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Insider’s Guide: Playing Tourist in San Francisco


Here at bareMinerals HQ we’re known for our hometown pride, and we’re not alone. San Francisco is a major tourist destination for a reason. Locals may tell you they avoid tourist traps like the plague, but you just need to know the insider secrets. Read on for our ultimate #SFhacks.

Hop On A Cable Car

Whatever you do, don’t wait in the hour-long line at the intersection of Powell and Market Streets. There are three cable car routes that run through the northeastern part of the city, so walk a few blocks and choose the California Street Line. This car is most often used by locals, and you can catch it at the intersection of California, Drumm & Market. For a dose of history, check out the free Cable Car Museum.

Spook Yourself On A Ghost Tour

The best way to explore SF’s vibrant neighborhoods is on foot. Take a private guided ghost tour through Chinatown or The Haight. You can also explore Alcatraz at night (super spooky) but those tours book up months in advance, so buy your tickets early—if you dare.

Get Cheesy With The Locals

Head to The Cheese School and embrace all things fromage. Learn about—and sample—a variety of cheeses and their partners in wine (obvi), honey and jams. Not able to take a class? Swing by for their monthly “happy belly hour” and enjoy hearty appetizers and corresponding wine.

Enjoy A Bangin’ Brunch

San Franciscans take brush seriously. Each neighborhood is brimming with breakfast spots, and the majority boast bottomless mimosas well into the afternoon. Seeking something with extra flair? There are places featuring drag shows, a crazy beautiful view, movies or a build-your-own-bloody-mary bar.

Sing Your Heart Out

Head to the Castro Theatre for one of their famous Sing Alongs. The movie showings change every few weeks, but you can expect classics (The Sound of Music), current hits (Frozen) and everything in between. And don’t be shy: costumes are strongly encouraged.