Abby Lister Adventures- Part 1 Slides, Staircases, Baths , and an Organ

Do you want to go on an adventure? I always do. Here is where this adventure led me. I have a friend named Abby and she has a list of places she would like to visit, restaurants to eat at, and experiences to be had . The list is high on a bookshelf off to the side. When visiting, I would see this list of things and wonder why she had these particular things on her list. They mostly seemed like local activities. She mentioned she grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area so I was curious. When I asked, she said she did grow up in the East Bay but had not visited , ate at, or experienced some of the typical Bay Area tourist areas ( the list includes other California/ Nevada sites as well as some international ones too). 

“We can totally finish this list,” I said.  And so the Abby Listers came into being. I will share a few experiences in this article and a few more in the articles to come. We decided to cross things off this Abby List. Get your hiking / walking shoes and hit the road. 

One adventurous day had us drive to San Francisco. Abby ( the researcher and planner) had planned out hidden neighborhood slides, a tiled staircase, the Sutro Bath, and the wave organ to visit. We armed ourselves with cardboard probably an old Amazon box with the label removed and set out to see what all  this was about. 

First, we set out to Esmeralda Street Slides. The neighborhood is a bit tricky to find parking but we finally did. The gardens around the slide and surrounding areas further down are worth a little gander to see what this neighborhood did with this space. The slides are metal and have two slides side by side. We did not use the cardboard on these but we raced down the slides, feeling like kids again. One is faster than the other but you need to check it out to see which one.


Seward Slides, San Francisco

We then went to Seward Slides.  They are concrete and you do need cardboard. The parking and one way streets almost had us give up but we found a spot several blocks away. These slides have a bump and a curve which makes racing side by side a lot of fun. There is a place holder by the slides with left cardboard pieces. Just in case you forget. Remember do not leave a mess for the neighbors. Just as an aside , more adults were there than kids. 

Our next adventure for the day was the 16th Ave Tiled Staircase in the Inner Sunset District . There are 163 steps and beautiful art tiles on each step. It can get crowded so you may have to wait to take good photos. Ocean scenes, to flowers, to a spectacular sun , moon and stars installation are just a few of the scenes that flow up to the top of the stairs. The view at the top is pretty and misy dirt so wear shoes that can get dusty. We did see a couple take engagement photos.


Tiled Staircase in the Inner Sunset District

Sutro Bath was on the list and we checked it off. On the north end of Ocean Beach,  this place is the ruins of old San Francisco when this was a covered bathing house . The view of the Pacific is beautiful. Fun to explore but careful not to slip. High tide May see you getting wet! 


Sutro Baths, San Francisco

We then hurried as the sun was setting to see the Wave Organ . You need to go to the Marina and head towards the St Francis Yacht Club. There is parking nearby , make sure you won’t get towed. You will need to walk past the yacht club to the spit at the end where the wave organ is installed. High tide is the best to hear the organ at its best. The smell can be strong but it is smells of the bay. It is fascinating to hear this organ as the waves hit the pipes that are in the bay. Even if you don’t go at high tide the view itself is gorgeous.  We were there at sunset and the sky seemed to be showing off that night. The Golden Gate Bridge, the golden sun and a sailboat, it could not have been a better ending to an exploration kind of day.  San Francisco’s hidden gems did not disappoint that day! 


View from the Wave Organ at sunset, San Francisco 


View of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Information on locations in this article 

Esmeralda Street Slides

Winfield St & Esmeralda Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

Open Daily ( Bernal Heights) 

Seward Concrete Slides

70 Corwin St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Tue-Sun 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Noe Valley) 

16th Ave Tiled Stairs

16th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

HOURS:   Mon – Fri:  9:30AM to 5:00PM

 Sat – Sun:  10AM to 5PM ( Inner Sunset)

Sutro Baths ( park at Lands End and hike/ walk down to the Baths- Cliff House is there too) 

1004 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121

Wave Organ ( Marina Green- on the St. Francis Yacht Club on Yacht Club Road past the Club area. )

110 Yacht Road, San Francisco, CA 94129

Parking outside of Yacht Club parking 

83 Marina Green Dr, San Francisco, CA 94123 ( Best time to go -high tide)

Susan Sawczuk
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1 year ago

I love this list!! I have seen other tiled stairs in SF but not these!! Going to make a point of heading to the organ soon too!!

Harvey Althaus
Harvey Althaus
1 year ago

Thank you, very informative! I have been to the tiled stairs, the Marina Green area and Sutro Baths on several occasions with my family but the hidden slides have peeked my interest!

Marco Santucci
Marco Santucci
1 year ago
Reply to  Harvey Althaus

Harvey I really want to go to the slides the next time I’m there with Pam! Thanks for sharing this, we also find the tiled stairs interesting.

Elizabeth Sawczuk
Elizabeth Sawczuk
1 year ago

So fun! You are a joy to travel with because you haven’t lost a sense of wonder.

George Poliszuk
George Poliszuk
1 year ago

You are a great writer Sue! It was fun to read about your adventures and the hidden gems. Keep them coming!

1 year ago

This is so useful and informative. Thanks for proving details!! I have been to all these places but did miss some of the hidden gems… time to revisit again!!

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