take the ferry from San Paradise Loop MapFrancisco with your bike or rent one on the peninsula. Grab coffee and a treat at Caffe Acri ( ) and then start the ride on the paved Tiburon Historical Trail and ride about 16 miles around the peninsula with a stop at Blackie’s Pasture for a stretch (and start of the road path) and then Paradise Beach State Park for a picnic lunch. Round out the day back in Tiburon, grabbing beer and Mexican food at Guaymas ( and enjoy the ferry ride back to San Fran.

Things to Know:

There are not any hard climbs, just rolling hills. Take water and a picnic lunch for an easy late morning, early afternoon ride. Enjoy the scenery. Restrooms along the route.

Duboce Park Cafe

The Duboce Park Café serves local, sustainable fare and strives to create a warm, inviting environment. The offer breakfast, sandwiches, salads, and pizza. Smoothies, organic juices, and home-brewed coffee drinks. Mitchell’s Ice cream, a kids menu, and outdoor seating. Across the street from Duboce Park and just down the road from Twins Peaks.

Hours: Open 7am-8pm Monday through Saturday, 8am-8pm Sunday

Address: 2 Sanchez St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Just a few places to try in San Francisco! What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Kristi (the Trippy Tripster)

About Author

Kristi enjoys traveling and taking road trips to fully experience life. She loves to find local eateries, off the beaten path hidden gems, and the secrets to enjoying the journey.

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