These San Francisco hidden gems are the places the locals love to go. And if you’re like me, you love to experience what is unique about a city or destination and what makes it a treasure for the locals living there. 

Whilst we have not yet visited Japan, our private tour guide Michael from the Boutique Traveler has (learn more about him and his tours down below) and he says this Japantown is as authentic as it can get outside of Japan. 


Angel Island

This island in the San Francisco Bay tends to get overshadowed by the much smaller Alcatraz Island. Angel Island is San Francisco’s answer to Ellis Island, a place where immigrants were processed before making their way to their new life in California or beyond.

Admire the Mission Murals

Hundreds of walls and fences throughout the Mission District are adorned with colorful murals displaying cultural heritage and social political statements. It’s a vibrant outdoor art gallery and one of the cool places in San Francisco for you to explore on foot.

The beautiful Lands End Trail will give spectacular views of San Francisco’s rugged coastline hugged by cypress pine and the odd gum tree. 

Lands End and Sutro Baths

Twin Peaks View

Twin Peaks is named for a pair of 922-foot-high summits in a remote residential neighborhood with modern homes densely packed on steep lots along winding streets. 

Transamerica Redwood Park

Mark Twain once lived and wrote on this site. Contemplate that as you stare at the jumping frog sculptures in the fountain that are in remembrance of him.