From the Golden Gate Bridge to Lombard Street, San Francisco is known for its hills, wharves, and vibrant multicultural neighborhoods. With good public transit and pedestrian-friendly streets, part of the fun of San Francisco is simply exploring the city on foot without a destination. But if you prefer to have a goal in mind, consider checking out one of these 10 hidden gems in San Francisco. From outdoor attractions to indoor venues you can rent for a party or photoshoot, you’ll see a different side of the city when you explore these lesser-known destinations!
1. The Sutro Baths
When the Sutro Baths were built 1894, they were home to the biggest indoor swimming pool in the world. While you can no longer go for a swim, the ruins of the venue offer a memorable spot for a hike, picnic, or photoshoot. Located in the Golden Gate National Park Recreation area, the Sutro Baths are accessible by car and several bus lines. While you’re in the area, go for a walk in Lands End, or stop for lunch at the Cliff House.
2. An outdoor shipyard at Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf can get packed with tourists, so if you’re looking for a space to host a private party or after work function, consider this outdoor venue at Hotel Zephyr. You’ll have up to 8,000 sq.ft. of space that can host up to 400 guests in a stylish modern setting. In addition to lounge furniture and fire pits, there are plenty of group games, including shuffleboard, ping pong, and giant Connect Four. A vintage camper and shipping containers add to the decor.
3. A historic mansion in Alamo Square
One of our favorite indoor venues is this hidden gem in San Francisco’s Alamo Square. Built in 1904, this mansion was formerly an archbishop’s residence and is now managed as a co-living and event space. With views of the city — including the famous Painted Ladies — you can host your event at this historic venue that survived the earthquake of 1906. With stylish decor and furniture — as well as modern lighting and A/V gear — it has several rooms available to rent, including a dining room and meeting rooms, that can accommodate up to 50 guests.
4. The Presidio Pet Cemetery
No, this isn’t a scene from a horror movie. The Presidio Pet Cemetery is a tiny burial plot tucked away near the Golden Gate Bridge that was originally created to honor the pets of the Presidio’s military families. It’s hard not to feel emotional reading the handmade headstones that attest to the bond between humans and animals — including parakeets, hamsters, and even iguanas!
5. A converted church in Russian Hill
This beautiful church in Russian Hill offers a combination of historic architecture and modern style. Available to book for private events with up to 500 guests, it features high ceilings and natural light, as well as a hi-tech projection screen. But this church isn’t just for weddings and religious ceremonies — it’s been used for live music events, yoga classes, and even aerialist and acrobatic performances! You can reach out to the host directly or call up the Peerspace Concierge service to find out what catering and bartending options are available.
6. The Gregangelo Mansion in Balboa Terrace
The Greganagelo Mansion is a quirky, one-of-a-kind event space that’s easily one of the top hidden gems in San Francisco. Described as an “immersive arts and entertainment space,” it features colorful decor and lighting, with art that’s inspired by history, culture, and science. With room for up to 40 guests, it’s perfect for a party, work outing, or photo shoot. Keep in mind that the hosts keep it a “device-free, digital-free environment,” so choose this for an opportunity to put your phones away and be inspired by what’s in front of you!
Have you ever wondered how fortune cookies are made? You can find out for yourself at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown, which bakes as many as 10,000 cookies every day. It’s free to take a tour of the factory, where you’ll get to see the cookies made on a cast iron griddle. Buy some to take home with you — including ones with custom fortunes!
8. A bookstore and gallery in the Mission
San Francisco’s commitment to the arts is one of the things that makes this city so special. At this bookstore and art gallery, you can host artistic events of all kinds, including book and poetry readings, musical performances, and more. Outside food and drink is welcome, so feel free to bring your own, or coordinate with the Peerspace Concierge to book a caterer or event staff.
9. A treehouse hideaway in Brisbane
This hidden gem in Brisbane is just a 15-minute drive from downtown San Francisco but feels worlds away. Tucked into the trees, this A-frame house features a cavernous interior and large outdoor deck, suitable for corporate events or dinners for up to 40 people. The wood floors and walls, wood stove, and octagonal windows give this space a rustic cabin vibe. Use the on-site kitchen or book a caterer through the Concierge service.
10. A hilltop home in Muir Beach
Finally, no visit to San Francisco is complete without a trip to Marin County. This beautiful hilltop home offers incredible views of the Pacific and is the perfect place to watch the sunset. Invite up to 15 of your friends or coworkers to gather around the outdoor firepit for a small party or retreat. There’s even a stairway providing access to Muir Beach via a 10-minute walk down the hill.
The Bay Area may be one of the most visited places in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more hidden gems in San Francisco for you to discover. Whether you want to watch the sunset from Marin County or Lands End, or host an event at a converted church or bookstore, we think these 10 venues offer a good overview of what the city has to offer. For even more ideas, search on Peerspace to find the perfect destination for your event or outing!