SF CITY GUIDE WITH KIDS
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Science Museum & food trucks
- Union Square Shopping
- Crissy Field/ Presidio
- Golden Gate Park/ Japanese Tea Gardens
- Palace of Fine Arts
- Fisherman’s Wharf
- Ghirardelli Square
- Sunset Cruise
We love spending long weekends in San Francisco. From Medford, it’s about a 6 hour straight shot to the Bay. You can’t beat the energy and beauty of this city.
Growing up about 45 minutes East of the city, you’d think I’d know it like the back of my hand, but rarely did we drive into SF! It wasn’t until I got married that we really started to venture into the city on vacations from AZ to CA.
and then, once we started having kids, the city became even more fun. Exploring different areas and seeing the excitement of China Town and the Sea Lions at Fisherman’s Wharf through the eyes of our kids make everything seem new all over again.
I’m going to start off by going over our most recent trip. We attempted San Francisco with NO STROLLER. ok, so we’ve done the city with a double stroller, umbrella stroller, single stroller, and it’s fine and doable. But this time around, we really wanted the ease of hopping on and off cable cars, running into restaurants and stores without having to constantly be folding up and storing our stroller.
with this idea in mind, there was no other way to see San Francisco than to do a Double Decker Red bus tour! We went with Big Bus Tours, and guess what, all three of our kids were FREE!
The very first stop on our tour was to the Science Museum, and while we have had a million people tell us that the science museum is absolutely amazing and well worth the money, we just didn’t have time for it. So another place on our SF bucketlist for the future 🙂
we did spend time walking around the beautiful grounds, and eating at the most delicious fish and chips food truck
The next stop on the tour was crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and heading into Sausalito. Can you believe this was only the second time in my life crossing the Golden Gate Bridge?
One of our favorite places is Crissy Field in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. The summer before, we had spent an entire afternoon exploring the Presidio and eating right under the bridge.
The Presidio was one of the coolest buildings we have explored in SF.
It takes you right up underneath the bridge!
Did i mention how windy it was under there??
After exploring the Golden Gate Bridge, the Big Bus Tour takes you right to the Palace of Fine Arts. WOW! I can not even get over how amazing this place is. Especially when the swans are out! My kids had a blast exploring this area.
Lombard Street, Union Square are next on the bus tour, but we love chinatown… so we skipped and went straight to the fortune cookie factory
(picture from a previous trip)
Chinatown needs a post all on its own, and this summer we are heading back for more pictures! The fortune cookie factory use to be soooo hard to find, but now thanks to google maps – it’s a piece of cake. I literally had tiny directions on a slip of paper for YEARS in my wallet on how to find the factory!
we can never leave SF without a trip to Ghirardelli Square for some ice cream sundaes.
and of course the walk along the water towards Fisherman’s Wharf. Boudin is always fun to stop and watch the bakers rolling dough through the window.
at Pier 39 they have the Aquarium of the Bay. We loved it, but if you’re planning on going to Monterey on your Bay Area vacation, I’d save for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The absolute best!!
and of course, the carousel and the sea lions are my kid’s favorite at Pier 39. If you manage your time right, there are usually family-friendly shows going on down the wharf right behind the carousel.
Another one of our favorite things to do in the city is go to Golden Gate Park. We had actually never been to Golden Gate Park until we had kids, and we still have so much more of it to explore. But we obviously found ourselves at the Kid’s Playground for a couple hours!
Before we had kids, Tanner and I headed out one evening on a Sunset Cruise through the bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was amazing! I would definitely recommend doing something like this even with kids. It was really really cold out on the deck of the boat during sunset (in the middle of August), but it really was beautiful and less expensive than I thought it would be! The boat took us all around Alcatraz and Sausalito as the sun was setting. Absolutely breathtaking to see the city from the water.
I just threw all these photos together to hopefully share some of our favorite places in SF over the years. We still have tons more to discover and enjoy, but that’s what makes San Francisco so much fun to go back to time and time again. We keep finding new things to do, and as the kids get older, new experiences and memories will be found! We’ve been dying to bike the golden gate bridge and take them to alcatraz!
Till next time SF!!