Hidden-InSite is a travel and photography blog about overlooked places – secret spots that surprise and delight. Hidden-InSite answers the question, what’s around the corner or the bend in the road – from the Bay Area to Bali and beyond.

Hidden-InSite was born in the sculpture garden of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. After lunch in the museum garden I started to explore … walking past the golden ginkgo trees and the polished sculpted apples on the lawn … until a bamboo tree tunnel I’d never noticed led me to a structure buried under a grassy knoll at the western edge of the garden.

It was a clear and shiny day. Everything felt magical. The smooth round wall ahead of me was a warm terra cotta. The walkway forked. I chose the counter-clockwise path and found myself between two curved walls open to the sky … anticipating I knew not what.

Then it hit me. There are untold numbers of hidden places in the world. Surely they’re known to some. But to most people they are mysteries or surprises. Hidden-InSite is a collection of places I have found, places others have shown me and familiar places seen in new ways. Hidden-InSite is the answer to the question, what’s around the bend or hidden behind the museum.

Please join me as we visit Bay Area Gems, California Dreaming, National Treasures and Foreign Intrigue. We’ll explore, hike, canoe, shop and, of course, eat. And when we’re very lucky, we’ll uncover insights from the sites we’ve toured.

Oh, that structure in the garden of the de Young Museum? It’s Three Gems, one of 74 Skyscape pieces by acclaimed light-and-space artist James Turrell. You can learn more about it right here.


Ellen Newman:

I am a strategic storyteller, a public relations professional and freelance writer. My travel and design stories have appeared in the Dallas Morning News, Honolulu Advertiser, Vancouver Sun, Nob Hill Gazette, San Jose Mercury News’ Spaces and San Francisco Design Center News. Read my story here.

With Hidden-InSite I am taking my love of the road, curiosity and impulse to photograph every angle to the web. And, did I mention, I chase butterflies.

For me, it’s all about radical noticing. If you don’t look, you can’t see.