Inside: A number of issues to do in San Francisco with teenagers, plus our full Spring Break itinerary (together with a visit to Monterey).
We lately took a Spring Break journey to San Francisco with our 14-year-old son, and it was implausible! We made probably the most of our time and packed lots into only a few days, experiencing each the power of the town and the marvel of the shoreline. When you’re planning a visit to San Francisco with teenagers, I hope our itinerary and journey suggestions will assist.
San Francisco With Teenagers Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in San Francisco
We arrived in San Francisco at midnight. I don’t advocate this if you happen to’re coming from the Jap time zone–we had been exhausted! We took an costly taxi experience to our resort (about $75). If we’d arrived earlier within the day, we undoubtedly would’ve taken public transportation.
We checked into Resort Caza. It’s situated in Fisherman’s Wharf, however across the block from the busiest vacationer space, so it was fairly quiet. They don’t supply free breakfast however do present espresso and tea service within the mornings till 10am, plus objects you should buy for mild meals and snacks like yogurt parfaits, salads, and packaged snacks.
This resort was filled with households. It has a heated outside pool, and the foyer options an space with pool desk, arcade video games (the entrance desk provides the quarters for free of charge!), foosball, and board video games. Our room was snug, however it didn’t have a fridge–FYI, in case that’s vital to you.
Day 2: Chinatown Strolling Tour & Marrakech Magic Theater
We ate breakfast throughout the road from the resort at a tiny place referred to as 8 A.M. Cafe that has a pleasant breakfast menu. We had the crepes, frittatas, and the “Napa Bagel” with brie, prosciutto, arugula, and fig glaze. There appeared to be a line out the door after about 9:30am, so go early. It opens at, after all, 8am!
A visit to San Francisco with teenagers wouldn’t be full with a cable automobile experience. So we walked a couple of blocks to catch the cable automobile on the Powell/Hyde line. Purchase day passes on the Muni Cellular app, which saves you a couple of dollars versus paying every manner.
We had been amazed by the crazy-steep streets of the town, and experiencing them through cable automobile was a (literal!) journey. We rode to the Bush Avenue cease then walked a pair blocks to the doorway of Chinatown, referred to as Dragon Gate.
We opted to do a self-guided strolling tour of Chinatown through Free Excursions By Foot, stopping in memento retailers, the Fortune Cookie Manufacturing unit for a pattern, and the Tin How Temple. This was a shock hit of the journey. Realizing the historical past and significance of the assorted stops made an enormous distinction.
Then we caught the Powell/Mason line again and hopped off at Lombard Avenue to gawk on the well-known zig-zag highway and snap some images. We had been in a position to stroll again to the resort from there.
IF YOU GO: Obtain the Chinatown strolling tour PDF or learn it in your cellphone, it added a lot to our stroll. Additionally, analysis a spot to eat in Chinatown—we had been too full from breakfast, however a buddy really helpful R & G Lounge.
After a pair hours of downtime on the resort (we had been nonetheless recovering from our journey the night time earlier than), we took an Uber to Marrakech Magic Theater in Union Sq.. It’s key to reach an hour earlier than to see the magician do additional methods and to order meals and drinks. We had the hummus plate and hen kebabs, each of which had been yummy.
To my preliminary disappointment, the standard magician, Jay Alexander, was out for the night time. However his alternative (Brad Barton, “Actuality Thief”) was terrific. It is a tiny theater, and there’s plenty of viewers participation. We’re STILL speaking concerning the methods and might’t determine them out!
We took an Uber again to the resort and went to mattress early.
Day 3: Driving Tour & Alcatraz
We purchased a yogurt within the foyer for our son, then had been picked up in entrance of our resort by Armando from Painted Girls Tour in a enjoyable, painted VW bus. Armando was pleasant and full of information and tales concerning the metropolis. He drove us across the metropolis, and we hopped out for images on the Golden Gate Bridge, Painted Girls, and Palace of Effective Arts. This tour lasted two hours, which felt like simply the correct quantity of time to get a lay of the land.
Afterward, we walked to lunch at San Francisco Brewing Firm in Ghirardelli Sq. as a result of my husband is an enormous fan of craft beers. We had a superb lunch of burgers and fish tacos.
Then we walked over to Musee Mecanique on the water. Admission is free however carry plenty of payments to get quarters for the previous time mechanical machines. We had been there on a Saturday, so it was fairly packed. Generally, I’d advocate avoiding the Fisherman’s Wharf space on the weekend if you happen to don’t like crowds.
We walked again over to Ghirardelli Sq. for his or her well-known scorching fudge sundaes and waited in a protracted line. If I may do it over once more, I’d purchase only one sundae and all have a pair bites–they’re very costly and really massive.
After a pit cease on the resort, we walked to Pier 33 to catch the ferry to Alcatraz. It’s vital to purchase these tickets prematurely as a result of it commonly sells outs. The ferry experience is about quarter-hour every manner.
