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San Francisco Outdoor activities

Our most recommended San Francisco Outdoor activities

San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

1. San Francisco: 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

Enjoy a 1-hour journey along San Francisco's historic waterfront and experience the thrilling history of the San Francisco Bay, with all the sound and glory it deserves. The 1-hour non-stop Bay Cruise takes you past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline. Relax in comfort, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and enjoy a full narration describing major landmarks as you sail by. See sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the iconic San Francisco skyline as you go. Whether it’s your first time to San Francisco, or your 10th visit, the Bay Cruise is something you should experience at least once in your life. You will get a complimentary souvenir map, which is available in nine languages, and if you get hungry, there’s a full-service snack bar on board with food and drink available to purchase.

San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket

2. San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket

Visit the San Francisco Zoo, home to over 2,000 animals and 250 species of plants. Your full-day admission ticket includes access to the Leanne Roberts African Region and the Valentine Family Savanna. Both zones offer multi-species landscapes with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches, storks, and more. At Hearst Grizzly Gulch, get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly bear sisters Kachina and Kiona. See how lemurs leap through the Lipman Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Marvel at Penguin Island, home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. Admire the Zoo's gorillas in the Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Feed and pet the farm animals in the Fisher Family Children's Zoo. Find the historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and 1904 miniature Little Puffer Steam Train. Learn about the fun rides, educational programs, and exciting events for children.

San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

3. San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Hop aboard a sightseeing bus for a tour of the City by the Bay and delve into the fascinating history of San Francisco and its legendary landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf. The hop-on-hop-off route stops at the main points of interest all around San Francisco.  Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views from the top of an open-air sightseeing bus. Hop off anytime and create your customized itinerary at your leisure. Explore 3 routes depending on your ticket purchase and enjoy photo stops at the Golden Gate Bridge on each route. With the Classic (24-hour) ticket, enjoy the Hop-on Hop-off service at your leisure for a full day and try the bike rental offer and ride along San Francisco's stunning waterfront. The Premium (24-Hour) and Deluxe (48-hour) tickets allow you to venture out to see the daytime and evening views of San Francisco with the panoramic Night Tour. Additionally, the Deluxe (48-hour) ticket includes the option to choose from either a bike rental, or admission to the USS Pampanito. Take a deep dive into the history of a World War WWII submarine or cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito. San Francisco City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Sit back and enjoy the ride as you cruise through the city on an open-top bus. Learn about the unique history of San Fransisco while passing through Chinatown, Union Square, Civic Center, and the Alamo Square.  Panoramic Night Tour Board the night bus to explore the dazzling city of San Francisco at nighttime. Climb the historic Nob Hill for a stunning close-up view of the magnificent Grace Cathedral. The Night Tour is included in the Premium (24-Hour) and Deluxe (48-Hour) Tickets. Then, make your way across the grand Bay Bridge for picturesque views of the city skyline from Treasure Island, the World Fair site in 1939. After heading back to the city, continue along the Embarcadero to view the glittering lights of the Port of San Francisco.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

4. 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.

San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences Entry Ticket

5. San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences Entry Ticket

Visit the world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The superb complex incorporates all 4 attractions under one living roof, with exhibits and shows that explain the universe! Don’t miss the African penguins – and 38,000 other live animals – at the California Academy of Sciences in the heart of Golden Gate Park, a must-see attraction in San Francisco. Rocket through the galaxy at the speed of light or journey deep into the oceans of the world as the Academy boldly brings life to life. Come face-to-face with snakes and piranhas, meet Claude the American alligator with albinism, and hang out with Pierre, Howard, Ocio, and the rest of the South African penguin colony. Stroll through the rainforest dome with its free-flying birds and butterflies and become immersed in the rainforests of Borneo, Madagascar, Costa Rica, and the flooded Amazon. Discover Borneo bats, chameleons, poison dart frogs, leaf cutter ants, gliders, snakes, and so much more. Catch the latest amazing digital planetarium show, taking you on a spectacular journey to the far reaches of the universe, held 7-10 times a day. Designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum housed under a living roof will inspire lifelong curiosity for the natural world as you experience the depths of a Philippine coral reef, climb into the canopy of a Costa Rican rainforest, and fly to the outer reaches of the universe.

