Once in a Lifetime: Unforgettable Experiences in San Francisco

By: Katie Manning

January 11, 2013

It’s not surprising that the city that invented Denim jeans, the cable car and fortune cookies has some weird and wonderful experiences on offer, and we’re sure these five will be truly unforgettable.

Whale Watching

Whale Watching | San Francisco

Whale watching with San Francisco Whale Tours. © Rick Ellison

Whale Watching tours to the Farallon Islands leave from San Francisco all yearround to visit grey, blue, killer and humpback whales. You’ll also see dolphins, seals, sea lions and (during October/November) great white sharks. The grey and humpback whales migrate through the Fallarones National Marine Sanctuary, but if in the unlikely event that you don’t see a whale on your trip, the next one’s on them!

Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, +1 415 706 7364,

House of Air

House of Air | San Francisco

House of Air, San Francisco © Houseofair

For us big kids at heart, what could be more fun than an airplane hangar full of wall-to-wall trampolines? You can book private lessons, workout classes or simply open access to everything. There’s a “Bounce House” for children ages 3 to 6, and even a training area, which can be booked for honing down your aerial skills. We especially love the “Double Bowl” – a freestyle trampoline modelled on skateboard park designs – it’s the only one of its kind.

926 Old Mason Street, The Presidio, San Francisco, +1 415 345 9675,

Club Sportiva

Club Sportiva | SanFrancisco

Club Sportiva, San Francisco © Clubsportiva

We’ve seen so many car adverts filmed in and around San Francisco, sometimes we just want to go cruising. That’s when we rent a Lamborghini or a Ferrari from this exotic car club – there are more hills, curves and sweeping vistas in this city than Kansas has flat. Just don’t try to re-enact the car chase from Bullitt, McQueen – they would prefer the cars back in one piece.

560 Sacramento Street, Financial District, San Francisco, +1 866 719 1600,

Opaque – Dining in the Dark

Opaque - Dining in the Dark | SanFrancisco

Dining in the Dark with Opaque, San Francisco

The idea behind eating a three-course meal in total darkness is that with one of our senses completely removed, others, namely taste, are heightened. Debatable? Sure. But for us the experience is unforgettable. And they’re not kidding when they say you’ll be eating in the dark – you gain new appreciation for the term “pitch black” after the just the first course. Don’t worry though, you are allowed to see the bill at the end of the meal.

689 McAllister Street, Western Addition, San Francisco, +1 800 710 1270,


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

Categories: Our Places