Are you planning a trip to San Francisco? With so many incredible things to do in San Francisco, ranging from the Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park and the Muir Woods if you’re into nature, to Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge if you’re into historical landmarks, you’ll surely have plenty of sights to explore.
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To be honest with you, I’m a little bummed out that I couldn’t attend the RSA conference in San Francisco this weekend. Fortunately, I’ll be attending SCALE 17x in Pasadena instead but just because I have to miss out on San Francisco, doesn’t mean you have to! With so many options for things to do in San Francisco, I can’t wait to share with you #allthethings I would have done, given the chance.
Table of Contents
Things to do in San Francisco: Nature
Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias
If you take this excursion you’ll spend your day in Yosemite National Park. As you hike the rugged landscape, stop to see iconic formations like the granite monoliths of El Capitan and Half Dome and the Yosemite Falls—the tallest waterfall in North America.
Take in the breathtaking view of the valley from Inspiration Point and then drive up into higher altitudes and less-visited areas of the park. Depending on the weather, you can set out on foot for a guided trek through the evergreen forest to the stunning Tuolumne Grove, where giant sequoias stretch toward the sky.
Muir Woods Tour of California Coastal Redwoods
Gaze up at the towering tops of redwoods and stroll down pine needle-covered paths, on this relaxing excursion of the forest. Enjoy a scenic drive through Muir Woods and check out the charming streets of Sausalito with an experienced guide to lead the way.
Covering 554 acres, this protected park is filled with groves of old-growth redwoods that are rare along this stretch of California. Wander underneath their lumbering branches and snap photos of the sunlight filtering through to the forest floor but keep your eyes peeled for the deer and chipmunk that call this beautiful forest home.
Plus some more outdoorsy San Francisco activities
Things to do in San Francisco: City/Historical Sites
City Highlights Tour with Alcatraz Island Cruise
When it comes to finding attractions in Northern California, visiting Alcatraz Island is one of the most famous things to do in San Francisco. I would have absolutely wanted to take a tour of the famous island prison, and am looking for my next opportunity to plan a trip to San Francisco so I can see this formidable historical landmark.
San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
Out of all the San Francisco activities, this is probably the one that will give you the most bang for your buck. If you choose to take this tour, the great thing is that you can board at any of the stops. It starts at Fisherman’s Wharf and highlights include Pier 39, Union Square, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street.
There are four walking tours included with your pass. Explore Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Chinatown, or the Barbary Coast with a guide who knows the must-see highlights of each area.
Golden Gate Park Segway Tour – Exclusive Tour Co in Park
Even though this one is technically outdoorsy as well, I’ve decided to categorize it under City and Historical Sites because you can’t exactly compare the Golden Gate Bridge on a segway to Yosemite on foot.
Out of all the San Francisco activities to participate in, a tour of the Golden Gate Bridge is an absolute must.
Plus some more historical and city San Francisco activities
- Go San Francisco Card: 27 Attractions in 1 Card
- San Francisco Explorer Pass: 4 Museums, Attractions & Tours in 1 Card
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Admission
2-Day Combo: Golden Gate Bridge Biking Tour with Alcatraz Admission
Things to do in San Francisco: Beer and Wine
Napa & Sonoma Combo Wine Tour
Fall in love with the picturesque Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California’s famous Wine Country. Tantalize and refine your palate at 3 unique wineries on a full-day guided tour. Your first stop is at the boutique, family-owned winery, Peter Cellars. Discover the art and passion of winemaking, and sample quality whites and Peter’s Pinot.
Then head to the Nicholson Ranch, an artisan winery featuring a delightfully crisp Chardonnay and a velvety smooth Pinot Noir, and taste these delectable wines in and around the sophisticated and harmonious rows of picture-perfect vineyards. The last stop, Starmont Winery and Vineyards, is a state-of-the-art green winery. They’ve been growing grapes on this property since 1872.
Plus some more beer and wine San Francisco activities
- Private Winery Tour of Sonoma Valley from San Francisco
- Ultimate Gourmet Chocolate Tour with Wine and Cocktail Pairings
Whether you want your trip to San Fran to include nature, city sights and historical landmarks, or wine tasting, you’ll find something to enjoy in my list of suggested things to do in San Francisco.
And for more content to help you plan your California travels, check out my California blog posts, or view it all on a beautiful interactive map tour of California.
StephanieCristi’s Top Recommended Travel Resources
With all my love,