San Francisco: Small-Group Napa Valley Tour for Wine Lovers

6. San Francisco: Small-Group Napa Valley Tour for Wine Lovers

On this all-Napa, all-highlights wine tasting tour from San Francisco, you will be delighted with the history, architecture, gardens, and memorable toasts. Your wine enthusiast guide will prepare you for experiences at the Castello di Amorosa and two other celebrated Napa Valley wineries. Once there, you will be treated to reserve wines in the California Wine Country. Your San Francisco wine tour to Napa Valley begins as you cross the Bay Bridge and take in incredible views of the city skyline. As you travel, learn about the many microclimates and soil types that combine to produce some of the world’s best winemaking grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Wine corks pop first at Castello di Amorosa, a medieval-styled Tuscan castle winery constructed using more than 200 containers of European materials and furnishings. On your way to vaulted wine cellars, check out the moat, drawbridge, towers, courtyards, and armory. Thankfully, Castello di Amorosa puts the same love and attention into its wines which are elegant, intensely flavored, and well-balanced. Next, your Napa wine tasting tour makes a fun photo stop at the Napa Valley Welcome Sign. Your lunch break is in charming Calistoga, California. Among its hot springs, elegant spas and yoga studios, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect lunch spot and perhaps sampling another locally crafted wine with your meal. After lunch, your small group heads to the intimate, yet modern winery, Twomey Cellars. Founded by the Duncan Family, owners of highly-regarded Silver Oak, the winery uses the same philosophy: use locally harvested fruit to make exceptional wines that are deliciously drinkable upon release. A laid-back Napa Valley vibe is created by their farmhouse-style tasting room that opens up onto a sun-filled courtyard and Sauvignon Blanc vineyard with views of the Calistoga foothills. The Duncans apply their 40 years of winemaking experience to create single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and estate Sauvignon Blancs that pair beautifully with food. Complete your day in the charming and historic St. Helena building that houses Merryvale Vineyards and has roots as a winemaking facility reaching back to the 1930s. Napa luminaries Robert and Peter Mondavi, the Christian Brothers, and H. William Harlan have all practiced their craft under its arched ceiling. Family-owned Merryvale Vineyards is renowned for small production lots of world class wine, especially rich, powerful Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays which you can enjoy sitting under the century-old 2,000 gallon casks that line the stone walls of the cellar room. On the journey back to San Francisco, we’ll make one final stop (weather permitting) at a scenic look-out point with sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge for you to snap some keepsake photos of Marin Headlands, San Francisco skyline, and Alcatraz Island.

From San Francisco: Yosemite Park Guided Day Trip

7. From San Francisco: Yosemite Park Guided Day Trip

Escape the crowds of San Francisco on a full-day guided tour to Yosemite National Park. See highlights, including Yosemite Falls and Inspiration Point. Enjoy seamless travel in a bio-fueled mini-coach. Heading east across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge offers great views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. En route to the park the tour crosses through the Central Valley, where you will stop at a fruit stand for some local produce. Famous for its rich volcanic soil, the Central Valley is the largest agricultural region in the United States. The section the tour drives through is best known for specialty fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries. After this quick rest stop, you will enter the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Continuing into the mountains brings you to California gold country and the gold rush town of Groveland before the tour winds its way into Yosemite National Park. On your 1.5-hour narrated coach tour of Yosemite's glaciated valley, you will see famous waterfalls and rock formations including Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. Continue on past El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, Sentinel Dome, and much more. During the tour you will see Yosemite Valley from a number of great vantage points, the best of which is perhaps Inspiration Point. After the tour, you will stop for the afternoon near the base of Yosemite Falls. If you have not already picked up picnic supplies, there are many options for getting lunch in the park. You will have 3-4 hours of free time to explore the valley as you choose. You can walk to the base of Yosemite Falls, check out the visitor center, visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, stop in at the Ahwahnee Hotel, rent a cruiser bike, or hike some of the trails that originate from the valley. Although you could easily spend 3 weeks in Yosemite, the 3 hours you get on your own is enough time to understand why Yosemite is one of America's most popular national parks.

From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park

8. From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park

Travel through the Great Central Valley into the Sierra Foothills where Forty-Niners panned for Gold. Follow the beautiful Merced River to the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Glaciers cut through these mountains forming spectacular granite monuments you will see throughout the park. Spend a total of 4 hours within the Yosemite National Park: 1-hour on a guided tour and 3 hours to explore on your own. There is the option of selecting a Chinese-speaking guide on certain days. Take advantage of the photo opportunities at: • El Capitan • Bridalveil Falls • Vernal Falls • Yosemite Falls • Cathedral Spires • Half Dome

From San Francisco: Muir Woods Wine Tour with Napa & Sonoma

9. From San Francisco: Muir Woods Wine Tour with Napa & Sonoma

On this full-day guided wine tasting and nature tour, explore the towering coastal redwoods in Muir Woods before indulging your more sophisticated side with wine tasting in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. Take an eco-friendly bus ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Muir Woods National Monument. Upon arrival, enjoy an hour-long hike, with fresh forest air. Arrive at historic Sonoma Plaza to grab some lunch (price not included). Continue to Napa and Sonoma Valley to taste red, white, and dessert wines from renowned producers such as the Larson Family, Cline Cellars, and Robledo Family wineries. Finally, stop at the Golden Gate Bridge for photos — fog permitting.

San Francisco: California Sunset/Twilight Boat Cruise

10. San Francisco: California Sunset/Twilight Boat Cruise

Enjoy sunset views as you sail on beautiful San Francisco Bay. See important landmarks, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. In the winter months, take in the serene twilight views instead. Along the way, view numerous National Historic landmarks and San Francisco sights, including Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, St. Peter, Paul's Church, and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As the sun begins to set over the Marin Headlands, cruise past Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the shorelines of Tiburon, Belvedere, and Sausalito. Watch the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, as you sail west towards the Golden Gate. On your way back to Fisherman’s Wharf, see many more famous sights, including the Presidio, the Marina District, and Fort Mason.

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco

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What people are saying about San Francisco

Excellent service and value for money . There is an english audio on loudspeakers which helped to understand the history of the bay . If you book on line go straight to queue line . Excellent information from Getyour guide .

It was nice no food but the siting was smoothies needs food and music a lil plain it’s more like $20 trip but if u drunk everything look good lol

The travel is a little bit long but it is completely recommendable to another person. Yosemite is one of the best places to visit in the USA.

Great route that covers all the major sights. A special highlight is the trip over the Golden Gate Bridge and the night tour.

Excellent tour with an excellent guide! J was amazing!