Offbeat Attractions and Things To Do in San Francisco

Among the great cities in the world, San Francisco lays claim to more than a few genuinely internationally known attractions, from the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown to those iconic cable cars.

But the City by the Bay also holds many secret gems. Besides giving you convenient access to nearby high-profile draws such as Chinatown and the Ferry Building, a guest room or suite at The Jay, Autograph Collection in downtown’s Embarcadero adjacent to the Jacskon Square neighborhoodalso puts some of these offbeat and under-the-radar treasures within easy reach. Here’s a look at just a sample!

Pay Your Respects to Jedi-dom at the Yoda Fountain

There are many reasons to visit the lovely and historic parkland of the Presidio of San Francisco, and one of them’s downright quirky: the statue of Yoda, that wise (and wizened) little Jedi master of Star Wars mythos, which crowns the fountain outside the Letterman Digital Arts Center.

That complex hosts the Lucasfilm offices, so the presence of this “life”-size bronze—one of George Lucas’s most beloved creations, surely—isn’t as random as it might seem at first glance.

Hike to the Heart at Lands End

The Lands End section of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area serves up some of the most stirring views in San Francisco, with gorgeous vistas of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. A spur path off the Coastal Trail leading to MIle Rock Beach brings you to a representatively knockout vantage that comes marked with a much-photographed piece of public art: a heart outlined in stones.

This heart—which, given its scenic setting, draws those in the know for marriage proposals and other Instagrammable celebrations of love—is actually a recently created replacement of the much-sought-out Lands End labyrinth. That stone-lined spiral, created by Eduardo Aguilera in 2004, suffered no small amount of vandalism over the years, and it was destroyed and then lovingly (and painstakingly) rebuilt multiple times.

Following another complete dismantling of the labyrinth, its caretaker opted not to resurrect it—no small task. A couple of local residents decided to form a heart in its place, and so far it’s proven resilient.

The Dutch Windmill in the Golden Gate Park Tulip Garden

You can track down what feels like a transplanted piece of the Netherlands in Golden Gate Park at the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, which is planted with thousands of bulbs donated each year by the Dutch Bulb Growers’ Association and puts on a stunning bloom in March. Lording over this charming flowerbed is the Dutch Windmill (also known as North Windmill), built back in 1903 to provide wellwater irrigation to the park.

Worth tracking down anytime of year, the Dutch Windmill makes an especially great photo op during the spring tulip flowering.

The Jay, Autograph Collection: Your Go-to Luxury Life-Style Accommodations for San Francisco Sightseeing

Visit San Francisco attractions of both the famous and underground varieties on a getaway at The Jay, Autograph Collection, which sets you up with boutique hospitality in downtown’s Embarcadero adjacent to the Jacskon Square neighborhood. Book your stay with us today!