Van Ness Scavenger Hunt
Meet the new Van Ness
Explore the new Van Ness Avenue with this scavenger hunt, designed to be solved using both internet research (hint: check out SFMTA.com/VanNess) and in-person visits. Use Muni to get from place to place. Some of the clues take you to corridor businesses no purchase or entry is necessary to solve the clues, but we encourage you to support Van Ness merchants.
Clues for Scavenger Hunt
1. This Buddhist temple has been on Van Ness for over 30 years! Find the temple and take a photo of it. For bonus points, identify the language on the sign in front.
2. This charming cafe shares a name with a novella written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Name that novella and cafe and for bonus points, ask the owner why the cafe was named this.
3. Feel like climbing up some walls? You can do that in a building that was once the home of the Firestone Tire Company. This building was finished in 1913 along the historic Van Ness auto row. Step away and relax with a fun climb!
4. There are four different species of new trees on Van Ness. These plants will provide fresh air and shade on a hot summer day. Can you identify all four by walking along the corridor?
5. These vibrant sphere shaped objects are artwork made to light up and keep Van Ness shining throughout the night. The design is by Jorge Pardo and is located between Geary and O’Farrell on Van Ness. How many spheres are there?
6. This civic landmark has the tallest dome in the country! What is the landmark and how tall is the dome? This place is open to the public during visiting hours and is quite a magical place to visit.
7. This independently owned bookstore company can trace its history back to 1851. Visit the Van Ness location and expand your knowledge with a book today.
8. In 1888, Tsar Alexander III of Russia donated five bells to this location. What location is it and how many bells are there today? Why did the Tsar donate these bells?
9. Looking to join a band? Try your luck at this famous restaurant where Metallica asked Jason Newsted to join them as their bassist. Might as well get some buffalo stew while you’re there too.
10. This building was built in 1909 is a beaux-art treasure with thirty-five foot ceilings, and 22 turn-of-the-century teardrop chandeliers. The multiuse events venue can have up to 700 people in the theater.
11. This Afghan restaurant's owner pulls double-duty as a Muni operator. Which restaurant is this?
12. Believe it or not, Van Ness is also a highway! What is the name of this national highway?
13. This immersive light show exhibit demonstrates 90 million pixels of art by a famous Dutch impressionist painter. Here you can learn more about the artist that created 2,100 artworks within a decade.
14. This scavenger hunt has 14 questions because the 14R Mission bus line is the only rapid line that maintained service during the early days of the pandemic. Now that almost all Muni service has been restored, which rapid lines intersect with the Van Ness BRT corridor?