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.
AT&T Park, home of the legendary team San Francisco Giants is the best baseball park there is! Some people may contest this statement, but for most tourists who have seen and been to the place, they would most likely say the same!
After winning the 2010 and 2012 World Series, the Giants Giants have become one of the most famous and hottest baseball teams! Not only are their games a must-watch; you just can’t beat the one-of-a kind enjoyment and thrill the stadium has to offer!
With its classic design and amazing views of the stunning San Francisco Bay, the AT&T Park was picked as the Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Daily and the Sports Business Journal in year 2008. This privately financed baseball park in Major League Baseball accommodates over 42,000 fans and offers many great features!
The most outstanding feature of this park is the 24-foot right field wall, built in honor of former San Francisco Giant player Willie Mays, who wore the number 24. Beyond the right field is the McCovey Cove, a part of the Bay named after the Giants’ first baseman Willie McCovey. “The Cove” as dubbed by Giant fans is where a number of home runs (famously referred to as “splash hits”) have been hit.
If you’re up for a unique adventure, you can rent a kayak and hang out in the McCovey Cove with other thrill seekers hoping for that rare, exciting chance of getting a waterlogged home run ball to keep as a souvenir!
The stadium also features an 80-foot long Coca-Cola bottle with superslides every child and adult will enjoy. It lights up and blows bubbles every time a Giant hits a homerun. The stadium’s miniature version sitting next to the soda slide is also a fun place to play and pretend you’re one of the great Giants! A giant baseball glove made of fiberglass and steel positioned at the right side of the soda bottle is another monumental symbol of the park’s stalwart character.
When talking about food, garlic fries is a must! Look for those huge green booths that read “GARLIC FRIES.” But note that there is typically a long line because this one’s a sure winner! If you’re looking for the best hot dogs, look for the Bratwurst cart located near the Third Street Gate. You will definitely enjoy the freshly grilled sausage topped with some perfectly grilled onions and peppers.
The AT&T Park does not only offer great games, breathtaking scenic views, awesome park features and activities, splendid food and beverages, but also exciting behind-the-scene tour, where you’ll get to places only the Giants and staff go. You can even celebrate a birthday with the Park’s Birthday Party Tours for all ages!
Before the game, you can engage in simple but fun recreational activities. On a nice, sunny day, take advantage of a relaxing walk along the beautiful Bay; visit a museum or watch a film at a movie theater located just a stone's throw away from the stadium; or go ice skating, bowling, or take a merry-go-round ride for the kids to enjoy before the ball game!
Contact our expert tour guides here at Private Tours San Francisco to get the most out of your visit to the spectacular AT&T Park!
Yerba Buena Garden
Yerba Buena Gardens is the name for two blocks of public parks located between Third and Fourth, Mission and Folsom Streets in downtown San Francisco, California. The first block bordered by Mission and Howard Streets was opened on 1993. The second block, between Howard and Folsom Streets, was opened in 1998, with a dedication to Martin Luther King, Jr. A pedestrian bridge over Howard Street connects the two blocks, sitting on top of part of the Moscone Center convention center.
The original block contains several public art installations. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is located behind a waterfall, which is the largest fountain on the West Coast. The King memorial consists of large, etched glass excerpts of King's speeches in the languages of San Francisco's sister cities, and also includes a large green space where performance arts events are held throughout the year.
Located in the Gardens proper are the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a contemporary arts center in the North block, and the Children's Creativity Museum, a children's media and technology museum in geared to children ages 3–12. Kids can make Claymation videos, work in a computer lab, check out new games and apps, and perform and record music videos. The museum is open year-round 10–4 from Wednesday through Sunday, and on Tuesday during the summer. An ice skating rink, a bowling alley, and a restored 1905. The historic Looff carousel twirls daily 10–5 originally located at Playland-at-the-Beach can also be found in the South block. Eateries within the gardens include the B Restaurant and Grill and the Samovar Tea Lounge on the North block's terrace, Mo's Grill on the South block's upper walkway, and a snack shop by the carousel.
The gardens are liveliest during the week and especially during the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, from May through October with free performances of everything from Latin music to Balinese dance.
