Things to do in Nob Hill

Our most recommended things to do in Nob Hill

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

1. 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: Ghosts of the Bay Area Haunted Walking Tour

2. San Francisco: Ghosts of the Bay Area Haunted Walking Tour

Set off on a San Francisco ghost tour through 8-12 different sites around the downtown area. Meet your experienced tour guide at Union Square and embark on a one-hour tour through the Nob Hill area. Perfect for first-time visitors and locals alike, this tour is great way to see the amazing sites of the affluent neighborhoods while getting a feel for the city's ghostly atmosphere.  See a side of the city seldom witnessed. Take a walk past by haunted hotels, streets, clubs, and office buildings. Learn about the ancient Mayan secrets of the Sutter buildings, the famous tragedies that haunt The Westin St. Francis, and the devastation and heartbreak that followed the great earthquake of 1906, which has literally and figuratively haunted the city for over a century. Find out about the terrible night that lead to Fatty Arbuckle's blacklisting from the film industry. After the gold rush of 1849, San Francisco became a beacon of hope and prosperity, but not everyone can strike gold, and inevitably, many people seeking fame and fortune found tragedy instead; their stories are likely to disturb and frighten you. These events throughout history continue to have an impact on the area, and the accounts you'll hear on this tour reveal that these hills have just as much horror as happiness.

San Francisco: Panoramic Night Tour

3. San Francisco: Panoramic Night Tour

This panoramic night tour of San Francisco takes you from San Francisco Visitor Center at Fisherman's Wharf to the Presidio. Enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge from Marina Green and Crissy Fields. Next, reach the top of California Street on this 1-hour tour to see Grace Cathedral and historical Nob Hill. Then head downtown to capture the city skyline, the Bay Bridge, and the AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants. Cross the Bay Bridge for views of the city from Treasure Island. Once the bus returns to the city, continue along the Embarcadero and admire the lights of the Port of San Francisco. A courtesy shuttle will take you back to Union Square at the end of the tour.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

4. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

Start your tour near the Ferry Building with a view of what was once one of the busiest ports in the world. Then catch an iconic San Francisco cable car from a favorite stop and learn what makes this very unique public transport so special. Disembark atop Nob Hill and learn about the industrial tycoons who built the city as you wander through Huntington Park. Visit the beautiful gothic interior of Grace Cathedral. Enter the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia and the oldest Chinatown in North America. Taste fresh fortune cookies and see hidden landmarks like the Tin How Buddhist Temple as you learn how the neighborhood went from being a seedy red-light district to one of the most vibrant enclaves in the city. For a little treat, pop into the legendary Golden Gate Factory for an insight into the art (and logistics) of fortune cookie making. Receive a special custom-made cookie to take home. Also get advice on where to eat if you want to come back to try the world-famous dim sum. Then, visit Lombard Street, called the "most crooked street in the world", Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. See Fisherman’s Wharf, explore the old docks, and smell the fresh bread in the famous Boudin Bakery.  Take a pause at Ghirardelli Square for a sample of famous chocolate. After this, continue on to your final highlight of the day — a gorgeous bay cruise of the historic waterfront. Relax and tune into the included audio device to hear some fascinating tales. Admire beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline in every direction and sail past the famous Pier 39 sea lions, right under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island (the closest you can get without booking a ticket), a perfect end to a San Francisco day.

California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

5. California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

Discover the most iconic highlights of California, as well as some lesser-known gems, on this 3-day tour from Los Angeles. Drive the renowned 17 Mile Drive, explore Santa Barbara, and visit Yosemite Valley National Park or Hearst Castle. Enjoy 2 nights of accommodation and a bay cruise in San Fransisco included. Day 1: Los Angeles – Santa Barbara – 17 Mile Drive – Carmel Summer RouteDepart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community to browse in the local shops. See the spectacular California coastline up close (small vehicles will travel the southern portion of route 1 while full-size coaches will travel the 17-mile drive exclusively). Visit the town of Carmel, home to the actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll in town before departing to reach your hotel at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Winter RouteDepart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Stop at the heart of downtown at the “state street promenade” and stroll through the exclusive shops and restaurants. Continue to Santa Barbara beaches and Stearns wharf to “walk on the water” and enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean. Finish your visit at the Spanish Mission Santa Barbara and continue to Solvang, “the Danish capital of America” a quaint Danish community at the heart of California. After your lunch break, head north through Silicon Valley before departing to reach your hotel at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Day 2: San Fransisco – Bay Cruise – Golden Gate Bridge – ChinatownSummer RouteStart your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. Enjoy great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Next, return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Stay overnight in Modesto. Winter RouteStart your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. Enjoy great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz island. Then return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Stay overnight at the Springhill Suites Oakland Airport. Day 3: San Fransisco – Yosemite – Los Angeles Summer RouteHead east through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and Half Dome. See the highest waterfalls in North America, Yosemite Falls. Then head back to Los Angeles in the evening. Winter RouteStart the day with a visit to Monterey including the wharf and Cannery Row. Continue your tour of the beautiful California Coast with a visit to the town of Carmel-by-the-sea. Then head south to the world-famous Route #1 where you'll see the spectacular California coastline up close (small vehicles will travel the southern portion of route 1 while full-size coaches will travel the 17-mile drive exclusively). Then drive back to return to Los Angeles.

