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14 Insanely Fun Things to Do in The Mission District San Francisco

a book shelf filled with colorful books

Written By: Emily Walton 

 

Centered around the Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco’s Mission District is one of California’s best places to explore. Here, you’ll find everything you need for the perfect day. 

 

Grab a delicious treat from one of the Latino-owned businesses on 24th Street. Or, head to Valencia Street for the best of San Francisco nightlife, modern cafes, and unique shops. Whatever you need, Mission District has something exciting for visitors and locals alike! 

 

Want ideas? We’ve rounded up our favorite activities, places, shops, bars, and restaurants. Keep reading to plan your perfect Mission District itinerary.  

 

a view of San Francisco

View of San Francisco from Dolores Park

Outdoor Activities In Mission District, San Francisco

 

#1 Taste Your Way Through Mission District 

 

A unique way to find things to do in San Francisco by neighborhood is with a walking food tour. 

 

Sidewalk Food Tours takes you to some of the best restaurants in the Mission District. You will indulge in tasty foods like traditional tacos, savory Indian food, and delicious pastries. This tour is special because you will also learn about the culture and neighborhood you explore! 

 

Your knowledgeable guide will point out everything you need to know about the area. From the history behind how it grew into a vibrant neighborhood to pointing out the best spots to see – we’ve got you covered.

 

indian food in a bowl

Indian Curry

 

This tour is great for anyone visiting Mission District or for people living in the area that want to see the city through a new lens! 

 

#2 Take In Views Of San Francisco From Above

 

The San Francisco skyline is gorgeous any time of day. Make a reservation at El Techo’s rooftop bar and restaurant to soak it all in. We love their brunch menu and spicy take on the Bloody Mary. They call it a “Bloody Maria” and substitute tequila for vodka!

 

They are also the perfect place to grab some Mexican food before heading to the bars along Mission District at night.

 

a glass bloody mary

A savory lover’s brunch accompaniment!

 

#3 Spend A Day At Mission Dolores Park 

 

With 16 acres of fun, Mission Dolores Park has something for everyone. They have a large athletic field, a bark park, basketball courts, picnic areas, a playground, and even tennis courts! 

 

We suggest grabbing your favorite boba from Brew Cha or Boba Guys and spending some time walking around to take in the sites. 

 

You can also pack a picnic lunch for the day, bring a frisbee or football to throw around, and relax in the park all day. Not in the mood to cook anything? Then grab a few famous “Mission Burritos” from Taqueria El Farolito before heading to the park! 

 

Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco, United States

Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco, United States

 

#4 Discover San Francisco Street Art 

 

One of the best ways to explore San Francisco is by wandering around the neighborhood street art. Mission District has murals all throughout the area. Some murals are abstract while others celebrate Latino tradition and promote social justice. 

 

A few of our favorite street murals are on Clarion Ally and Balmy Alley. These sections of town have many murals from different artists. We also suggest checking out the Maestrapeace Mural on the Woman’s building. 

 

 a building with beautiful, colorful murals of women in san francisco

Drive by the murals or have a photo-op!

 

#5 Bike Around Mission District 

 

Another great way to see all the sights in Mission District is by bike! If you live locally and have your own bike, hop on and ride around. If you need a bike, check out renting a bike at one of Bay Wheels’ bike-sharing stations. 

 

a woman biking over the san francisco bridge

Slow things down by exploring SF on two wheels!

 

#6 Relax At A Local Spot With Outdoor Seating 

 

There is something so relaxing about sitting outside, enjoying a delicious meal, and having a drink. That is why we love the outdoor seating options at Lost Resort and Outer Orbit. 

 

Lost Resort serves up tasty traditional American food and is great for enjoying San Francisco Nightlife outside. Outer Orbit has elevated Hawaiian dishes and several pinball machines inside. Both restaurants are ridiculously delicious. They also both offer outdoor seating areas perfect for relaxing with friends! 

 

a couple dining outside on a sunny day

Dining al fresco at it’s finest!

 

#7 Take Part In A Local Celebration

 

Mission District San Francisco knows how to have a good time. Each year the neighborhood hosts lively events for Carnaval in May and Dia De Los Muertos in November. Locals, new neighbors, and visitors all gather to celebrate the traditions and culture of the area. 

 

If you’re in the San Francisco area for either of these celebrations, we highly recommend you check them out. 

 

a lady in a colorful feather carnival outfit with green and pink

Everyone enjoys Carnaval!