Atop the Moscone Convention Center perch a few lures for kids. Just outside, kids adore the excellent slides, including a 25-foot tube slide, at the play circle. Also part of the rooftop complex are gardens, an ice-skating rink, and a bowling alley.
Nearby museums include: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Museum of the African Diaspora, and Cartoon Art Museum.
San Francisco Dungeon is one of the most popular attractions in Fisherman's Wharf. It recreates scary historical events using 360° sets, special effects, and live actors. Visitors walk through the Dungeon, and are guided through each show by professional actors.
This sixty-minute tour through the darker corners and more demented denizens of San Francisco history plays like a more sophisticated and elaborate version of a seasonal Halloween attraction; instead of masked monsters, long corridors, and jump-scares, you get a series of nine scenes that range from a maze and a boat ride to dramatic vignettes that require you to stop, sit, and sometimes participate. The results will literally have you screaming – first with laughter, then with terror.
The San Francisco Dungeon is the first American version of an attraction that has locations in London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and other European cities; though beyond the reach of our usual radar, the reputation of these Dungeons raises some high expectations. The exterior of the San Francisco Dungeon certainly looks innocuous enough: a sign above a busy sidewalk, with a barker luring victims toward the box office. The decor inside is wooden, suggesting the old west or a mining town – aspects of local history that will soon come to life before your eyes.
Shows and rides include:
The Descent- visitors descend into the Dungeon in an old mine shaft elevator and meet businessman Colonel Jack Gamble
Gold Rush Greed- a re-enactment of the clash between the natives and the new settlers on the American frontier in 1848
Lost Mines of Sutter's Mill- visitors search the maze of mines for any remaining gold
Streets of San Francisco- visitors meet gang The Hounds and their leader Sam Roberts down Kearny Street
The Court of San Francisco- a re-enactment of an old San Francisco courtroom where visitors are interrogated by former mayor and judge "Mad Meade"
Miss Piggott's Saloon- recreation of an old drinking saloon featuring Miss Piggott and Shanghai Kelly
Shanghai Kelly's Boat Ride- boat ride through the back waterways to learn about the lives of those who were sold to work as sailors
Chinatown Plague- recreation of the streets of San Francisco during the Black Death epidemic in 1900
The Ghosts of Alcatraz- recreation of the Alcatraz military prison during the 1800s
It’s a dark comedy of attractions; dark, atmospheric and very, very funny. If it was a movie it would likely be PG13.
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.
If you are looking for a place to shop, dine, or stay in San Francisco, Union Square is a perfect choice! This 2.6-acre public plaza located in the middle of Post, Geary, Stockton, and Powell Streets is surrounded by the best shopping stores, restaurants, cafes, and hotels in the city, and perhaps the world!
The term “Union Square” was derived from the rallies and support shown for the Union Army on the eve of the American Civil War. The beautiful monument that stands tall in the heart of this place is a tribute to the United States Navy sailors.
Built and dedicated in 1850, the Square is now considered as a historical landmark and famous for its surrounding area with the biggest collection of beauty salons, gift shops, boutiques, department stores, art galleries in the US making this one-block public plaza a leading tourist spot, a significant and sophisticated rendezvous in San Francisco.
It is considered San Francisco’s ceremonial “heart,” also serving as the site of impromptu protest, winter ice rink, private parties, and the yearly Christmas tree lighting. Luxurious hotels and inns, as well as cultural events and celebrations, nightclubs, theatres, live concerts, and movies in park contribute to the Square’s lively, 24-hour spirit.
It’s a fabulous place to indulge in a sumptuous meal, enjoy shopping, watch a show, get a boost of caffeine, grab a drink, or just sit back, relax, and watch people go by.
Visit the world’s best place to live, visit, work, and play! But if you are wondering what’s the best thing to do, where to get the best food and drinks, where’s the best place to stay, where and when the top celebrations and shows are, and where to shop the latest fashion, our expert tour guides can help you!
Contact Private Tours San Francisco to inquire about our private guided tour in San Francisco and experience the best of the famous Union Square!
With over 600 indoor and outdoor experimental art and science exhibits where you can play with, tinker, and touch, the The Exploratorium in San Francisco is considered to be the most interactive museum in the world! It’s a huge, unique playground for your mind!
