A visit to the world renowned Golden Gate Bridge will surely be an exceptional experience for people of all ages. There are many fun ways to explore the beauty and grandeur of this iconic structure – you can walk, hike, kayak, take a boat tour around the bay or simply walk on the beach, ride a bike, take a guided private tour in San Francisco, or just sit back and let yourself feast in its magnificence.
You’ll best enjoy the view on a sunny day when the bridge seems to radiate an orangey to reddish glow, especially when the sky is bright and azure! It’s the perfect time to snap a shot! Although a clear weather is not always guaranteed, the mere fact of taking a glimpse at this stunning structure is definitely an awesome, memorable experience anytime of the day. You can get a nice view of this 78-year old beauty from many hilltops in San Francisco’s northern neighborhoods.
The Golden Gate Bridge is also a popular backdrop for prenup and wedding photos! It's no wonder, with all its grandeur and romantic feel!
But there is more to the bridge than its physical beauty. It also has a rich history. You can learn about the science and engineering of its construction, as well as interesting facts and trivia from the interactive and stationery outdoor exhibits that can be found in the Bridge Pavilion and our expert private tour guides. The Bridge Pavilion is located adjacent to the bridge and offers souvenir items, historical information, and of course a great view for picture taking.
Your visit to the Golden Gate Bridge won’t be complete if you don’t walk on it, well at least part of it as it spans 8,981 feet, making it the longest extension bridge in the world!
There are different ways to walk across the bridge based on the time you have, how sunny or cold the weather is, and how much exercise you want to get. You can take a 30-minute walk to the Bridge towers or walk to the middle of the bridge then walk back to your parking space.
If you would like to discover the Golden Gate Bridge in its finest, it’s best to take a private tour. Contact Private Tours San Francisco to get the best, most memorable, and fun tour of this magnificent bridge.
The Alcatraz Island, the legendary penitentiary also known as the “Rock” was once home to despicable, notorious criminals, and is now famous for the desperate escape plots and other shocking, mysterious tales. Stories were told that prisoners who tried to escape drowned or were devoured by sharks “lurking” in the water. And don’t be surprised if you hear ghost tales and stories of ghost sightings in the prison walls. So if you’re up for a unique, memorable, mysterious guided tour in San Francisco, don’t forget the Alcatraz Island in your short list of places to visit!
The island which was named Isla de los Alcatraces or the Island of the Pelicans in 1775 is situated just 15 minutes away from San Francisco. It is so close but seems very far. It was also been a beautiful bird sanctuary, a place of a civil war fortress, the first lighthouse on the American West Coast, and the scene for many films. A visit to the Alcatraz Island is not just a “prison tour” as what many people think. Its latest renovation includes a sanctuary for water and sea birds.
The island can only be accessed by tour which starts when you arrive at the Alcatraz dock and are welcomed by a representative of the National Park for a short orientation of the site. After this, you can choose to stay as long as you wish with boat services leaving every 30 minutes. You can explore the historic cell houses as well as the remarkable gardens. You can see how close the outside world was to convicted inmates and why escaping from prison was such an enticing plan.
If you're a thrill-seeker, you can try a night tour of the island and the old prison. You can get an all-inclusive pass which includes the return ride and a 45-minute cellhouse audio tour. It’s best to book well in advance because tickets do sell out fast! Also, it’s suggested to allot a two- to three-hour tour of the place so you’ll have enough time discover this mysterious place, unravel it’s secrets and history.
So plan well and contact an expert tour guide in San Francisco for a comprehensive, memorable, and enjoyable visit. Contact Private Tour San Francisco for more information.
Experience many acres of green lawns, tranquil lakes, beautiful paths, and stunning flowers amid thousands of towering trees, and 7,000 different kinds of plants nestled in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Enjoy many exciting attractions from gorgeous gardens to amazing events like the Outside Lands. Sunday is probably the best time to visit the park, as cars are prohibited on certain roads within the park on this day. Some of the great ways to discover this site is with a bike, strolling, or with a guided tour in San Francisco.
Founded in 1871, this 1,017-acre park attracts around 13 million visitors every year, making it the 5th most visited park in USA! The park in general is open to public every day, but opening hours for certain attractions vary. The cost for visiting the Golden Gate Park is free, though some attractions may charge a certain fee.
