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The interior of Grace Cathedral, a shot of the pews, which are empty, and views of the altar. Beautiful. Shutterstock

San Francisco’s top places for crying in public

Go ahead—let it out

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“Don’t cry out loud,” urges songstress Melissa Manchester, adding, “keep it inside, learn how to hide your feelings.”

Pish posh! Should you find yourself on the verge of salty tears, don’t worry—there are many places in the city to sit and let out a good, healthy bawl.

And now that Christmas is just around the corner, what better time to sob in a public setting thinking about family, unachievable expectations, or Judy Garland singing this song.

Inspired by Curbed Philly, we selected some choice spots in the city to cry. While there are definitely many more spots to howl in San Francisco, we chose 14 of our favorites boo-hoo hubs.

Do you have a favorite place we didn’t include? Let us know. We won’t judge.

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1. Ocean Beach

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Ocean Beach
San Francisco, CA

For those sunny days that won’t shake the blues, heading out to Ocean Beach during sun fall will provide a Cinemascope-esque backdrop for a good weep. The sloshing waves should help muffle your gentle sobs. A nice walk along the beach after weeping will help dry your tears. Bring a blanket and some tissue. It can get cold out there. So very cold.

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2. In front of “The Russian Bride’s Attire” at the Legion of Honor

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So pretty and touching it hurts, Konstantin Makovsky’s “The Russian Bride’s Attire” (1887) shows a young girl as she prepares for her wedding day. No one featured in the painting, save for the male figures, are happy. A harrowing and striking piece that’s also an ideal backdrop for bringing on any marital water works.

3. Kirkham Street in the Outer Sunset

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2000 Kirkham St
San Francisco, CA 94122

Too many pedestrians on Judah. They’ll see your tears. And 19th Avenue is practically a freeway. Instead, head over to Kirkham Street in the Outer Sunset for some solace. Walk west toward Ocean Beach. By the time you hit tte water, your tears will have dried up.

4. Pet Cemetery

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667 McDowell Ave
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 561-4323
Visit Website

A solid place to remember your best friend, that furry pal whose only goal in life was to make you happy. Hundreds of pets are buried here, with headstones dating back to the 1950s.

5. Lovers’ Lane

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Lover's Ln
San Francisco, CA 94129

For masochists who really want to feel uncomfortable in their lovelorn pain, we recommend heading out to Lovers Lane in the Presidio. All of the happy couples walking by hand-in-hand will have you looking right into the abyss of loneliness. Bonus points if you do it all while listening to the “Everybody Hurts” radio station on Spotify.

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6. The bottom of the Lyon Street Steps

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Broadway & Lyon St
San Francisco, CA 94115

“Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in,” moped the brooding emo teen from American Beauty. One could easily describe the Lyon Street Steps in such an overwrought manner for they too are, in a word, stunning. And at the very bottom of these steps, you can park it and have a good solid cry on one of the benches. If the unbridled beauty doesn’t get your eyes leaking, then the nearby multi-million-dollar homes, which you will never be able to afford, will.

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7. Alta Plaza Park

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Jackson St. & Steiner St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 831-5500
Visit Website

Of all the parks in the city fertile for blubbering, no patch of grass is as chic or FOMO-inducing as Alta Plaza Park in tony Pacific Heights. For added tear-duct prodding, gaze at the multimillion-dollar homes surrounding you, gasp quietly, and ask yourself, “Why do they get to have it all? What about me?”

8. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

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2550 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 549-5959
Visit Website

A bittersweet movie always does the trick. Check out the lineup at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to see if there’s a movie screening that’s ideal for maximum tears. Another boo-hoo assist? The cocktails you can order during the movie, which will help ramp up any fear, self-loathing, or distress.

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9. The pews at Grace Cathedral

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Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St
San Francisco, CA 94108

This gorgeous church in the heart of Nob Hill is not only a glorious place to connect with one’s higher power, but also a choice spot to sit in silence for a stress-releasing cry. So haunting. So beautiful.

10. San Francisco SPCA Mission Adoption Center

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250 Florida St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 522-3500
Visit Website

A good cry can be summoned by the look of an orphan dog or cat in need of a loving home. One look into your new pet’s eyes will get your ducts overflowing.

11. Neiman Marcus

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150 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 362-3900
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Preferably while wearing a floor-length mink coat, mascara running down your cheeks, looking into the mirror and wondering why all of this money hasn’t bought true happiness.

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12. Embarcadero Center walkways

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275 Battery St
San Francisco, CA 94111

The walkways above the main corridor at the Embarcadero Center have plenty of tables and chairs, all of which can be used to let it all out. Rarely busy or populated on this level, the traffic noise bellow will help drown out your inconsolable heaving.

13. Crying at the back of a bus

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200 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(800) 872-7245
Visit Website

You can hop on a bus at the temporary Transbay Terminal or simply get on any bus (not during rush hour, good lord) at any stop, head to the back, look out the window like you’re in a ballad music video, and then let it out.