This jail as soon as housed inmates like Al Capone, and the audio tour, which incorporates narration and interviews from former guards and inmates, was terrific. When you’re going to San Francisco with teenagers, they’ll love this! Ask if the rangers are giving excursions as properly. Ours was not, however I’ve heard that’s attention-grabbing as properly.
IF YOU GO: Give your self a minimum of 1.5 hours on the island. You’ll be able to decide which ferry you catch again, so verify the occasions to plan your journey. I’d heard blended issues concerning the day tour versus the night time tour. We opted to do a late-afternoon tour and agreed that we loved seeing it within the daylight. There’s one thing very haunting about Alcatraz, so I feel a nighttime tour could be tremendous spooky.
We walked again to our resort alongside the assorted piers and grabbed dinner at In-N-Out Burger. It was our first time having it–and don’t come at me, however we had been underwhelmed. In truth, I ended up shopping for some cheese and crackers within the foyer and calling it dinner for me! I’m not huge on quick meals, however was glad that my teenager received to lastly strive the well-known burger chain.
Day 4: Drive To Massive Basin Redwoods State Park & Monterey
This was Easter Sunday and issues had been closed right here and there, so we received breakfast once more at 8 A.M. Cafe and took an Uber to Thrifty automobile rental (there have been different automobile rental locations inside strolling distance to the resort which I didn’t understand after I booked it).
We did the 1.5 hour drive to Massive Basin Redwoods State Park (we had to purchase a parking go prematurely). It’s a reasonably difficult, windy drive at occasions, which made me and my son a bit carsick.
Sadly, I made the error of not rigorously studying the park’s web site. After we arrived, we realized that nearly the entire park is closed proper now because of fires and rainstorms. Just one small path was open, which we walked twice. We had been nonetheless in a position to see redwoods, however I might’ve most well-liked a extra in depth expertise.
IF YOU GO: Till the park is reopened totally (which they stated will take a couple of years), take a day journey from San Francisco to Muir Woods as an alternative.
From Massive Basin, we received on Freeway 1 for our drive to Monterey. We stopped in Santa Cruz and parked in a storage downtown so we may poke across the cute, funky downtown (there’s a boardwalk in Santa Cruz too however we didn’t go). We additionally additionally stopped for roadside strawberries and shave ice alongside the best way.
Then we checked in to Victorian Inn. The foyer seems to be like a Victorian home, however the remainder is only a common resort. It’s not fancy, however our room was completely tremendous. My favourite characteristic was the fuel fire, which made our room really feel cozy.
I additionally like that they’d a free breakfast plus a free “wine and cheese” hour at 5pm with fruit, cheese, crackers, wine, and lemonade.
The draw back to the resort: It was on a busy road and was a bit loud. However we appreciated that we may park our automobile within the resort storage and stroll to every part.
Drained and hungry, we walked all the way down to Cannery Row for dinner. The place we supposed to go (Lalla Grill) was closed for Easter, so we ended up an overpriced Italian restaurant which was simply okay.
Day 5: Kayak Tour & Monterey Bay Aquarium
After a (free!) breakfast on the resort, we walked all the way down to Adventures By The Sea on Cannery Row for a guided, two-hour kayak tour. As a result of it was breezy that morning, the water was uneven, and it was strenuous at occasions. We noticed otters, sea lions, and harbor seals, which was an enormous spotlight. My husband and I actually loved this tour, however my son was so-so on it (and he received a blister–pack bandages if you happen to go!).
IF YOU GO: You’ll get moist! Develop into their rain pants and coats and go barefoot. Put on sunscreen and a hat.
We walked again to the resort for showers then headed about 10 minutes away on foot to Blissful Lady Kitchen Co., the place I ordered the quinoa and millet salad, a lemon power ball, and house-made Chai. (I discovered this place by studying an article about “Massive Little Lies” places in Monterey.)
My guys needed one thing meatier, so walked a couple of block away to Cafe Guarani, for empanadas and Yuca fries and sat of their cute little “secret backyard” out again.
Then we walked to Monterey Bay Aquarium (you need to purchase tickets on-line earlier than getting into). It was fairly crowded however properly price it. The aquarium solely homes species you will discover within the Bay, which is lots! We had been in a position to see the entire museum in about two hours.
IF YOU GO: Purchase tickets for the aquarium on-line earlier than getting into. I learn that it’s much less crowded within the late afternoon, however it was nonetheless fairly packed. You’ll be able to go away and are available again if you happen to get a hand stamp.
Subsequent we headed again to the resort to get the automobile and take a drive alongside Freeway 1 to Massive Sur. My teen was drained and didn’t wish to do that, however it ended up being one among his favourite components of the journey.
