San Francisco Secrets

Certain attractions turn up in every guidebook: The sea lions at pier 39, the cable cars, Golden Gate Bridge, and so on, and so forth. Someone who’s never even set foot on the left coast could probably list the very same roundup of must-see sights, and for good reason. They’re unarguably iconic pieces of San Francisco that add to its unique allure, but if you only browse the list of the city’s greatest hits, you’ll miss out on richer adventures that would exceed even the most accommodating itinerary.

Even if you’ve lived here for years, it’s easy to turn up new hidden gems, tucked just around the corner from familiar streets and everyday haunts. Something as random a tiny park perched atop a sloping ridge, for example, complete with the most wicked concrete slides you’ve ever tumbled down.

The Seward Slides were clearly made with adults in mind because the velocity that sends any unwitting participant hurtling down that steep knoll might be too intense for those with a more delicate constitution. Locals recommend bringing sheets of cardboard for heightened speed, but provided you have a sturdy pair of pants to gird your loins, you definitely won’t need any assistance to enjoy a brief thrill park experience.

Situated next door to Kite Hill, it’s a beautiful, miraculously quiet oasis in the city, a scant handful of blocks away from Dolores Park. Be mindful of the neighbors as it’s at the heart of a residential area, and clear out by 5 PM when the park officially closes each day.

Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path. No matter how long you spend in the bay area, there’s always more to discover.

12 thoughts on “San Francisco Secrets

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, since it’s a bit of a departure from my usual posts! I’m always happy to share more highlights from my favorite little city, so I’d be delighted to keep it up as a mini-series.

  1. I love the photos, beautiful! I love the slides too, I wish we had them over here in Belgium like this! Cool! Fun too! x

  2. Most people never see what is right under their noses. Habit and the blind following of habitual ruts, is the order of the day. When we went to the U.K. back in 2005 we visited London and even though Steve had lived and worked nearby for most of his adult life, we all looked up at the amazing carvings on those ancient and most magnificent buildings and you would be surprised how many of the “locals” looked up to see what we were looking at. I wonder how many of them had ever seen some of the amazing things that have been carved up in the clouds? Most of them thought something was about to fall and walked faster without looking up ;) An excellent reminder to head off for a bit of a thrash in the undergrowth sometimes Ms Hannah. You really never know what you will find. I, myself, have been walking Earl at 5am in the pitch dark of our tiny little hamlet. We walk in the middle of the road without a torch and with just the stars to guide us. You know, I feel more alive on those crisp cold walks where I get time to think, to thank those lucky stars and to ponder, than I do for most of the rest of the day and to think, I thought that it would be a chore to wander the dog (can’t call our adventures merely “walking” now can we?) and instead, I have discovered the rarest of privileges, the chance to explore and be one with my local surroundings.

    1. This comment should be a post in and of itself. My goodness, such beautiful, wise, and inspiring words… I don’t think anything else I have to say could measure up as a sufficient response! If only I could remember this all the time, and not take the beauty around me for granted. I daresay the whole world may become a more lovely place if we could learn to appreciate the small details of our daily lives. While I’m not much for the darkness of early morning, you’re making me crave a pre-dawn walk now… Perhaps I’ll give it a try for once.

      1. I have to say, this appreciation for the world around me, has certainly been honed as I get older. When you are younger you have so much more to distract you. Steve and I live out in the sticks with a plethora of nature hounding us for attention. The closer you get to it, the more you realise it exists. Living in cities distances people from the natural world. I think it’s important to get out there and immerse yourself in it every now and then, just to remind yourself you are human and not just part of the machine. I doubt you could walk down the middle of what passes for a “road” in your neck of the woods, even at 4.30am, I still think you might get flattened ;) You might have to try this when you go on holidays sometime. Just you and the stars and the open road. Its a truly magical feeling :)

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