Must-See Attractions in San Francisco's Richmond and Sunset Neighborhoods
Camera Obscura and Holograph Gallery (1096 Point Lobos Ave.)
Jutting out on a rock above the roaring Pacific Ocean sits the Camera Obscura, a historic 1946 landmark and present day camera.It is the only remaining structure from Playland at the Beach, the former seaside amusement park. The giant camera offers a 360° panoramic view of the ocean in pastel colors. Enter the darkened room and watch mirrors project live images of the surrounding views. A full rotation takes about six minutes. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and children. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting.
Hidden Garden Steps (16th Ave. & Kirkham St.)
Gather at 16th Avenue and Kirkham in the Sunset to admire the beauty of the Hidden Garden Steps. The style is whimsical and colorful, with inspiration from the surrounding environment, including insects, animals, flowers, and trees.
Lincoln Park Steps (California St. & 32nd Ave.)
The Lincoln Park Steps in the Richmond reflect a Beaux-arts style, featuring an impressive, fan-like, colorful design. Unveiled in 2015, this photo-ready spot depicts blooming fruit trees and a golden sunrise in five separate panels.
16th Avenue Tiled Steps (16th Ave. & Moraga St.)
This 12-level stairway combines art and nature in a playful, welcoming style featuring sea creatures, flowers, plants, and birds. Gaze at the starry silvery moon mosaic design and a grand sunburst at the top.
Lincoln Park Golf Course (34th Ave. & Clement St.)
The Lincoln Park Golf Course in San Francisco’s Richmond District is an 18-hole municipal golf course known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. From the seventh fairway, players can take in the city skyline, while the 16th to 18th greens are known as the toughest finishing holes. Green fees range from $15 to $52, with reservations recommended on weekends. San Francisco’s golf courses are open from sunrise to sunset.
Presidio Golf Course (300 Finley Rd.)
The Presidio Golf Course is recognized as one of the nation’s premier public courses for its challenging play and well-manicured greens. The fourth hole is their signature par-3 hole, with an elevated tee box, and the 15th hole offers a scenic view of Sutro Tower. Green fees range from $49 to $150.
TPC Harding Park (99 Harding Rd.)
Surrounded by picturesque Lake Merced, TPC Harding Park hosted the 2020 PGA Championship in May. Adored for its beautiful lakeside location, their signature hole is the 18th for its exciting finish. Operating since 1925, TPC Harding Park also offers the Fleming 9, an executive nine-hole course. Green fees range from $19 to $200.
Besides San Francisco’s exceptional public golf courses, there are other magnificent private clubs in the City, including The Olympic Club and the San Francisco Golf Club, that welcome guests accompanied by a current member.
Lands End Labyrinth (East of Mile Rock Beach, Lands End)
Created in 2004 on a breathtaking lookout above the ocean, the labyrinth is a must for contemplation and to appreciate the rugged beauty of San Francisco. Descend the stairs to Mile Rock Beach from the Coastal Trail, then follow the path to the right to arrive at the labyrinth.
Legion of Honor (100 34th Ave.)
Sitting within Lands End park is the breathtaking Legion of Honor, a stately museum in a Neoclassical building displaying European art, sculptures, and ancient art. The museum was built to house the greatest collection of Auguste Rodin's sculptures. A hallmark piece of the collection is Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” (ca. 1914-1917). Organ concerts are held every Saturday year-round at 4 p.m. in the main gallery. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Admission varies from $6 to $15 and a ticket to the Legion of Honor gets you same-day free admission to the de Young Museum.
The possibilities are endless in the Presidio of San Francisco. A national model for cultural, educational, historical, and natural spaces, the Presidio offers opportunities to explore an array of activities that unite to educate and inspire. A heritage site situated in a national park, the former Army Post is an all-in-one destination with hiking trails, art, and cultural events. One of the many ways to enjoy the outdoors in the Presidio is by exploring its 24 miles of trails. Go on a three-mile self-guided tour of the Presidio's outdoor art gallery, a collection of Andy Goldsworthy's sculptural installations made entirely from the Presidio's own natural materials. Visitors are welcome to picnic along the Main Parade Ground and enjoy Off The Grid food trucks, lawn games, free entertainment, and more at the Presidio Picnic. There's plenty to explore indoors, too. The Officers’ Club is a combination museum and cultural events center with many events free of charge. Head over to the Walt Disney Family Museum to see the life and legacy of Walt Disney come to life through his early drawings, cartoons, rare footage, and much more. There are many free activities in the Presidio, including the scavenger hunt. Stop in the Presidio Visitor Center, open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for a map and more information. The Presidio is easily accessible via the PresidiGo Shuttle, a free shuttle between downtown San Francisco's Embarcadero and the Presidio.
San Francisco Columbarium (One Loraine Ct.)
On a quiet street in the Richmond sits the Columbarium, a hidden gem of history, art, and architecture. Here lie the remains of well-known San Franciscans, including Carlos Santana’s father; Chet Helms, considered by many the father of the Summer of Love; the Brown Twins, Marian and Vivian; and even Harvey Milk rested here for a time before his family scattered his ashes. Opened in 1898, the Columbarium stands out for its Neoclassical architecture and magnificent stained glass panels. The rooms on the first floor are named after Greek winds and the second floor after constellations. Ask to see the third floor that encircles the magnificent dome of the Columbarium. The Columbarium is free and open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
San Francisco Zoo (Sloat Blvd. & Great Highway)
Head over to the San Francisco Zoo for a trip to the wild side. Popular spots are the African Savanna, the Lemur Forest, the Australian Outback, and the Children’s Zoo. Get up close in the Great Ape Passage and Grizzly Gulch. The Zoo is open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and entrance fees range from $12.50 to $23.
Stern Grove (19th Ave. & Sloat Blvd.)
A 33-acre site in the Sunset district, Stern Grove is a well-loved city park that draws people to walk, jog, bike, picnic, and enjoy the solitude. It is a mecca for dog walkers, too. A free summer concert series on an outdoor stage attracts throngs for the Stern Grove Festival, now in its 83rd year. The terrain is flat within Stern Grove and the park is open daily to enjoy from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.