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.
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!
Cable cars in San Francisco are a unique historic symbol and offer exciting way to travel around and up and down the steep hills of the city. Getting on one of these fancy, colorful cable cars may be the most unique and fun ride you’ll have as you visit the city in a private tour in San Francisco, especially if it’s your first time.
The cable cars operate from 6:00 am to past midnight; and you can expect them to run every 10 minutes. The single-fare rate for riding these cable cars is $7.00. Discounted fares are available for senior citizens but only during non-peak riding times. If you would like to explore San Francisco via these fascinating rides, it’s best to get a day pass or ticket at $17.00. This is an excellent option if you anticipate transfers from one cable car to another or to a mini bus, since these rides are all one way.
You can buy a one-way ticket or an all-day pass directly from the person operating the cable car. Be sure to bring smaller bills because the operator can only give change for $20 and below. You also have the option to get cable car passports at the ticket booths that can be found at San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, Powell or Market cable car turnaround, or at the Hyde & Beach cable car turnaround.
These cable cars can take you to a number of popular tourist destinations in San Francisco: Chinatown, Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, and the Ghirardelli Square.
But how can you get the most out of your cable car ride and how can you best enjoy every moment of this one-of-a-kind experience? Well, we have some great tips for you!
Aim to be seated on the side that faces the bay, so you can get the best views as well as the most stunning photographs! This position is the right hand side for vehicles coming from downtown and the left hand side for those coming from the Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 area.
It’s best to bring your jacket or sweatshirt with you even on a sunny day, as it can get cold and/or windy on cable cars when they move up and down the hills. And even if you’re riding cable cars to experience the thrill and fun that comes with it, keep in mind that safety still comes first always, especially when you’re riding with children.
If you’re feeling brave, you can choose to ride on the outside, standing on the running board while holding tight on a pole outside the cable car. It’s a fun, exciting feeling, but it can be hazardous especially if you get too excited. It pays to be careful and watchful at all times while enjoying the whole experience. This iconic vehicle is also a classic, romantic site for a prenup or wedding photo shot! Why not?!
Some people think that cable cars are a cheesy tourist attraction, but for those who appreciate beauty in all things even the small ones, this experience is more than just going from one point to another. It’s fun, thrilling, fascinating, and romantic in many ways.
Experience the iconic cable cars of San Francisco with the help of our expert tour guides from Private Tours San Francisco.
The Lombard Street is a one-of-a-kind road and a must-see site in San Francisco. This steep, vertically endowed street with varying gradient will definitely make your heart beat fast in a healthy, exciting way, whether you are driving or walking with an expert tour guide.
It is dubbed the “crookedest” road and one of the most famous in America. This hilly street famous for its eight very sharp curves that go down a one-way road creates a spectacular zig-zag that past through the stunning Victorian mansions, which are some of the most luxurious residences in the USA.
When the flowers found in the small part of this road are in full bloom in Spring and Summer, you will be stunned by the gorgeous assortment of bright, lively colors! The natural grade of the hill where the Lombard Street was built in early 1900s was an incredible 27 percent. This was too steep and dangerous for vehicles and even to pedestrians, bikes, as well as wheelchairs. Taken into consideration these hazards, the Lombard Street was remodelled and transformed to be the most crooked road in the world!
Ironically, the intricate curves made this 600-feet long street safer for people and one of the most famous places in the world! Drivers make their way down at the speed of five miles per hour! Driving at such ridiculously slow speed is actually enjoyable considering the beautiful flora, gorgeous mansions, and the spic-n-span sights you’ll see!
But what exactly can you do at the Lombard Street? First, you can take lots of scenic photographs to your heart’s content. When you’re standing at the bottom of the twisted part of the street looking up at the top, you’ll behold a breathtaking view of the snaky section of the street. On both sides, you’ll see stunning houses of famous residents which include Rowena Meeks Abdy an impressionist painter and the cast of The Real World San Francisco. When you’re on top of the hill, you’ll get a picturesque view of the city and a part of the beautiful Bay as you look down.
You’ll also enjoy the unique scenic drive down this hilly, curvy street. You can lean out your window and capture the experience on your video camera. Keep in mind though that this part of the road gets jam packed, especially during peak times. So expect to wait in line to take your turn in a vehicle.
The Lombard Street is also a great place to get some exercise. You can walk up or down the stairs situated on either side of this road. People often stop to catch their breath, but this scenic walk will probably be one of the best exercise you’ll get!
If you would like to explore the uniqueness, excitement, and the charm of this topsy curvy street contact Private Tours San Francisco to get the most enjoyable private tour in San Francisco.
Things to do in SF!