San Francisco, California’s crown jewel, boasts a vibrant tapestry of culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes. While it’s undoubtedly known for its iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the city and its surrounding Bay Area offer so much more for the discerning traveler. In this article, we’ll venture beyond the conventional tourist attractions and explore some of the top attractions that make San Francisco a must-visit destination.

Museum of 3D Illusions

Located in the heart of the city, the Museum of 3D Illusions offers an experience like no other. Guests can step into a world of fantastical scenarios, from flying on a magic carpet near the Golden Gate Bridge to dodging the jaws of a giant shark. This attraction is a photographer’s paradise, with each 3D display designed by top 3D artists to ensure that every shot is nothing short of spectacular. Flash photography isn’t just allowed; it’s strongly encouraged to capture the vivid details.

Then, when you’re feeling a tad stressed or want to unleash some pent-up energy, “Smash It!” awaits. Here, let your creativity flow by writing and decorating plates, and then, in a cathartic release, smash them to smithereens! The more you shatter, the lighter you’ll feel, making this unique attraction a therapeutic stop amidst your San Francisco explorations.

The Sausalito Houseboats

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco lies the charming town of Sausalito. This California gem is famed for its picturesque houseboats, each flaunting unique architecture and art. As you stroll along the docks, the vibrant colors, eclectic designs, and serene bay views make it evident why this is one of the top places of interest in the Bay Area. While it’s not strictly within San Francisco’s city limits, the short drive or ferry ride to Sausalito offers a delightful respite from the urban hustle.

Muir Woods National Monument

A short drive north of San Francisco, Muir Woods National Monument stands as a testament to California’s age-old redwoods. Towering trees, some reaching up to 250 feet, create a canopy that seems to touch the skies. The serene ambiance, punctuated by the soft sounds of nature, offers a refreshing break from the city’s cacophony. It’s no wonder that this spot ranks among the top attractions for nature lovers visiting San Francisco.

Treasure Island

Nestled in the San Francisco Bay, Treasure Island provides panoramic views of the city skyline, especially stunning during sunset. This man-made island, built for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, boasts a rich history and has now morphed into one of the top places of interest for those seeking a mix of the past and present. Besides the views, the island hosts various events throughout the year, offering a blend of cultural experiences.

The Ferry Building Marketplace

Overlooking the Embarcadero, San Francisco’s Ferry Building isn’t just a hub for ferries; it’s a food lover’s paradise. Inside, a bustling marketplace showcases some of California’s finest artisanal products, from gourmet cheeses to hand-crafted chocolates. Why has it earned a spot on our list of top San Francisco attractions? Because it perfectly encapsulates the city’s gastronomic spirit, offering visitors a taste of the local flavors.

Pacific Heights Mansions

One of the top neighborhoods that defines the elegance of San Francisco is Pacific Heights. Strolling through its tree-lined streets, you’ll encounter grand mansions that tell tales of the city’s rich history. The architecture here is a blend of Victorian and Edwardian, with homes that offer breathtaking views of the Bay. For architecture enthusiasts and those interested in the more opulent side of San Francisco, Pacific Heights is a must-visit.

Dolores Park

Situated in the vibrant Mission District, Dolores Park is a lively green space attracting both locals and tourists alike. With its expansive lawns, palm trees, and panoramic views of the city skyline, it’s one of the top attractions for those seeking relaxation. Whether you’re keen on picnicking, sunbathing, or merely people-watching, this park captures the eclectic spirit of San Francisco perfectly.

Ghirardelli Square

A name synonymous with chocolate, Ghirardelli Square is a historic landmark in San Francisco, California. Once a chocolate factory, it’s now a bustling tourist complex housing specialty shops, restaurants, and of course, the famous Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. Any visit to this attraction guarantees a sweet experience, making it a top spot for dessert enthusiasts.

