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Find Fairies in San Francisco

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The faery realm is closer than one would think! There is no need to trek all the way to the land of Tinkerbell to seek some advice from a fairy; these fairies can be found in a place as close as San Francisco.

Back in 2013, a magical little door appeared at the base of a tree trunk in Golden Gate Park. According to Enchanted America, the small wooden structure was hinged to an elm tree in the Concourse of the park and first appeared on Valentine’s Day. The door was installed by a man named Tony Powell, a San Francisco native.

“Tony and his 6-year-old son, Rio, who live on a sailboat in the bay, affixed the door on the tree because they felt the hollow opening at the roots of the tree should have a proper entrance.”

Eventually, the tiny fairy door caught the attention of visitors to the park, who entertained themselves by leaving notes by the door, hoping to contact some fairies. The public also began leaving food and drawings for the magical creatures who live behind the door.

Unfortunately, Powell and his son’s original creation could not bring joy to San Franciscans for long. Later the same year, the San Francisco Parks Department removed the door from the tree, and “the reasoning was that the door damaged the tree.”

This removal caused an uproar with the local people who frequented the park and left gifts for the faeries. According to Atlas Obscura, “In response, Parks Department employees reached a deal with the artist … create a new tiny door for a fallen eucalyptus log.”

The new door, known widely as “The Faery Sanctuary,” has continued to attract visitors, who leave notes for the enchanted creatures behind the door. Because of the popularity, Powell continued to create fairy doors and install them in hidden places around the Bay Area.

Now, not only can people admire the artwork of the fairy-tale doors and leave notes or gifts for them, but they can also go on a little scavenger hunt around the area in search of all other doors. Powell has left one clue on the whereabouts of the first door to get people started on the hunt.

“Go west from the original fairy door, though not quite due west since that would take you into the Japanese Tea Garden. It’s around the other side of the garden, then down a little ways. There’s a little trail and on it you’ll find a rather long eucalyptus log, about 16 or 18 feet long, under a yew tree. It’s on the westward end of the log.”

Because of all the attention given to their doors, Powell and his son began collecting the notes and created a website to respond to some of the messages. A note from a fairy on the website states, “Come and find us. Leave us a note and take our good wishes with you.  And look back here for some answers, about once each moon.”

Let San Francisco’s faery doors unlock the magical realm of fairies and experience some whimsical joy on your next road trip.

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