Golden Gate National Recreation Area

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Tours & Tickets


Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

1. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Cruise around the Golden Gate Bay on a boat tour. Enjoy informative commentary, see sights like Alcatraz Island, and purchase food and drink from the onboard bar. Launched in 1939 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition, this 1-hour cruise has been a highlight of any visit to San Francisco for over 75 years. With 8-14 departures daily from Fisherman's Wharf, you will sail along San Francisco's breathtaking waterfront, under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and close to the notorious Alcatraz Island. Discover San Francisco's fascinating history, brought to life through audio commentary broadcast in 16 languages via personal headphones. Look out for wildlife along the way, including pelicans, sea lions, and even dolphins and whales. Sail past the lively neighborhood of North Beach, the famous swimming clubs of Aquatic Park, the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, and San Francisco Maritime National Park, before heading west towards Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy views of Crissy Field and the lush hillsides of the Presidio, before cruising under Golden Gate Bridge. Steam back into the Bay, traveling past the wildlife reserves of the Marin Headlands, and the legendary town of Sausalito, once home to the 1960s’ flower generation. With Angel Island State Park to your left, cruise around infamous Alcatraz. After a full hour of exciting sights, the barking sea lions at Pier 39 welcome you back to Pier 43 1/2. A full bar with drinks, snacks and merchandise, including logo wear, is available at reasonable prices on board the iconic red and blue sea vessels.

From San Francisco: Muir Woods and Sausalito Half-Day Trip

2. From San Francisco: Muir Woods and Sausalito Half-Day Trip

Explore the ancient groves of coastal redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument alongside an expert guide on a half-day tour. Then discover the charming streets of Downtown Sausalito on a relaxed half-day tour. After a pick-up from a central San Francisco hotel, head north over the bridge and into the Marin Headlands. If the fog is clear, you might get a chance to stop and take some pictures of the bridge up close. When you arrive in Muir Woods, take an hour and a half to roam through this ‘living museum’ where you can glimpse the towering trees that used to dominate the west coast from Santa Barbara to Washington. Following your exploration of Muir Woods, hop back in the coach for a quick ride over to Sausalito. Enjoy a 15-20 minute, narrated in-coach tour through the beautiful seaside Mediterranean-style town, and then some free time to walk around. After about 45 minutes in Sausalito, hop back in the coach for a trip back across the Golden Gate Bridge, or opt for a ferry ride back to San Francisco. You'll be dropped back off at your pick-up point. This half-day tour is a great way to see all the highlights of the northern San Francisco Bay in a limited amount of time. 

From San Francisco: Muir Woods Guided Bus Tour

3. From San Francisco: Muir Woods Guided Bus Tour

Hop on board a bus tour of Muir Woods! Experience the awe and wonder of one of California’s oldest redwood groves as you stroll through dedicated paths of 1000-year-old redwood trees. Your tour will begin with a 45-minute, fully-narrated scenic drive that heads across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and into coastal mountains on the Marin Headlands. Arrive at Muir Woods National Forest where you will be provided park entry tickets and have 1.5 hours to explore the park at your own pace - maps detailing walking trails will be available at the Muir Woods Visitor Center. After exploring the park, enjoy a scenic drive to the coastal town of Sausalito. This beautiful seaside Mediterranean-style town offers a wide selection of distinctive boutiques, restaurants, parks, cafés, and unique art galleries. Guests may choose to depart from Sausalito and return on their own via ferry or remain on the bus and return to designated drop off points within San Francisco. 

From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

4. From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

Discover the wine-making traditions of Napa and Sonoma on a full-day scenic tour from San Francisco. Enjoy panoramic views along the coast and stop at 3 wineries for tasting. Traveling in small groups, drive to the Golden Gate Bridge - stopping for a photo opportunity - and continue to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, home to acclaimed Californian wines and artisanal cheeses. Following magnificent views of San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands, journey through the rolling hills of Napa and Sonoma. Stop at 3 different wineries to taste several different types of wine, and learn about the area and its wine production history. During the day, you will also make a lunch stop at the gourmet Oxbow Public Market in Napa, where plenty of delicious food options await, along with the chance to try more wines for the true afficionado.