14. The end of Pier 14

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Pier 14
San Francisco, CA 94105

The long walk down Pier 14 will give you enough time to work up the emotions to bawl once you arrive at the end. Better for a good cry on the weekdays rather than weekends; fewer tourists to ruin the melancholia. What’s more, the sweeping views of the Bay Bridge and expansive bay below your feet will make you feel like a grain of sand lost in this big, complex beach we call life.

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1. Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA

For those sunny days that won’t shake the blues, heading out to Ocean Beach during sun fall will provide a Cinemascope-esque backdrop for a good weep. The sloshing waves should help muffle your gentle sobs. A nice walk along the beach after weeping will help dry your tears. Bring a blanket and some tissue. It can get cold out there. So very cold.

Ocean Beach
San Francisco, CA

2. In front of “The Russian Bride’s Attire” at the Legion of Honor

San Francisco, CA 94121

So pretty and touching it hurts, Konstantin Makovsky’s “The Russian Bride’s Attire” (1887) shows a young girl as she prepares for her wedding day. No one featured in the painting, save for the male figures, are happy. A harrowing and striking piece that’s also an ideal backdrop for bringing on any marital water works.

3. Kirkham Street in the Outer Sunset

2000 Kirkham St, San Francisco, CA 94122

Too many pedestrians on Judah. They’ll see your tears. And 19th Avenue is practically a freeway. Instead, head over to Kirkham Street in the Outer Sunset for some solace. Walk west toward Ocean Beach. By the time you hit tte water, your tears will have dried up.

2000 Kirkham St
San Francisco, CA 94122

4. Pet Cemetery

667 McDowell Ave, San Francisco, CA 94129

A solid place to remember your best friend, that furry pal whose only goal in life was to make you happy. Hundreds of pets are buried here, with headstones dating back to the 1950s.

667 McDowell Ave
San Francisco, CA 94129

5. Lovers’ Lane

Lover's Ln, San Francisco, CA 94129

For masochists who really want to feel uncomfortable in their lovelorn pain, we recommend heading out to Lovers Lane in the Presidio. All of the happy couples walking by hand-in-hand will have you looking right into the abyss of loneliness. Bonus points if you do it all while listening to the “Everybody Hurts” radio station on Spotify.

Lover's Ln
San Francisco, CA 94129

6. The bottom of the Lyon Street Steps

Broadway & Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94115

“Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in,” moped the brooding emo teen from American Beauty. One could easily describe the Lyon Street Steps in such an overwrought manner for they too are, in a word, stunning. And at the very bottom of these steps, you can park it and have a good solid cry on one of the benches. If the unbridled beauty doesn’t get your eyes leaking, then the nearby multi-million-dollar homes, which you will never be able to afford, will.

Broadway & Lyon St
San Francisco, CA 94115

7. Alta Plaza Park

Jackson St. & Steiner St., San Francisco, CA 94115

Of all the parks in the city fertile for blubbering, no patch of grass is as chic or FOMO-inducing as Alta Plaza Park in tony Pacific Heights. For added tear-duct prodding, gaze at the multimillion-dollar homes surrounding you, gasp quietly, and ask yourself, “Why do they get to have it all? What about me?”

Jackson St. & Steiner St.
San Francisco, CA 94115

8. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

2550 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

A bittersweet movie always does the trick. Check out the lineup at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to see if there’s a movie screening that’s ideal for maximum tears. Another boo-hoo assist? The cocktails you can order during the movie, which will help ramp up any fear, self-loathing, or distress.

2550 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

9. The pews at Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108

This gorgeous church in the heart of Nob Hill is not only a glorious place to connect with one’s higher power, but also a choice spot to sit in silence for a stress-releasing cry. So haunting. So beautiful.

Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St
San Francisco, CA 94108

10. San Francisco SPCA Mission Adoption Center

250 Florida St, San Francisco, CA 94103

A good cry can be summoned by the look of an orphan dog or cat in need of a loving home. One look into your new pet’s eyes will get your ducts overflowing.

250 Florida St
San Francisco, CA 94103

11. Neiman Marcus

150 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Preferably while wearing a floor-length mink coat, mascara running down your cheeks, looking into the mirror and wondering why all of this money hasn’t bought true happiness.

150 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94108

12. Embarcadero Center walkways

275 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

The walkways above the main corridor at the Embarcadero Center have plenty of tables and chairs, all of which can be used to let it all out. Rarely busy or populated on this level, the traffic noise bellow will help drown out your inconsolable heaving.

275 Battery St
San Francisco, CA 94111

13. Crying at the back of a bus

200 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94105

You can hop on a bus at the temporary Transbay Terminal or simply get on any bus (not during rush hour, good lord) at any stop, head to the back, look out the window like you’re in a ballad music video, and then let it out.

200 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94105

14. The end of Pier 14

Pier 14, San Francisco, CA 94105

The long walk down Pier 14 will give you enough time to work up the emotions to bawl once you arrive at the end. Better for a good cry on the weekdays rather than weekends; fewer tourists to ruin the melancholia. What’s more, the sweeping views of the Bay Bridge and expansive bay below your feet will make you feel like a grain of sand lost in this big, complex beach we call life.

Pier 14
San Francisco, CA 94105