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Weird & Wonderful

Top Rated Attractions in San Francisco

Search Radius (Miles)
Rockridge/College Avenue Shopping District

With its own BART station, Rockridge's main artery is College Avenue. Half in Oakland and half in Berkeley, Rockridge nevertheless feels like its own little town. Locals, as well as those in-the-know throughout the Bay Area, know this is the perfect place to wile away a sunny weekend afternoon shopping for antiques, gourmet groceries, and the best in locally made clothing and crafts, or to just enjoy a leisurely brunch at one of the many fine restaurants. Whether you are visiting for a short while or are new to the area, a day in Rockridge is not to be missed.

Cafe Van Kleef

Cafe Van Kleef is located right in the heart of Oakland's Uptown neighborhood. The theme of Van Kleef is unconventional and all about the quirky artwork everywhere. The specialty at Van Kleef's is their Greyhound - a drink of vodka with grapefruit juice, which you can watch them squeezing fresh at almost any given point during the night. On most nights in the week, the bar plays live jazz music. Certain nights come with a cover charge so be sure to check details before you head here.

University of California

Perennially ranked among the top universities in the world, this 1,232-acre (499-hectare) campus is embellished with iconic museums, historic libraries, architectural marvels and immaculate lawns. In addition to being educated and enlightened by Nobel laureates, the university also encourages its bright young minds to excel at sports NCAA sports, molding them into well-rounded individuals. Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is the oldest educational institution in the University of California system. Campus life centers on Sproul Plaza and Sather Gate where you can find a reminder of Berkeley's place in American social history. The site also includes the plaque marking the spot where Mario Savio launched the Free Speech movement in 1964. Steve Wozniak, Chris Pine, Eric Schmidt and Gordon Moore are some of the university's most notable alumni.

Musée Mécanique

A penny for your thoughts? In addition to a melange of penny structures, this quirky, offbeat museum has a variety of interesting gadgets and knick-knacks. A must-see is the toothpick amusement park, built by San Quentin inmates. Bring a handful of quarters to Musée Mécanique so you can play some of the antique games, including the miniature pinball machines. Visiting the museum is free of charge.

Cable Car Museum

If you want to know how a cable car works, the Cable Car Museum is the place to learn. The world's first cable car rests here and with it a concise explanation of how those little cable cars make their way up those famous San Francisco hills. In an underground viewing area, you can look at the system's enormous cable wheels, which pull 11 miles (18 kilometers) of cable at 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) per hour. Closely examine the steel cables, gears, and pulleys that bring this city's most famous transportation to life. Don't miss the gift shop, where you can purchase your very own length of used cable!

Pacific Pinball Museum

Pinball machines, although they look like cheery little things, have a troubled past. From their rise to fame during the depression to their ban in 1940s, they've seen a few ups and downs. The Pacific Pinball Museum, established in 2004 by Michael Schiess, commemorates their story. Featuring some 400 pinball machines, some of them dating back to 1879, this museum traces their history quite interestingly. If you are the regular pinball enthusiast, this place should fill you with wonder.

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