Staying in San Francisco can be pricey. Luckily, there are a ton of things to do an explore which are inexpensive and even FREE! We’ve put together a list of free recreational activities for the outdoor enthusiasts, as well as options for those looking to relax and learn about the city.
Arts / Culture
Enjoy Fat Grape Winery tasting
Take a mini-escape for the afternoon and head over to Fat Grape Winery on Treasure Island for a free tasting. Visit the tasting room Wednesday through Sunday to sample a selection of Winemaker Patrick Bowen’s local red wines. They also offer complimentary Barrel tasting with any purchase.
Cable Car Museum
This museum occupies a still-functioning cable-car barn, shows off three 1870’s cable cars, and has mechanical displays. Purchase something at the gift shop which is a non-profit, and help to preserve cable car history.
Visit City Hall
Not only is San Fran’s City Hall the location of Harvey Milk’s Assassination in 1978, but it holds a lot of other hidden historic treasures inside. The Rotunda is a spectacular space and the upper levels are public and handicapped accessible. Opposite the grand staircase, on the second floor, is the office of the Mayor. Bronze busts of former Mayor George Moscone and his successor, Dianne Feinstein, stand nearby as tacit reminders of the Moscone assassination, which took place just a few yards from that spot in the smaller rotunda of the mayor’s office entrance.
Check Out Clarion Alley Street Art
The Mission’s hot spot for street art is on Clarion Alley, located between 17th & 18th and Mission and Valencia streets. Enjoy some of the 700 murals created by artists of all ethnicities, ages, and levels of experience. It’s a fun way to explore the city.
Formerly a military airfield that was transformed into an environmental showcase in 2001, is now the perfect place to walk, bike, or hike around. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
California Coastal Trail
Heard of the California Coastal Trail (CCT)? This network of public trails welcome, walkers, bikers, equestrians, wheelchair riders, and others along the 1200-mile California Coastline. In the first nine miles, you’ll enjoy waterfront views from Lands End to the Presidio.
The Wiggle is a one-mile, zig-zagging bicycle route from Market Street to Golden Gate Park which minimizes hilly inclines for bicycle riders. It is a must for bike riders!
Walking or biking the iconic bridge is totally free. While you’re there, check out the outdoor mini-museum on the history of the bridge.
Take a Walking Tour
The city, public library, and local volunteers have teamed up to offer FREE tours! Guided by the people who know and love SF, there is so much you will learn and enjoy about this tour.
The Presidio contains the largest public collection of sculptures by artist Andy Goldsworthy in North America, including Spire, Wood Line, Tree Fall, and Earth Wall. On the second Saturday of each month, the Presidio Trust hosts a docent-led tour visiting the four installations along a three-mile hike.
Hike to Twin Peaks
The views from the top of Twin Peaks are unlike any other in the city. Enjoy the picturesque view of the bay and everything surrounding it.
Get Lost in Lands End
Enjoy views of old shipwrecks, the epic ruins of Sutro Baths, pockets of beaches, and stunning views from the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center.