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12 San Francisco Secrets You Probably Don’t Know About

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

Think you know San Francisco? Think again.

1. Lincoln Park Golf Course used to be a cemetery and there are still bodies that remain on the premises.

Josh S Jackson via Flickr

2. There is a “Wood Line” installation piece, made of eucalyptus trunks and branches by artist Andy Goldsworthy, running near the Presidio’s oldest footpath Lover’s Lane.

3. Look up at the sky sometime: Peregrine Falcons live in the Financial District.

Copyright © Glenn Nevil

4. SF was once home to one of the world’s largest saltwater swimming pools, the Fleishhacker Pool that operated from 1925–1971, but after a fire in 2012 this is all that remains.

5. There’s a massive sundial from 1913 with a diameter of 28 feet in the Ingleside Terraces.

6. There are over 300,000 preserved reptiles and amphibians in the Herpetology Department of the California Academy of Sciences that can be seen by appointment-only.

7. There are 12 spooky faceless sculptures by artist Muriel Castanis that stand atop a Financial District skyscraper.

Rob Corder via Flickr

8. Old pieces of San Francisco’s earliest tombstones were used as building material at Buena Vista Park, Aquatic Park, and the Wave Organ.

9. In the San Francisco Botanical Garden, the Garden of Fragrance was designed in 1965 for the handicapped and visually impaired and appeals mainly to our senses of smell and touch.

10. There are Druid Circles in Golden Gate Park with stones that came from the ruins of a 12th century Spanish Monastery.

Phil Dokas via Flickr

11. Originally built in 1870 to become a brewery, there is a castle in Hunter’s Point with underground caves — the historical landmark known as Albion Castle.

Todd Lappin via Flickr

12. And finally, the perfect place to break-up: the end of Friendship Court, where all good things go to die.

Tinou Bao via Flickr

What are some of your favorite San Francisco secrets? Let us know in the comments.

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Jenna Homen

Jenna Homen

A Bay Area native, Jenna used to live in San Francisco and spent large amounts of her time ruminating on the happenings, history, and idiosyncrasies of San Francisco.


  1. Anthony Batres
    August 4, 2022 at 11:04 pm — Reply

    ThNk you

  2. Owen
    August 11, 2022 at 10:34 pm — Reply

    I knew about the peregrine falcons because I set up video for people in my office to observe the nest. Most of the others I didn’t know.

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