From San Francisco: Muir Woods & Sausalito Group Tour

5. From San Francisco: Muir Woods & Sausalito Group Tour

Starting from San Francisco, this guided tour takes you to Muir Woods National Monument and Sausalito. Discover the mystery of 300-feet tall redwood and sequoia trees at Muir Woods before stopping in Sausalito to sightsee, shop, and more. After pickup, start your tour with a scenic and informative drive to the Golden Gate Bridge through several of the best San Francisco neighborhoods as well as the presidio, a former military area of great beauty. Crossing the GG Bridge, stop at the northern vista point for stunning views of the bay and the bridge. Scenic views continue as the tour passes above the town of Sausalito and through portions of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Mount Tamalpais State Park, which merge with Muir Woods. Arriving in Muir Woods National Monument, your guide will inform you of the best way to experience the grove and where the oldest trees are located. An approximately 1 hour and 15 minute stay gives you time to see much of the grove and to explore the gift shop, café, and visitor center. Included in the tour is a stop in Sausalito to enjoy the art galleries, shops, cafes, restaurants, and yacht marinas. Views from Sausalito include the Bay Bridge, parts of the east bay, and San Francisco. After about an hour in Sausalito, you’ll get driven back to your hotel. Alternatively, if you want more time in Sausalito, a ferry boat, taxi, Lyft, or Uber service back to San Francisco can be arranged at your own expense.

San Francisco: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Golden Gate Bay Cruise

6. San Francisco: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Make your way around San Francisco with a 1-day hop-on hop-off bus pass. Explore 17 points of interest or enjoy a 360 panoramic view of the city for two hours. Combine your pass with a 1-hour Golden Gate Bay cruise to sail around the wonderful areas of San Francisco. Golden Gate Bay Cruise Arrive at Fisherman's Wharf and look out for the red and white colors of the "Red & White Fleet" to find your boat. Sail past the lively neighborhood of North Beach and take advantage of the bar onboard with drinks, snacks, and merchandise. Admire the famous swimming clubs of the Aquatic Park and the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier. Enjoy idyllic views of Crissy Field and the Presidio of San Francisco before the stunning image of the Golden Gate Bridge comes into view. Cruise straight under the bridge as the sun shines and waves lap against the boat. Travel past the wildlife reserves of the Marin Headlands to reach the shores of Sausalito, once home to the Flower Children. With Angel Island State Park to your left, finish your cruise outside the infamous Alcatraz prison. Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Exchange your voucher at any of the bus stops and get ready to discover the city of San Francisco. Discover local parks and architecture as you listen to the recorded commentary, available in 10 languages. The route of the hop-on hop-off bus includes 17 stops at iconic landmarks from Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Golden Gate Bridge, and Little Italy, this flexible approach to sightseeing allows you to enjoy your day at your own pace.

San Francisco: 24-Hour Bike Rental

7. San Francisco: 24-Hour Bike Rental

Decide where you want to ride and then head out from Fisherman’s Wharf to discover the sights of San Francisco. You’ll be outfitted with a current-model bike, helmet, front handlebar bag and rear gear rack, map, and route instructions. Just tell the local staff how many miles you wish to ride, and they’ll show you a great route that includes all the best sightseeing stops the Bay Area has to offer. Your tour will take you on bike paths and over mostly flat terrain. You’ll receive a guide that provides recommendations on favorite local rides. You can keep the rental bike for 24 hours.

San Francisco: Small-Group Sonoma Wine Tour with Tastings

8. San Francisco: Small-Group Sonoma Wine Tour with Tastings

Discover Sonoma Valley and some of its best wines on this small-group, full-day tour. Learn about the history and traditions of winemaking in the region from your expert guide and taste wines from 3 wineries. Your adventure begins with a pick-up from your hotel/accommodation in downtown San Francisco. Get to know your travel companions for the day as you head out of town and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Learn about the region from your friendly and knowledgeable guide and sample many of the delicious wines that have made Northern California a world-renowned wine-producing region. Travel with a small group (limited to 13 people) to three of Sonoma's finest boutique wineries and spend approximately one hour at each winery. This journey also includes a stop in scenic Sausalito, a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge, and a lunch stop (lunch not included) in the historic town of Sonoma where you can select from one of the many fantastic restaurants on the square. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a walk into the past at Mission San Francisco Solano. After the final winery stop of the day, relax as your guide drives you back to your accommodation in San Francisco.

