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Looking for a family getaway, but tired of going to the beach or an amusement park? Check out San Francisco! Find plenty to do for every member of the family. See these 5 awesome attractions in San Francisco with kids.
1. Ride the famous San Francisco cable car
Yes, it’s very touristy, but you have to do it! Be sure to take lots of pictures. I didn’t let Little K hang off the open side, however, that would make a great photo.
Cable car lines can be extremely long. In addition, they are very slow to board. If you are near Ghiradelli Square, don’t take the Powell-Hyde line right at the square. Instead, walk six blocks and use the Powell-Mason line. It will undoubtedly be shorter.
Cost per ride:
- -Kids under 5 are free
- -Adults and kids over 5 – $7
2. Walk, ride or bike the Golden Gate bridge
You haven’t ‘done’ San Francisco until you experience the Golden Gate. Fog, high winds and a slight mist in the air greet you as you make your way across the bridge. The temperature drops too – make sure you are prepared.
We sat at the top of a Hop-on, Hop-off bus from Union Square and rode The Golden Gate both ways. My daughter thought it was like a roller-coaster because it was so bumpy.
Purchase activities in advance to bundle them. We used a 3-attraction San Francisco Explorer pass from and saved approximately 40% over gate prices. With this pass, you have 30 days from the date of your first attraction to use the remaining ones.
3. Take a bay cruise to Alcatraz or Bridge to Bridge
It doesn’t matter which cruise, just take one. See San Francisco from the water and enjoy the historical and fun commentary.
Fog starts to dissipate around noon, so I suggest booking your cruise for early afternoon. Ours was in the morning and we didn’t get great pictures of the Golden Gate because it was enshrouded with fog.
The Bridge to Bridge cruise takes you to The Golden Gate, then passes by Alcatraz on the way to the Oakland Bay bridge. Sit either outside or inside and enjoy some refreshments or snacks from the bar.
Take in the views of the city, the bridges and the gorgeous bay as your visiting San Francisco with kids.
4. Fisherman’s Wharf
Enjoy seafood? Walk through the Seafood Stands and buy individual servings of clam chowder in a bread bowl, oysters or shrimp.
Head to Pier 39 for family fun. Whether that’s enjoying the carousel, grabbing a bite to eat, shopping for San Francisco souvenirs or watching the sea lions, this is a definite must-do.
Find something for everyone here.
5. Ghiradelli Square
If you love chocolate or ice-cream (or both), make it a point to stop here. Lines form out the door on most days, but don’t give up – they go fast as most people look at the menu before ordering and know what they want.
Don’t want to wait? At least walk inside the chocolate shop for a free sample of one of their mouth-watering chocolate squares.
Other cute shops and restaurants line the square as well. You are sure to find something the whole family will agree on.
Prefer See’s candies? Find it on the north side of Beach Street near the Powell-Hyde cable car line.
While San Francisco has many fun museums such as The Walt Disney Family Museum and The Cable Car Museum, this list presents you with unique ideas specific to only this city. Hope you can take in these must-see attractions next time you visit San Francisco with kids.
I highly suggest buying a Go San Francisco card. Choose either unlimited attractions or only a certain number. It will definitely save you money versus paying at-the-gate prices. We do this in almost every major city we visit.
What’s your favorite place to see or thing to do in San Francisco with kids? Let me know in the comments!
Read these for other family travel destinations:
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