Angel Island State Par

Often overshadowed by its more infamous neighbor, Alcatraz, Angel Island offers a blend of history and natural beauty. As the largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay, it presents panoramic views of the surrounding area. However, its historical significance as an immigration station adds depth to its appeal, marking it as a place of interest for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

Filbert Steps and Coit Tower

Tucked between San Francisco’s rolling hills, the Filbert Steps offer an invigorating climb leading to the iconic Coit Tower. As you ascend, lush gardens and quaint cottages flank the path. Reaching the top rewards tourists with 360-degree views from the tower, solidifying its status as one of the city’s top attractions for those seeking both an urban hike and unparalleled vistas.

Palace of Fine Arts

An architectural wonder, the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District is a testament to San Francisco’s commitment to art and beauty. Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition, this attraction boasts Greco-Roman columns and a serene lagoon. Its picturesque setting makes it a favorite for photographers and those interested in architecture.

Ocean Beach

San Francisco’s western border is graced by the expansive Ocean Beach. Stretching along the Pacific coastline, it offers a respite from the urban jungle. While California boasts numerous beaches, this one stands out due to its proximity to the city, making it a top place of interest for those seeking a blend of sea, sand, and city vibes.

Cable Car Museum

Delve into the workings of San Francisco’s iconic cable car system at this fascinating museum. It not only educates tourists about the history of this unique mode of transport but also offers a live view of the machinery in action. As one of the top attractions giving insight into San Francisco’s innovative spirit, it’s a must-visit for tech and history enthusiasts.


San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the oldest and most established in North America. A walk through its bustling streets offers a blend of culture, cuisine, and color. From its ornate gates to the myriad of shops selling traditional goods, it’s a top attraction that provides a slice of Asia in the heart of California.

Mount Tamalpais State Park

A short drive from San Francisco, Mount Tamalpais offers hiking trails with awe-inspiring views of the Bay Area. The diverse terrains, ranging from redwood forests to open grasslands, cater to both casual walkers and avid hikers. As a top place of interest near San Francisco, it’s a testament to California’s diverse landscapes and natural beauty.


San Francisco’s tapestry of tourist attractions is woven with rich threads of history, culture, nature, and innovation. While museums often steal the limelight, as we’ve seen, there’s a wealth of places and experiences awaiting those willing to venture a bit off the beaten path. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, the city and its neighboring areas promise an array of experiences that cater to every whim and interest. Dive into the heart of California’s Bay Area and uncover the myriad attractions that make this destination truly one of a kind.



Absolutely! The Museum of 3D Illusions is one of San Francisco's attractions that caters to all ages. Whether you're a tourist looking for a fun photo opportunity or someone keen on interactive displays, the museum promises an engaging experience for everyone.  However, for safety reasons, the “Smash It!” attraction is for ages 12 and up.

The Museum of 3D Illusions offers a blend of art, interaction, and photo opportunities, setting it apart from many other attractions in San Francisco. While the city has a plethora of places to visit, the museum's unique concept and execution make it a top pick for many visitors.

Share this post


All Access for 2 April special

Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions and SMASH It! for 2 adults (12+ Years Old)
*Waiver Required Upon Check-In

$70 $60
Lucky Combo Pass April Special

Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions for 4 adults.

$100 $80
Silver VIP Package

VIP Experience for 2 for Museum of Illusions, skip the line, receive a special gift, and get a 1 to 1 experience with our photographer who will take pictures on your camera
*Each additional person will be charged $50 at the front desk. (Up to 4)

$200 $150
Golden VIP Package

VIP Experience for 2 for Museum of Illusions, skip the line, receive a special gift, and get a 1 to 1 experience with our photographer who uses a professional camera to take your photos, edit them and send them within 10 business days
*Each additional person will be a $65 charge at the front desk. (Up to 4)

$300 $250
Combo Ripleys x MOI

Access to the Museum of 3D illusions and Ripley's. Believe It or Not! for 1.

$60 $45
General admission

Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions for 1 (6+ years old).

All Access

Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions and SMASH It! for 1 adult (12+ Years Old)
*Waiver Required Upon Check-In

Smash It

Access to the SMASH It! for 1 adult (12+ Years Old). Includes 3 ceramic plates.
*Waiver Required Upon Check-In




Access to the Museum of 3D Illusions for 1 adult (4+ y.o.). Kids under 4 y.o. FREE


(regular + smash it)