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I never thought we would say the words city and love in the same sentence.
After all, we typically hate cities. We look at them as overpopulated, overpriced and an extremely stressful to visit. San Francisco, however, may be all of the above, but, there is something charming about the city that draws us in like a bug in a light.
Maybe it’s the fact that you can see bison only a few steps away, or maybe it’s the Adrenalin rush you get from dodging other drivers while on some of the steepest roads, or it could even be the fact that it offers some of the most delicious food that makes it all worthwhile. I don’t know, but, what I do know is that San Francisco is full of things to do and not just things that will break the bank. Free stuff too!
“No Great City As Ever Been Known For It’s Abundant Supply Of Parking”
Who doesn’t love Tide pooling? I know our family does! During our visit to the area, we explored the tide pools at the James Fitzgerald Reserve. The kids enjoyed walking the shoreline in search of the different marine life. They both hoped to find a Sea Star, but, ended up finding a ton of hermit crabs, some really BIG seaweed and little coves to hide.
The James Fitzgerald Reserve is a great place to tide pool, but you have to remember it’s a reserve, so they don’t allow you to touch any living creatures or flip rocks. If this is something you would like to do, I would suggest going to China Beach or Crab Cove.
Also, remember to go during low tide. Here’s a link to a chart of the tide times in the San Francisco area. https://www.tide-forecast.com/locations/San-Francisco-California/tides/latest
-Trolley Ride ($7.00)
The historic symbol of San Francisco! The Trolley. The one thing that everyone tells you, you need to experience while visiting San Francisco or your trip won’t feel complete.
If you’re interested in the history of the trolley be sure to check out the cable car museum.
We have been to too many forts to count in the United States and not one of them impressed us like Fort Point. It is a very detail fort and gives you a good idea of what it was like defending the San Francisco Bay. Plus, If you’re looking to get a great photo of the Golden Gate bridge without a million other people, this is a great spot.
Oh, and if you have little ones be sure to do pick up a Jr. Ranger book to earn a badge.
Price: Adult $38.35, Senior $36.10, Kids $23.50
This isn’t your typical prison visit! Do you have a typical prison visit? I don’t know, my point is that this prison wasn’t built for just anyone, it was built as both the military and federal prison. It’s also not accessible by foot. You have to take a ferry out to the Island where it’s located. Sounds fun! Right.
Drive Across The Golden Gate Bridge ($6)
This is a must do while visiting San Francisco! If you’re entering on the south end and exiting of the north, it’s like you drove into a whole new world. There are rolling green hills everywhere.
There is only a fee going one way and you don’t have to worry about that bill until it arrives in the mail (address based on your license plate). So there is no need to worry about cash or lines. Just keep on driving.
This is another great spot to take photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge without a terrible amount of people surrounding you. The beach also offers several different trails to walk along.
These Victorian and Edwardian houses are quite popular for there roles in Television shows like Full house. It’s neat to get the chance to see something from a Television series you watched growing up, but, remember people now live in these homes and my guess is that they don’t want you peeking through the windows.
Aquarium Of The Bay
Have a little one or a zoo membership? This aquarium might be worth a stop with more than 20,000 local marine animals.
Whether you have a car or not seeing Lombard street is an experience you don’t want to miss! Take a look at the photo.
The Walt Disney Family Museum
The Walt Disney Family Museum is an American museum that features the life and legacy of Walt Disney. The museum is located in The Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco
Dolores Park is the park that everyone goes to chill and relax outside of the city. The park consists of a big open field, soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, a kids playground and an off-leash dog area
Looking for a 360-degree view of the bay area? Drive to the top of twins peak where you can get spectacular views of the city below along with views of the Alcatraz prison and Golden Gate Bridge.
Be sure to bring a jacket and be prepared for some wind.
While Fishermans Wharf may not be a good representation of San Francisco, it is a great part of the city for families. There’s a ton of different things to do including old ship tours, rides, games, museums, the list goes on forever, so here’s a link to the website to get more information.
Golden Gate Park
This park is not a park you’re going to visit in an hour. There are loads of things to do during your visit. Our family strolled along in the Japanese Teas Gardens, relaxed by stow lake, played at an awesome park, road on the carousel and seen bison at the Bison Padlock.
There’s also both a science and art museum, conservatory of flowers, botanical gardens, national aids memorial grove, the beach chalet, windmills, several lakes, meadows, waterfalls, tennis courts, disk golf, bike rentals, soccer, and archery fields and there are also events that happen in the park frequently.
And to think this park used to be nothing but sand dunes.
If you are visiting Fisher mans Wharf, I’m sure you’ll hear the very vocal sea lions nearby at pier 39. This is where I learned the difference between a Sea lion and a Seal. Also, within steps is a small museum where you can watch a quick video on Sea lions, see the skeleton of a Sea lion and feel the fur of different kinds.
I think every big city has an area called China town, but, It’s still worth checking out this particular one if you’re interested in trying different foods, you can’t find anywhere else.
Muir Woods National Monument
A wonderful place to go and hike along the towering redwood trees just outside of the big city.
If you do visit, don’t make the same mistake we did and reserve your parking online before arriving. You cannot pay once you arrive and there won’t be any parking spots if you didn’t reserve one.
A cool place to relax and eat while watching the ferries both come in and leave the harbor. The best part is that on Saturdays and Sundays you can get $3 parking at the Golden Gate parking garage by getting your slip verified at the Ferry Building.
There is also a huge farmers market every Saturday.
Lands In Lookout
Yet, another beautiful piece of nature in San Francisco. Lands in Lookout is exactly what it sounds like a great piece of land to explore while looking out of the gorgeous ocean.
Do you know of anything fun to do in San Francisco? If so we would love to hear from you in the comments below.