Sightseeing in San Francisco


Select Local Merchants

  • Local Tastes of the City Tours
    "If you want to aggressively snack your way through a neighborhood as you walk it," says Fodor's, "consider hanging with cookbook author Tom Medin or one of his local guides." Medin is one of the founders of Local Tastes of the City Tour/SF Food Tours, and he personally leads many of the company's walking tours, which seek out the soul of the city in its bakeries, restaurants, and cafes. The hunt for hidden gems might lead to Chinatown's oldest bakery and a fortune cookie-making demonstration, or through an authentic Western saloon. The North Beach tour, which has been recommended by Lonely Planet, presents a behind-the-scenes look at coffee-roasting by way of the favored hangouts of the Beat Generation. Even when a tour skirts the city's iconic landmarks via painted bus, each stop is replete with tastings and demos, which is why the guides recommend that visitors avoid eating before a tour or swallowing their backpacks for safekeeping.
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    2179 12th Avenue
    San Francisco, CA US
  • The Beat Museum
    By day, Jerry Cimino worked in the computer industry. By night, he quietly collected memorabilia from the Beat Generation, building up little piles of photographs, letters, and first editions of literature by Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac. Inspired by the beat poets themselves, who often traded what they had to pursue their passions, Cimino abandoned his 9-to-5 job and opened The Beat Museum. Located on the same ground that was once the epicenter for Beat activity during the 1950s, the museum hosts an ever-increasing collection of cultural ephemera and has been profiled in the Washington Post. The shelves and glass cases brim with various editions of Allen Ginsberg's Howl, a sweat-dappled jacket worn by Jack Kerouac on his travels, and William Burroughs?s guide to perfect table manners.
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    540 Broadway
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Paul Mahder Gallery
    Paul Mahder Gallery showcases contemporary works of art and every two months, presents new exhibits created by painters, sculptors, and photographers from around the globe. Opened in conjunction with the gallery in 2007, Paul Mahder Framing extends the shop's services into the realm of preservation, helping customers artfully safeguard keepsakes without having to freeze them in a mixture of finger-paint and carbonite. Head designer Richard Plagmann and expert framer Jonathan W. Wind join forces to encase a wide range of items, from 3-D objects and family portraits to oversized mementos. They also offer complementary onsite consultations, and every project is completed in house.
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    3378 Sacramento St.
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Mission: Comics and Art
    It’s not everyone who can flip through comics and see a unique art form, but Leef Smith, the owner of Mission: Comics & Art, makes that connection. Leef grew up on a steady diet of Star Wars, X-Men, and Crisis on Infinite Earths—and when the dotcom bust ended his career in the internet industry, it was to superheroes he returned. He founded his comic store and art gallery, where a collection of just-released comic books and displayed artwork form a hub of creativity. Keeping to his communal missive, Leef rents out graphic novels—the lending library currently consists of roughly 120 books—and holds monthly comic book club meet-ups.
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    3520 20th St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum
    Ripley?s 10,000-square-foot Odditorium entices families to Fisherman?s Wharf with rarity-racked galleries and interactive exhibits based on the work of Robert Ripley. Self-guide a tour through their collections of curiosities, playing tailor to a shrunken torso, arm wrestling the world?s largest sea lion, and ineffectively icing your arm with a Mona Lisa made of Rubik?s cubes. Historical artifacts such as Buck Helm?s car from the 1989 San Francisco earthquake shed peculiar light on local history, and statues of Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga constructed from candy pay tribute to Americana at large.
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    175 Jefferson St.
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Red Union Salon
    Stylists at Red Union Salon wield products from lines such as Phyto, Logics for Matrix, Redken, and Goldwell to add layers of color or imbue strands with rich shine. Like the world’s slowest carousel, colorful displays of local art rotate every season, and houseplants and hardwood floors imbue the space with an apartment-like feel. Besides trimming tresses, hair helpers can also sweep strands into updos for weddings and or long, looped braids for hands-free lasso contests.
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    1996 Union St
    San Francisco, CA US
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