- Plan a Perfect Week
- San Francisco Tours
- Wine Country Tours
- Silicon Vly/San Jose
- Tours with more than 6
We can pick you up anywhere within 90 minutes’ drive of San Francisco—at your home, hotel, ship's terminal, or the airport!
“Must See” Places in San Francisco (Top Ten)
Coming to San Francisco for a few days? For your in-Joy-meant...enjoyment:
1. The Golden Gate Bridge
Completed during the 1930s (in just over four years). Drive or be driven across, walk across, bike across...or just stand in one of the many places where you can get a view of the entire span. Its engineering is amazing, its beauty spellbinding. (We facilitate whichever approach you prefer to make.)
2. Ride on a Cable Car
Since 1873 cable cars have been an instantly identifiable image of San Francisco. At their peak in the late 1800s six hundred cable cars ran on over 110 miles of track throughout the city. In 1964, San Francisco citizens voted to protect the remaining 4.4 miles of track...the only National Historic Landmarks that move. Try to sit (or stand) in the open-air part of the car where you really can feel part of the local scene and enjoy the vistas.
Established in the 1850s, San Francisco's Chinatown is dense with people and American history. Tens of thousands live there...millions of tourists visit. But you'll need a human guide to discover some of its hidden treasures: Taoist temples, live animal markets, best place to buy a didgeridoo or a dragon kite. (We'll tell you who does the best walking tours both free and for a fee, and the best tasting tours.)
4. Muir Woods
Our coastal redwoods are among the oldest living things on our planet, with lifespans that can exceed 2000 years; at up to 36 stories, they are the tallest of trees. They're also inexpressibly beautiful. And peaceful. Less than an hour's drive from downtown San Francisco, the 560-acre Muir Woods National Monument will not disappoint. (Let us take you there so you can avoid parking a mile away...or plan to take the bus from Sausalito on weekends during high season.)
5. Golden Gate Park
Larger than NYC's Central Park and probably the favorite weekend hang-out for locals, Golden Gate Park offers something for everyone: a great new art museum, the peaceful Japanese Tea Garden with its half-moon bridge, the "wedding-cake" Conservatory of Flowers, a Dutch windmill, an historic carousel, an arboretum, real buffalo (that don't roam much), skating, boating, bicycling, lawn bowling, lakes, gardens, and Renzo Piano's remarkable California Academy of Sciences, an avant-garde example of "green" architecture.
Make space in your itinerary for several hours there (especially with kids of all ages), then walk over to—
6. The Haight
Which is what San Franciscans call it—best known nationally in the Sixties as the "Haight-Ashbury." Don't miss its blocks and blocks of colorful Victorian homes, vintage clothing stores, super music and book stores, and lively street scene. It's one of the best places to get a tattoo, a lava lamp, a freshly made crepe or strong cup of coffee.
7. The Mission District
Two things make the Mission stand out from all other San Francisco neighborhoods—its hundred striking, colorful murals, its 50+ Zagat-rated restaurants, its large Spanish-speaking population...and the fact that most tourists never get there. It's San Francisco's artists' colony and possibly the best place to go to experience the city's youthful vitality and cutting-edge creativity. Just be street-smart after dark.
8. The Wine Country
When most people say "Wine Country" they mean Napa Valley. But Sonoma Valley is next door, just as historic and beautiful, but less crowded; the Russian River region is the less well-known destination with serene landscapes and great wines too. Not to mention the wineries outside Carmel and Mendocino...there are more than 900 wineries within 2-hours' drive of downtown San Francisco.
You go to the Wine Country to taste world-class wines (or cheeses or olive oils or hand-made chocolates), to learn about a global industry, eat at a famou restaurant or deli, cycle the backroads, bathe in mud, stroll through sculpture gardens--all while enjoying sublime scenery.
Why fly to Europe when you can save time and money by visiting America's Tuscany, America's Provence—casual elegance against a background of forested mountains?
9. Sausalito & Tiburon
You've heard of it, the beautiful 'Mediterranean' hillside town of Sausalito, famous for its quaint shopping district and excellent restaurants along San Francisco Bay. Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, this small town of 7000 residents boasts spectacular waterfront views of the City skyline and its picturesque neighbors. As quaint, and away from the crowds (except for during our 'high season'), Tiburon features some of the most stunning vistas of San Francisco and the Bay. Both towns can be reached by commuter ferry from San Francisco.
10. Alcatraz...from Fisherman's Wharf
Why spend your vacation in prison? Because you'll be fascinated by Alcatraz' 165-year history, the 'arrested development' of the prison buildings themselves, and the panoramic vistas from the Island and on the ferry ride out and back. Realistically, you'll need to devote 3 hours or more from the time you line up to board the ferry to when you get back to Pier 33 on the waterfront.
Many people will tell you must see Fisherman's Wharf. Locals will tell you to avoid it, because on a sunny day in our high season, the crowds can be overwhelming, bargains at the hundred of souvenir shops few and far between. But there's also the uproariously funny colony of sea lions at Pier 39, getting to see sourdough bread made by the company that invented it, the Musee Mechanique of antique toy-like contraptions, the fresh-crab stands, great maritime museums, a few really good restaurants and beautiful views of the Bay and City.
Once you're "done," take an historic trolley along the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building, the foodie mecca under the clock tower at the foot of Market Street.
Call: 510-619-3619Reserve Your Tour