3 Unique Reasons For A San Francisco Staycation

San Francisco is known for the Golden Gate Bridge, its hills and its trams, but also has a unique side.

San Francisco in California always brings to mind the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Park and Alcatraz. The city also offers incredible views from up in the hills. However, there is a more unusual side to this lively city, definitely worth exploring. With the COVID-19 pandemic getting in the way of travel, why not stay at home in San Francisco and discover these unique attractions.

1. 16th Avenue Steps, San Francisco

For anyone looking for some peace and quiet in the city, along with panoramic views, this is the ideal place. The 16th Avenue Steps were created by two artists, Aileen Barr and Collette Crutcher. In all, there are 163 steps, all decorated with colorful mosaic tiles. The steps are located in the quiet Sunset district of San Francisco, off the tourist track.

The 16th Avenue Steps project began in 2003 and was completed in 2005 with the help of neighbourhood volunteers and artists. It was inspired by the beautiful Selaron staircase in Rio de Janeiro. The mosaic tiles were donated by the local community and have been carefully laid out, starting with the sun and moon at the top and the sea at the bottom.

Besides the beautiful steps themselves, visitors can enjoy panoramic views over the city. As they walk down (or up) the stairs, visitors can also gaze at the beautiful garden laid out on both sides. The garden is full of native habitat plants and succulents and has been laid out to benefit the protected Green Hairstreak butterfly. A second garden is laid out at the bottom of the steps for visitors to enjoy.

2. Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze

Our next stop is the fascinating Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze at the San Francisco Bay. This psychedelic labyrinth is a place of utter fascination, which visitors tend to explore slowly, arms outstretched so as to not bump into their own reflection or fellow visitors.
Located at San Francisco’s Pier 39, the labyrinth is hidden away in a nondescript building.

The maze consists of mirrors and columns, illuminated by blacklight and flashing neon. As you explore, rave music plays in the background. The maze is ideal for all ages, but keep a grip on younger children, in case they get lost!

According to its founder, Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze is “one part art, one part science.” Whatever it is, it is loads of fun, but can also be totally frustrating.

3. Seward Street Slides

The Seward Street Slides are a place where anyone can relive their childhood. In fact, there are signs reading “No adults unless accompanied by a child.” They consist of two lanes of slippery downhill slides, hidden away in a residential neighborhood park. Take along a piece of cardboard to sit on and you are away!

The slides were designed by a local teenager and built in the 1960s and turned out to be an achievement for the neighborhood. The land where the Seward Mini-Park and Corwin Community Garden are located was slated for development in 1963. However, local residents protested the disappearance of open space in their neighborhood and fought the development for 10 years.

The locals triumphed in the end and in 1973, converted the vacant lot into a park. Besides the fun slides, there is a pretty park to relax in and a California native plant garden to explore.

Have fun in San Francisco in 2021 and explore these unique and enjoyable locations!

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