If you are looking for an activity on a rainy day, something that both adult and children will enjoy - The Exploratorium is an excellent choice! This learning laboratory will spark your interest, make you think and marvel at different subjects like the human body, outer space, science, and arts.
You will be thrilled by the Tactile Dome, one of the most visited places inside the museum. Here you can let your sense of feeling discover a pitch-black sphere. The shadow room is another exciting and fun place to explore, where light projects people’s shadow onto a wall. You will also be amazed at a diorama of San Francisco created with just toothpicks and glue! It took the artist 37 long years to build this piece of art which includes ramps that allow ping-pong balls visit each of the city’s popular destinations.
The exhibits’ interactive nature will definitely entertain you the whole time you’re there! There will never be a dull moment at The Exploratorium! And even if you’re not that interested about sciences, you’ll definitely be surprised that you’re already enjoying. This is because the designers of this museum did an excellent job to make sure that each exhibit is fun and will trigger curiosity.
This world-class establishment situated on Pier 15 is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 in the morning to five in the afternoon. On Thursday, hours are extended until 10 in the evening for 18 years old and above. For adults, tickets are sold at $25, $19 for senior citizens as well as for kids six to 17 years old. Five-year old children and below are accommodated in The Exploratorium free of charge!
The museum after dark is as exquisite as in day time! But there is something extra special, something extra exciting, fun, and magnificent about the place at night. The Adult Happy Hour starts at 6 pm and ends at 10 pm. Join the fun and discover the place with the help of our expert tour guides in San Francisco.
So what are you waiting for? Let your mind play and immerse yourself in the wild wonder of science and the art. The Exploratorium will change the way you learn! Contact Private Tours San Francisco for a one-of-a-kind private guided tour in San Francisco.
Since the 1860s the Chinatown in San Francisco has been a popular tourist attraction; a home to one of the biggest Chinese communities beyond the borders of the Asian continent. Chinatown’s main vein is Grant Avenue and its adjacent alleys and streets are rich in culture and history.
The Chinatown Gate located at the intersection of the Grant Avenue and Bush Street is the perfect spot to start your guided tour in San Francisco. You’ll be greeted by the traditional dragons that “crawl” across the top of the gate as well as the fou dogs that guard this beautiful gate.
You’ll pass by colorful queues of shops selling memorabilia as you continue your tour to the famous Grant Avenue and to the Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral. This basilica dedicated in 1854 was San Francisco’s very first Catholic cathedral. It was made of bricks and beautiful granite rocks from China.
If you continue walking along Grant Avenue you’ll find the Chinatown Kite Shop famous for its kooky, colorful collection of fun flying creatures: dragonflies, owls, butterflies, and cartoon characters. You’ll also find Chinatown’s oldest bakery -- the Eastern Bakery built in 1924. Enjoy their freshly baked pastries and their best seller: the lotus golden yolk mooncake.
Waverly Place is another must-see. It’s also known as the “street of painted balconies” because of the colorful building facades nestled along this street. This place was once dubbed as the “15-cent street” because hair cut services here were at 15 cents! Today, haircuts start at around $6. At the mid section of Waverly Place, you’ll see the Tin How Temple, America’s oldest Chinese temple, built in 1852.
Past the Clay Street, you’ll see the Chinese Historical Society Museum founded in 1932 which showcases historic artifacts and photographs that tell the stories of Chinese migrating in the American continent.
Near Stockton Street is the heart of Chinatown’s commerce. Visit the busy shops to see barrels filled with ginseng, shelves packed with herbal medicine, and windows full of beautifully roasted ducks.
The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company sitting at the Ross Alley is famous for its freshly baked wafer. You’ll be amused by women in the shop making fortune cookies at an amazing speed and expertise.
You can end your guided private tour at the Portsmouth Square. At this very place, Captain John Montgomery of the USS Portsmouth raised the flag of the USA for the first time in San Francisco in the year 1846. This is a very special and historic spot which now serves as a beautiful rendezvous for family and friends of all ages.
Have a taste of Chinatown’s knotty food and drinks, unravel its interesting history, and experience its rich culture with the help of our expert tour guides here at Private Tours San Francisco!
Things to do in SF!