Experience San Francisco like a local

San Francisco’s Wave Organ

A quirky memorable spot, a perfect place to take out-of-town visitors

Cody Tolmasoff
4 min readOct 26, 2020


By Frank Schulenburg — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45923448

Whenever friends or family come to visit, I love to find memorable out of the ordinary experiences to share with them. You can find endless lists for places to visit around the city, and those typical suggestions create wonderful memories for their visit to this wonderful city.

Many of those suggestions won't eat up your time playing tour guide. Hopefully, you won’t see them driving around one of those little yellow three-wheeled motorcycles with the extra-loud audio tour.

  • Go have lunch at the Ferry Building.
  • Have a nice day out playing at the Exploratorium.
  • Tour the Academy of Science.
  • Find the best spot to catch a ride on a cable car.

Stroll out along the jetty to the Wave Organ

But, for those times when you want to create serendipitous memories, a walk out to the wave organ is just the thing to keep in your back pocket.

I try not to get into much detail when I tell people I’m taking them here. I tell them it’s called the Wave Organ which makes sounds from the moving tide. In fact, I make sure whoever I’m taking out here is walking out in front (and on my right) so they can “discover” it for themselves.

Getting There


Starting from the Yacht Harbor parking lot at the eastern end of the Crissy Field Parking area, you want to wander toward the St. Francis Yacht Club, a Mediterranean Revival style building designed by Willis Polk. Polk was the architect of many notable building in and around San Francisco: Palace of Fine Arts, the Pacific Union Club at the top of Nob Hill, the Hobart building, the Hallidie Building, the Merchant Exchange…



Cody Tolmasoff

Parent-adventurer, creating memories for my two daughters around the SF Bay Area. Author & publisher at @adventuringin & Chief Happiness Officer at @kiddiewalks