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.
The Cable Car Museum is a free museum in the Nob Hill neighborhood Located at 1201 Mason Street, the San Francisco Cable Car Museum is the perfect place to learn how San Francisco's favorite means of transportation works. The museum has been operating since 1974, contains historical and explanatory exhibits on the San Francisco cable car system, which can itself be regarded as a working museum. The museum's main exhibition explains the history and operation of the Cable Car. On learning how it functions you will understand the great expense that is involved in maintaining the system alive.
In the ground floor you will see the enormous machinery on which the cables that make the trolleys circulate throughout San Francisco rotate.
In the Cable Car Museum you will also be able to see some old trolley cars and some photographs of its evolution over the years as well as learning how it was affected by the great earthquake which destroyed a large part of the system.
The museum contains several examples of old cable cars, together with smaller exhibits and a shop. The cable cars displayed include:
Sutter Street Railway - grip car 46 and trailer 54 dating from the 1870s
Clay Street Hill Railroad - grip car 8, the only surviving car from the first cable car company
Exterior of the Ferries and Cliff House Railway Co. Building Constructed in 1887. Houses both the cable car winding station, engines, and museum. The smoke stack in the rear was damaged in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, restored then soon decommissioned when steam power was replaced with electrical power at the winding station.
The museum is part of the complex that also houses the cable car power house, which drives the cables, and the car depot ("barn"). The car depot is not accessible, but two overlook galleries allow the visitor to view the power house, and to descend below the junction of Washington and Mason streets in order to view the large cavern where the haulage cables are routed via large sheaves out to the street.
The cable car is part of the charm of San Francisco; everyone wants to travel in it and to photograph it climbing the steep hills. The best way to get to know it is in its own museum and, better yet, its free admission.
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.
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!
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!