Far beyond the typical tourist attractions of Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge lies a treasure trove of the weird and unconventional all over The Bay Area. So it is with love in our heart and a fondness for the freakiest parts of our little corner of the world that we have compiled a list of some of the weirdest things that will have you saying "Only in The Bay". If you're in SF or the East Bay, GIG Car Share makes getting around to the weirdest things in The Bay easy with parking, gas, and insurance included! So download the app, hop into the nearest Gig and let's get hella weird.
New members can use code DOTHEBAY for one free hour of driving ($15 in credits) toward your first trip*
THE WAVE ORGAN
The organ is a giant wave-activated sound sculpture resting on the shore of the Bay with a series of pipes that play with the water. Visitors can take a seat and hear the different sounds produced by the levels of the tide.
THE GREGANGELO MUSEUM
Disguised as a normal house to the average passerby, but take a step inside this uniquely San Franciscan museum and you’ve got yourself a ticket down the rabbit hole. Designed by artist Gregangelo, this museum boasts themed rooms with crazy colors, sculptures, mirrors, secret passageways, and hidden chambers.
Peephole Cinema shows silent films made by guest curators, each just a few minutes in length, through a tiny peephole located on the outside of a building on Orange Alley off of 28th and Valencia Street in the Mission.
In 1896, the Sutro Baths became the world’s largest indoor swimming pool right below the luxurious Cliff House Hotel. After a devastating fire in 1966, both structures burned down leaving nothing behind other than the concrete skeleton of the baths behind and a secret cave for generations to explore (and party in at the occasional renegade concert).
Next time you're in the Mission make sure to stroll this gem of an alley tucked away between 17th and 18th street connecting Valencia and Mission. Every wall (including the floor and even some aerial art fixtures) is covered in murals and beautiful art pieces depicting stories usually conveying political messages about San Francisco.
THE TWO O'CLOCK TITTY
When the sun hits St. Mary's Cathedral at 2 o'clock, keep your eyes peeled for one of SF's most secret, yet public, shadow peep shows. We still can't say whether or not this was intentional.
With over 300 penny arcade games and artifacts from the 20th century, this is nostalgia overload for any millennial, or even the Queen of Genovia. Park at the nearest Gig parking lot at Fisherman's Wharf for quick easy access!
THE (UNOFFICIAL) LSD MUSEUM
What's also known as the "Institute of Illegal Images" is an archival museum of psychedelic art. Despite the feds trying to bust him twice, Mark McCloud has collected over 33,000 sheets and individual tabs of acid. The museum has irregular hours and your best bet is to email Mark directly at [email protected] to schedule a visit.
PRESIDIO PET CEMETERY
Remember that hamster you had in 1st grade and forgot to take care of? He's probably lingering somewhere around this spooky spot. Go give him a visit at this final resting place for hundreds of animals owned by families stationed at the Presidio back in the day.
THE PARROTS OF TELEGRAPH HILL
There are over a hundred South American parrots living in the trees around Telegraph Hill and they're still multiplying! No one is exactly sure how they got here, but that’s irrelevant. There are parrots in SF and that’s all you really need to know.
ANTIQUE VIBRATOR MUSEUM
Feeling down? Head on down to this spot and get the good vibes flowing. With a collection dating back to the 1800s, Good Vibrations has got all the right vibes.
ANNUAL BRING YOUR OWN BIG WHEEL RACE
This annual Easter Sunday thrill ride is going on its 16th glorious year on April 21st and shows no sign of slowing down. Hundreds converge every year in Potrero Hill dressed in their wackiest ensembles with Big Wheels in tow for this truly "Only In SF" event.
To many locals making their way on 280 North, this kooky house is always something to look forward to. But with the recent addition of the metal dinosaur lawn ornaments, this house has been deemed an eyesore. Well, you know what they say, haters gonna hate.
BONSAI GARDEN AT LAKE MERRITT
This spot in Oakland is zen AF. Check out this curation of bonsai trees by Kathy Shaner -- the only Japanese-certified bonsai master in the US! The collection rotates regularly so you're always in for something new with every visit.
FAIRY POST OFFICE
This tiny little office is definitely a sight to see when hiking along the Curran Trail at Tilden Park. Take part in the whimsical exchanges and leave a miniature letter for the fairies and field mice. And if you're lucky, you might even be able to snag a copy of the bit-sized newspaper, "The Small Times".
What once was used for commercial dumping in the 60s, is now an outdoor art park for all to enjoy. Artists, misfits, and creatives have turned this spot into a playground for imagination where you'll find some of the whackiest and eccentric murals and sculptures.
EAST BAY SECRET STAIRS
You'll find staircases scattered throughout Oakland and Berkeley that were once used as shortcuts for commuters to avoid having to trek up and down the neighborhood hills. Now, they've gained popularity as a way for locals to explore different neighborhoods and get that booty burning. It's the Bay Area Butt Lift if you will. Find specific locations here.
Download the app and use code DOTHEBAY for one free hour of driving ($15 in credits) toward your first trip*
*Code DOTHEBAY must be applied by April 30, 2019. Expires May 31, 2019
Contributors: Blake Bejan, Kate Horton, Brett Leader, Melissa Russi
Missing any of your favorite weird things to do in the Bay? Hit us up: [email protected]