A cultural melting pot where hippies and tech workers mingle over tacos, dim sum, and artisanal coffee, San Francisco has something for every kind of traveler. With weather patterns as diverse as its neighborhoods, the City by the Bay offers international flavor in Chinatown, the Mission, and North Beach; history and culture in the Castro and downtown; and open-air adventure throughout Golden Gate Park. Top attractions include Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, however many stick around for wine tastings in Napa and Sonoma, visits to Muir Woods and Sausalito and adventures in Yosemite. Guided tours ensure travelers hit all the highlights, they typically include transportation through the city’s maze of one-way streets.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz, the former prison that once held notorious criminals Al “Scarface” Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly, is one of the most sought after (and sold-out) attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lock in high-demand tickets for your clients with a tour that includes admission to “The Rock” and a day of sightseeing via bike, bus, boat, converted cable car, or Segway. Other options combine a trip to Alcatraz with a cruise to Sausalito, or an adventure into the Marin headlands, wine country, or Muir Woods.

Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

This VIP Alcatraz experience includes a city tour by converted cable car.  As an added bonus, it is one of the first ferries of the day, so travelers can explore without the usual crowds.

Big Bus San Francisco Sightseeing and Alcatraz Combo

This combo pairs Alcatraz and other must-sees with bonus excursions for a well-rounded city visit that offers more flexibility than a traditional sightseeing tour.

Jail and Sail: Alcatraz Tour and Twilight Bay Cruise

A popular package that guarantees entry to Alcatraz and lets travelers sail on the bay by both day and night.

Read more about Alcatraz tour options here.

Muir Woods

One of the world’s last remaining coastal redwood forests, Muir Woods is top of the list for most first-time San Francisco visitors. An independent trip to the monument requires a car and advance parking reservations—or a ferry to Sausalito, a shuttle ride, and a long wait in line—so consider a tour that handles logistics. As Muir Woods is just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, many excursions tack on a city tour, Sausalito, Alcatraz, a bay cruise, or wine tasting in Napa or Sonoma.

Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods, and Sausalito Half-Day Trip 

This top-selling tour offers four quintessential San Francisco experiences: a tour of Muir Woods, a trip to Sausalito, a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, and an optional cruise on the bay.

Alcatraz Tour plus Muir Woods and Sausalito Day Trip 

Perfect for clients whose trips are on the shorter side, this tour visits Muir Woods, Alcatraz, and Sausalito in one day.

San Francisco Super Saver: Muir Woods and Wine Country with Optional Gourmet Lunch

This day trip arrives at Muir Woods in advance of the crowds before continuing to Napa and Sonoma for an afternoon of wine tasting.

Bonus: Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour

If your clients want a more comprehensive wine country experience, consider booking this immensely popular day trip that includes guided tastings and tours at three wineries.

Read more about Muir Woods tour options here.

Fisherman’s Wharf

The former stomping ground of Italian fishermen, Fisherman’s Wharf is now one of San Francisco’s most popular destinations for visitors. The bustling waterfront strip is filled with souvenir shops, seafood restaurants, and a wealth of family-friendly draws—most notably Madame Tussauds, the Aquarium by the Bay, and the colony of sea lions that sunbathe on Pier 39.

San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Pass

This pass guarantees discounted admission to top attractions across a 2-day period, this means you and your clients can skip the hassle of booking separate tickets for specific days or time slots.

San Francisco Craft Beer Walking Tour in Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach

A fun alternative to a traditional sightseeing tour, this experience explores Fisherman’s Wharf and neighboring North Beach through the city’s craft beer scene.

3-Hour San Francisco Segway Tour: Fisherman’s Wharf to the Marina

This segway tour lets your clients see more of Fisherman’s Wharf and nearby areas, including Ghirardelli Square, than they would by foot.

Read more about Fisherman’s Wharf tour options here.

Golden Gate Park

The 1,000-plus acres of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park are home to museums, picnic sites, lakes, golf, hiking and biking paths, concerts, and more. From the attraction-filled east end to the wilder west side where bison roam, the park offers plenty of ways to relax, get a culture fix, exercise, or gather with friends. Segway tours and bike rentals are the top ways to explore this expansive area.

Golden Gate Park Segway Tour 

This Segway tour covers the park’s main sights, condensing what would be a half-day stroll into 2.5 hours.

Golden Gate Park Self-Guided Bike Tour

Not all of the park’s attractions are within easy walking distance of each other, but this self-guided bike tour makes it possible to move around the park quickly.

California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes Tour 

In addition to the behind-the-scenes experience, this tour of one of the park’s top museums guarantees skip-the-line privileges, reserved planetarium seats, and express entry to Rain Forests of the World.

Read more about Golden Gate Park tour options here.

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Things to Know

Things to Bring

Clothing that is easy to layer is essential due to the ever-changing weather. Also, comfortable walking shoes with good grip come in handy—San Francisco is the second hilliest city in the world.

When to Visit

Summer typically draws the largest crowds and cooler temperatures from the fog, whereas fall offers warmer sunny weather in the city and more pleasant conditions in wine country.

Getting Around

Although it’s a fairly walkable city, San Francisco is also easily traversed by Muni’s system of buses and light-rail trains, including the iconic cable cars, and the BART rail. Uber and Lyft ride-sharing apps are also popular.

What the Locals Know

To avoid the backed-up vista point at the Golden Gate Bridge’s exit, head toward Battery Spencer for a better (and less crowded) view.

Local Customs

San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the US. Within the city, it’s common to tip between 15–20% for most service-industry businesses (restaurants, bars, cabs).

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