San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

9. San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

Take a small-group day trip by bus around San Francisco. See the Golden Gate Bridge, spend time at the Muir Woods National Monument, and enjoy lunch in picturesque Sausalito. Meet outside Fisherman’s Wharf at your chosen tour time. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 6 hours you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity and geography of the area. You will exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration, enjoying lunch in Sausalito and then spending over an hour in the beautiful Muir Woods National Monument. At the end of your amazing adventure, you’ll be dropped off at the same location where you boarded the bus.  Here are the places you will explore (photo stops noted by *): • Fisherman's Wharf - One of San Francisco's most popular destinations. From beautiful old shipyards to Boudin's Bakery and the smell of fresh clam chowder, Fisherman's Wharf has it all • Chinatown - Boasting the largest Chinatown in the United States, this 24-block mecca is bustling with energy, amazing food, and unique shops that give this area its charm • North Beach - Voted as one of the USA's ten great neighborhoods, North Beach is best known as the home of Little Italy. From delicious restaurants to authentic sidewalk cafes and bakeries, you will feel the charm of San Francisco as soon as you arrive • Pacific Heights* - Offering one of the most scenic outlooks in all of Northern California, Pacific Heights is home to Billionaire's Row, featuring the estates of politicians, tech titans and other San Francisco celebrities  • Presidio - Former military base, now a beautiful park that includes Crissy Field, Fort Point, Lucasfilm's headquarters and the Walt Disney Museum • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared "one of the 10 wonders of the modern world," the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco • Muir Woods* - Muir Woods National Monument is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful trees in the world. Many consider this stop to be the highlight of their trip. The National Monument entry fee is an additional expense to the paid on the day. • Fort Point* - Located just beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point gives you a front-row seat to the Bay and is a great photo stop. This former military fortification was used during WWII • Sausalito* - Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge, this artistic enclave has the setting and beauty of a European Mediterranean town. Enjoy your lunch on the San Francisco Bay • Lombard Street - All tour buses and vans are prohibited from going near Lombard Street, but you can be dropped close by at the end of the tour.

San Francisco: Muir Woods Trip and Golden Gate Bridge Cruise

10. San Francisco: Muir Woods Trip and Golden Gate Bridge Cruise

Journey to the majestic Muir Woods National Monument on a half-day tour from San Francisco. After meeting in San Francisco, drive north of the city to this stunning canyon. Enjoy the peace and solitude as you stroll among 1000-year-old trees, towering 260 feet tall. Experience awe and wonder as you wander through the redwood alleyways. On your return journey to the city, enjoy a scenic drive through the quaint seaside town of Sausalito. This Mediterranean-style village lies across the bay from San Francisco, and is famous for its incredible views. Explore the local boutiques and quaint cafes.  Then enjoy a 1-hour scenic cruise on the San Francisco Bay. Enjoy the views of the city skyline and Alcatraz Island, and admire the Golden Gate Bridge from the water. Benefit from audio guide commentary in 16 languages, to learn more about the city’s colorful history and famous landmarks. Look out for seagulls, pelicans, sea lions, and even porpoises and whales.

Other Sightseeing Options in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

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What people are saying about Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,108 reviews

We had a wonderful tour. I highly recommend the early morning tour when it’s less crowded. Lana was an amazing tour guide and we very much enjoyed all of the history and fun facts she shared along the way.

Great experience- our guide Lenny had interesting information to share & kept us on time. The Muir Woods is breathtaking. I just wish we had longer at the park in order to hike some of the side trails.

A full day trip to Napa & Sonoma to off the beaten path wineries with excellent info from hosts at the tastings. Very helpful & informative guide (Jeffrey).

Had an hour to kill by myself before leaving SF. A great way to see the city, even if you're a return traveler.

Very informative and relaxing boat cruise, time it right for a low sun for fantastic pictures.