The park’s top attractions include: The de Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden.
The de Young Museum showcases an astonishing collection of American art from the 17th century to the 21st century. It also features modern art; global costumes and textiles; photography; as well as African, American, and Oceania art. In the 9th floor of the Hamon Tower, you’ll get to experience astounding 360-degree views of the beautiful Pacific Ocean and also the city of San Francisco.
In the California Academy of Sciences, you’ll get to explore a natural history museum, planetarium, and an aquarium all in one roof! The four-story rainforest, breathtaking coral reef, as well as the planetarium will definitely amaze you! Daily exciting programs in the Academy include coral reef dives and penguin feedings.
The Conservatory of Flowers boasts its rare, beautiful tropical plants and flowers from around the globe! It’s an architectural treasure with five awesome galleries. The Japanese Tea Garden is adorned with fabulous pagodas, gates, a stunning moon bridge, and grand 1.5-ton Buddha!
Strolling through the San Francisco Botanical Garden is like taking a tour through the Central American, Mediterranean, or New Zealand rain forests! It’s a gorgeous, tranquil refuge.
The top places to visit in the Golden Gate Park which you shouldn’t miss include: the Stow Lake, National Aids Memorial Grove, Buffalo Paddock, Beach Chalet, Dutch and Murphy Windmills, Spreckels Lake, Speedway and Lindley Meadows, Rainbow Falls, Strawberry Hill, Music Concourse, and the Hippie Hill!
There are countless things to do in the Golden Gate Park! You can bike, jog, skate, play tennis, disc golf, soccer, or archery! There are also so many great things to see, from beautiful fauna and flora, arts and culture, to architecture! You can even see a real buffalo roaming in the park! So if you’re looking for a unique adventure in one place, contact Private Tours San Francisco to inquire about guided tours in San Francisco!
The Coastal Trail at Lands End San Francisco is a gorgeous spot for walking, but most visitors to the city don't know it's there. Lands End is easy to get to, easy to park, and much less crowded than the more well-known parks and beaches.
The northwest corner of San Francisco is a rugged stretch of Cypress forest, bordered by cliffs plunging 200 feet to the sea below. Lands End guards the narrow ocean channel leading to the Golden Gate Bridge and the entrance to San Francisco Bay. The approach to the bay is treacherous and many ships have been dashed on the rocks off Lands End, trying to navigate the channel.
The most-traveled trail in Lands End is the Coastal Trail, a section of the California Coastal Trail that follows the railbed of the old Cliff House Railway. This trail is handicap-accessible until the Mile Rock Overlook, and bike accessible until the Eagles Point steps. A spur trail takes users to Mile Rock Point and Mile Rock Beach, which offer views of the Golden Gate.
Additionally, Lands End contains the ruins of the Sutro Baths. Other historic sites include numerous shipwrecks, which are visible at low tides from the Coastal Trail and Mile Rock.
There is also a Labyrinth hidden in one of the trails in Land’s end, it’s not that hard to find but it is very hard to navigate once you are inside the Labyrinth. A lot of people enjoyed their time trying to solve the puzzle.
Lands End Trail is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near San Francisco, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Crissy Field, a former U.S. Army airfield, is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, historically part of the Presidio of San Francisco, Crissy Field closed as an airfield after 1974, in 2001 the Crissy Field Center opened to the public. While most buildings have been preserved as they were in the 1920s, some have been transformed into offices, retail space, and residences.
Crissy Field is now part of an urban national park, which, due to its location and scenic views, is popular with both locals and tourists.
West Bluff — the westernmost part of Crissy Field, which includes a picnic area, the Warming Hut cafe, and connector paths and trails to the Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point.
Beach and dunes — the shoreline along Crissy Field has been restored, including the creation of sand dunes which provide habitat for several native species.
Promenade and trails — The Golden Gate Promenade runs from the Crissy Field Center adjacent to the beach to the Warming Hut. This is also a section of the San Francisco Bay Trail, which runs along the coast of the San Francisco Bay.
Newly restored tidal wetlands — the restored tidal marsh now hosts 17 fish species and 135 species of birds have been seen there. Around the tidal marsh, native vegetation has been planted and a boardwalk across the marsh has been constructed, providing views of the wildlife.