 

Indoor Activities In Mission District, San Francisco

 

#8 Eat Your Heart Out At Tartine 

 

Looking for mouthwatering baked goods, artisan bread, and freshly brewed coffee? Tartine has them all in one place. They are the perfect spot for a foggy San Francisco day. Just one bite into one of their famous pastries and you’ll be hooked. 

 

Tartine can get pretty busy but with a neighborhood food tour, you’ll get to skip the line!

 

croissants and coffee with whipped cream on a serving tray

Cut to the front of the line with Sidewalk Food Tours!

 

#9 Climb To New Heights With Indoor Rock Climbing 

 

A fun way to get in some exercise is rock climbing. Mission Cliffs is San Francisco’s longest-running rock climbing gym. 

 

They have the experience and expertise needed to make anyone’s climbing day an exciting one. Regardless of if you’ve done it before or are a first-time climber, they will set you up for a day of fun. 

 

The gym was also recently updated and offers different-level climbing walls, yoga, and a weight room! If you are looking for a gym that will help you reach your goals in a holistic and fun way, Mission Cliffs was made for you!

 

a man bouldering at an indoor rock climbing wall

Exercise and fun all in one!

 

#10 Browse Unique Books and Local Art 

 

San Franciscans love their literature. Across the city, there are a bunch of cute boutique bookstores. One of our favorites is located right in the heart of Mission District. 

 

Dog-Eared Books sells new, used, and small-press books and displays local art. It is a great place to browse through and find your next favorite book.

 

We suggest giving yourself at least an hour to browse through all the interesting titles. For an extra treat, grab a cone next door from Smitten Ice Cream

 

a book shelf filled with colorful books

Shelves are filled with neat books!

 

#11 Bring Back Family Fun With Mission Bowling 

 

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we can easily forget the pure kinds of fun we experienced growing up. That is why getting out and going bowling every once in a while is a great way to let out some steam. 

 

If you are looking for something to do with a group in San Francisco, head to Mission Bowling for a few rounds of fun! In addition to being a bowling alley, the woman and black-owned business is also a full-service bar and restaurant! 

 

This is the perfect spot for date nights, company get-togethers, and nights out with your friends. They are also family-friendly so feel free to invite the whole group if they have kids!

 

A child using a ramp for his bowling ball

An activity the whole family can enjoy

 

#12 Enjoy the Nightlife On Valencia Street, San Francisco

 

If you need a place to unwind after a long week, head on over to Valencia Street. Known for having some of the best nightlife in San Francisco, this street is filled with great bars, restaurants, and late-night eats.   

 

Head to the Beehive or Wildhawk to start the evening with elegantly crafted cocktails. Then make your way up to The Valencia Room for a night of dancing! 

 

someone putting their hand up at a concert

Move it!

 

If you want something more low-key but still fun, catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Mission Street. Then, make your way to The Phoenix Irish Pub on Valencia. The classic vibes are great for having some old-school fun!   

 

A dark glass of Guinness

A classic!

 

#13 Shop The Streets of Mission District 

 

Mission District is also one of the best shopping places in San Francisco. Whether you are looking to buy something special or are window shopping, it is fun to walk around the area. There are many awesome shops and boutiques like Arcana, 826 Valencia Pirate Supply Store, and City Art Cooperative Gallery

 

If you enjoy thrifting or antiquing, Mission District shopping is perfect for you. Look for hidden treasures at Buffalo Exchange, Community Thrift, and Paxton Gate

 

a person looking through hung clothes at a thrift store

What what.. what what! *cue Macklemore*

 

#14 Play A Round of Mini Golf At Urban Putt 

 

Want to spend your evening doing something fun and unique? Urban Putt has upgraded the mini golf experience just for you. The venue has a creative concept for the different putting areas and offers up some wildly fun cocktails. 

 

This is a great spot for rainy days when you still want to get out and about!

 

an indoor putt-putt course

Photo Courtesy of Urban Putt

 

The Many Ways To Have Fun In Mission District 

 

If you are a local, just visiting, or somewhere in between – Mission District needs to be on your list of things to do in San Francisco. The walkable neighborhood is vibrant, exciting, and full of places to explore. 

 

From hip-new bars to local-run businesses that are the backbone of the community, your time in San Francisco is not complete without a trip to the Mission District! 

 

a man standing in front of a crowd

Enjoy The Mission District!