Golden Gate National Recreation Area
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Our most recommended Golden Gate National Recreation Area Nature & Adventure

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 the 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 Guided Bus Tour

2. 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 a designated drop-off point within San Francisco.

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

3. 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 and Sausalito Half-Day Trip

4. 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 & 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: Small-Group Sonoma Wine Tour with Tastings

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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.

From San Francisco: Redwoods and Wine Tasting

9. From San Francisco: Redwoods and Wine Tasting

Get picked up from San Francisco and join a small group tour as you cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Begins your tour Armstrong Woods, an old-growth Redwood forest that contains some of the tallest trees on the planet. Continue on to Sonoma County's Russian River Valley where you will visit an intimate boutique winery and a grand winery with enchanting vineyards. Have a picnic lunch in the vineyards at one on the wineries.

San Francisco: Greater Bay Area Seaplane Tour

10. San Francisco: Greater Bay Area Seaplane Tour

This 45 minute flight includes all the sights described in the Golden Gate Tour flight, but brings you the additional delights of the Bay Area’s dramatic coastline. This flight will begin with a take off from the sea base in the lovely bayside village of Sausalito just across the Golden Gate Bridge. You will then fly right over the Golden Gate National Reserve and out along the coast beyond the Golden Gate. This coastline has been sculpted by fantastic geologic forces over hundreds of millions of years, making the San Francisco Bay Area one of the most active seismic zones in the world. Fly out to the wide, sandy beaches of Stinson Beach, then over the majestic and ancient redwoods of Muir Woods and finally back over the legendary Golden Gate Bridge itself. Then, continue on above Crissy Field, downtown San Francisco, AT&T Park - home of the Major League Baseball World Champion the San Francisco Giants and over the infamous island prison of Alcatraz. Finally, your flight will be completed with a pass by the historic Angel Island - the immigrant gateway to the west and a smooth landing back in Sausalito’s Richardson Bay. At checkout, you may choose to meet your tour at the Seaplane Base in Mill Valley or you may choose to book a roundtrip shuttle service from Fisherman's Wharf.

Frequently asked questions about Golden Gate National Recreation Area Nature & Adventure

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What people are saying about Golden Gate National Recreation Area

We enjoyed the tastings. Our guide, Mark, was superb in his knowledge of the wine country and history of San Francisco. We also treasured the visits to Sonoma and Sausolito.

Was a great attraction for a 1st timer to the city. Gives you a good veiw of the city and alcatraz from a different point of view.

Easy ticket on line and boarding . Fun safe cruise We loved spacious seating and view . I will do it again

Beauty place to visit, you'll need at least 2 hours and half to walk through the park,

Great views. Gets a little windy so bundle up and hold on to your hat!