Crissy Field Center — An environmental education center for youth that provides school-year and summer programs.
The Presidio of San Francisco (originally, El Presidio Real de San Francisco or The Royal Fortress of Saint Francis) is a park and former U.S. Army military fort on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The park is characterized by many wooded areas, hills, and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It was recognized as a California Historical Landmark in 1933 and as a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
The National Park Service at the Presidio offers a variety of scheduled ranger and docent led programs. Groups visiting the park may also arrange ranger-led programs by appointment in advance. Availability subject to staffing levels. Please allow at least 3-weeks advance notice.
The Presidio offers many opportunities for recreational activities, including picnic areas along Crissy Field at East Beach and West Bluff, and at El Polin Spring.
Enjoy nature, vistas and historic landscapes through a variety of outdoor activities. There are also many indoor recreational opportunities, particularly in the old airfield buildings along the west end of Crissy Field.
Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier. there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39's marina. The marina is also home to the floating Forbes Island restaurant. The family-oriented entertainment and presence of California Sea Lions make this a popular tourist location for families with kids.
It is famous for its seafood. Home to at least 14 full-service restaurants, Pier 39 is known for serving up some of the freshest and most-delicious local cuisine, at Fog Harbor Fish House, you get more than just classic waterfront favorites such as oysters and cioppino — all seafood on the menu is sustainable, so not only is it local, but its guaranteed fresh and sustainably farmed. Not to mention, every meal comes with a complimentary view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
It also has more than 60 specialty shops with everything from saltwater taffy to left-handed merchandise, custom-blended spices to hand-crafted jewelry. So, obviously, it's difficult to leave without that perfect gift for the folks back home. Many of the store owners work directly behind the counter, and if you end up getting carried away, stop by the California Welcome Center and they'll help you ship your San Francisco memories back home.
You can also experience the thrill of a roller coaster and the excitement of an interactive shooting gallery, all without leaving your seat in a state of the art digital theater with surround sound, 3D effects and the newest in laser technology. Compete to achieve the highest score in the theater as everyone tries to capture the gold, eliminate the bad robot cowboys and save the day! And the fun doesn't stop there: be sure to check out the other 20+ attractions on The PIER.
San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city! A queue of seafood restaurants along the bay, clam chowder stands, and heaps of souvenir stores are all combined with a main fishing pier. You can reach this famous dock via a cable car from the Union Square and with a guided private tour in San Francisco.
Many ferry rides leave from the Wharf to the mysterious Alcatraz Island and to the beautiful Marin County. While famous, you may want to avoid a long visit to the place, especially if you don’t like “tourist traps” and crowds. But it is excellent for a one- to two-hour stop during the day to get fresh seafood, sourdough, and souvenirs!
Some of the popular attractions in the Fisherman’s Wharf include the Wax Museum which features sculptures of US presidents, celebrities, and other famous figures; Ripley’s Believe It or Not which showcases oddities from around the world; the Boudin Bakery where the best sourdough bread in San Francisco is sold; the Musee Mecanique which exhibits an amazing collection of antique arcade machines and vintage musical instruments; the USS Pampanito & SS Jeremiah O’Brien which boasts a grand World War II submarine and a fully-restored, operating ship of World War II - the Jeremiah O’Brien; and the actual Fisherman’s Wharf where you can watch egrets and herons steal fish from the bait shop, and if you go there early around 6 or 7 in the morning, you’ll get to see fishermen in action with their catch! And don’t forget to see the amusing sea lions at Pier 39! Sure they’re loud and noisy but they’re absolutely cute and their number is astonishing!
The clever, creative, and fun street performers are also a must-see! Experience the mime, art, music, and performance on the streets of the Fisherman’s Wharf! Normally, these performers who usually sell art, movies, and CD’s expect tips (but are not mandatory).
Even though most locals don’t really patronize the Fisherman’s Wharf, your visit to San Francisco won’t be complete without a stop at the this busy and interesting dock!
So contact our expert tour guides here at Private Tours San Francisco to best enjoy the food, view, entertainment, and souvenirs offered by the Fisherman’s Wharf!
Things to do in SF!