Alongside Freeway 1, we made stops at completely different vistas to marvel on the magnificence. We additionally stopped on the Bixby Bridge, one other location from “Massive Little Lies” and a preferred vista cease. We drove to Massive Sur, then rotated and drove again.
IF YOU GO: Freeway 1 is a twisty-turny drive in locations. Fog all of the sudden moved in as we had been driving again, which made visibility iffy. So be sure to’re ready for that. I used to be glad we did a lot of the drive in daylight.
We couldn’t discover a dinner possibility alongside Freeway 1 in Massive Sur (we put our names in at one place with an incredible view however hopped again within the automobile after seeing the costs!).
We ended up in downtown Monterey at Medici for wood-fired-oven pizzas, wings, and salads. I want we had found this cute downtown space earlier. It’s lined with cafes, eating places, and retailers and strung with white lights.
Day 6: Breakfast & Depart to San Jose airport
We wakened, ate the resort’s free breakfast, then hopped within the automobile for the drive to San Jose Airport (it was nearer to Monterey than driving again to San Francisco and our flights value the identical). Alongside the best way, we did a cease to see UC Santa Cruz only for enjoyable. Components of the drive alongside CA-17 had been additionally twisty-turny, FYI.
Abstract: Enjoyable Issues We Did in San Francisco With Our Teen
10 Extra Issues To Do in San Francisco With Teenagers
- Hire bikes: Resort Caza truly had free bikes to make use of, however we didn’t have time. A buddy rented from Limitless Biking and rode from their location over the Golden Gate Bridge and again. I used to be apprehensive my concern of heights would make that trek disagreeable.
- Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum: Yeah, kinda tacky. However I’m guessing my teen would’ve gotten an enormous kick out of this place, which is true there on Fisherman’s Wharf.
- Cartoon Artwork Museum: This was across the nook from our resort and could be excellent for teenagers desirous about artwork or who like to learn comics and graphic novels.
- Massive Bus Tour: Our buddies did this tour, and you’ll hop on and off alongside the route. Remember the fact that the highest deck can get chilly, relying on the climate.
- Boudin Bakery: That is proper alongside the water at Fisherman’s Wharf, however we ran out of time to pop in for some well-known sourdough bread.
- Umbrella Alley: That is additionally across the nook from Resort Caza and options interactive murals and road artwork. There’s a price for getting into.
- The Exploratorium: Positioned at Pier 15, this science museum affords a reduction for youths 17 and underneath.
- Angel Island State Park: If we’d had an additional day, we’d’ve taken the ferry to this island for my history-buff child. Over time, this island has served as an immigration station, detention facility for German POWs, and missile base. It now affords mountaineering trails and self-guided excursions.
- Day journey to Muir Woods: You’ll be able to e book a day journey from the town to see the majestic redwoods.
- Ghost Tour: I want we’d had time to do one among these ghost excursions. Haunted San Francisco is properly rated (not appropriate for kids underneath 13).
Questions About San Francisco With Teenagers
Did we really feel secure?
Sure. The information is crammed proper now with unhealthy information about cities generally, however we’re metropolis folks–having lived in and visited cities our complete grownup lives. So we had been snug in San Francisco, particularly within the tourist-populated space of Fisherman’s Wharf.
We had been suggested towards parking a rental automobile within the metropolis, since “smash-and-grabs” are frequent. So we walked, took the cable automobiles, or received an Uber to get round.
Is it costly?
Sure. Meals and lodging had been each expensive. We tried to economize by consuming simply two huge meals a day. We had been additionally ready to make use of Southwest frequent flier miles to get a serious low cost on our airfare. Bu with our itinerary, it undoubtedly wasn’t a price range trip.
Are any faculties close by for excursions?
Sure. When you’re visiting San Francisco with teenagers who’re fascinated with school, locations like San Francisco State College, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, and Stanford College are inside driving distance.
Objects to Pack for San Francisco
- Packable rain coat: I’ve this packable raincoat from LLBean that is available in common, petite, and plus sizes. One morning throughout our journey, there was a gentle moist mist within the air, which I don’t assume is uncommon for San Francisco. We additionally used our raincoats for our kayak tour in Monterey.
- Heat coats: We’d been informed by a number of folks to pack a lot hotter garments than we expect we’d want, and that was nice recommendation. San Francisco could be chilly, even in the summertime. I wore a pullover fleece (this Columbia fleece, that is available in petite!) and splurged on this packable down coat from LLBean.
- Snug footwear: We walked a ton, a minimum of 15,000 steps a day. I alternated between trainers and Dansko clogs.
- Money: For tipping tour guides and getting quarters at Musee Mecanique.
- Snacks: Meals is among the costliest components of any household journey. I packed a small bag with some protein bars, clementines, and path combine (and since it was Easter. Cadbury Mini Eggs too!).
- Sunscreen: You’ll particularly want this if you happen to do the kayak tour.
- Sun shades and hat
- Chargers for telephones, iPads, and laptops.