San Francisco Movie Sights City Tour

6. San Francisco Movie Sights City Tour

Experience the best of San Francisco on this fun and unique tour. The 3-hour adventure features clips from over 50 of the most famous movies ever filmed in San Francisco. Actors-turned-guides lead you on an interactive tour of the city, as they match clips with locations right outside the bus and share their wealth of San Francisco and cinema knowledge. You’ll see even more of San Francisco on this tour than you would on a normal city tour. See the key neighborhoods: Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Nob Hill, Union Square, Alamo Square/Painted Ladies, City Hall, Haight-Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, The Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, and Pacific Heights. This activity is also fun and interesting for kids. The route includes locations from The Princess Diaries, Full House, Dr. Doolittle, George of the Jungle, Hulk, and X-Men 3. Locations include: • The house where Robin Williams' family lived in Mrs. Doubtfire • Various locations from the famous chase scene in Bullitt • The park where the Tanner Family enjoyed a picnic during the opening credits of Full House • The building where Christian Slater questioned Tom Cruise in Interview with the Vampire • The high school attended by Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries • The damaged park steps from the car chase in What's Up Doc?

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

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

Make your way around San Francisco with a 24-hour hop-on hop-off bus ticket. Hop off to explore the city's best highlights or stay on the double decker to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the city for two hours. Combine your ticket with a 1-hour Golden Gate Bay Cruise to sail around the famous San Francisco Bay. Golden Gate Bay Cruise Arrive at Fisherman's Wharf and look 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 digital commentary, available in 10 languages. The route of the hop-on hop-off bus includes 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 Double Decker Bus Night Tour

8. San Francisco Double Decker Bus Night Tour

This live narrated 60-90 minute tour of San Francisco includes the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city, such as the Financial District, Chinatown, Nob Hill, and Embarcadero. Departing from Fisherman's Wharf, the tour covers all the major attractions of San Francisco during the evening hours, with spectacular views from the top of an original open top double decker Bus. Exact highlights may vary according to the season, weather conditions, and San Francisco's famous traffic, Chinatown, and Union Square, San Francisco’s shopping Mecca. You will also go to Treasure island, across the Bay Bridge, to get spectacular views of the skyline of San Francisco. On your return, you will see the ferry building, Alcatraz Pier, Pier 39, and more on your way up Embarcadero. Depending on the time of the year, it may not be entirely dark on this tour, but you will either see the city glittering at night, or in the lovely light of dusk.

San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

9. San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

Discover the notorious former prison of Alcatraz Island on a guided tour in San Francisco. Take a short tour of the city's beautiful waterfront, spend a few hours on the island, and enjoy a guided city tour of some of the city's famous neighborhoods during the afternoon. Following pickup, enjoy a 30-minute tour of San Francisco's waterfront where you will see notable landmarks such as Embarcadero, Levi’s Plaza, and Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy a brief coffee break at the Ferry Building. Next, make your way to Pier 33 where you’ll board the ferry to start your Alcatraz Island tour. Listen to an audio presentation featuring recordings of inmates and guards that worked and inhabited the island. Explore "The Rock" where you will have time for a guided tour and some free time to explore.  Take one of the late-morning ferries to San Francisco so you can join for the afternoon portion of your day tour. Cruise along San Francisco’s waterfront and the Marina District, and then visit the Palace of Fine Arts. Explore the culturally rich neighborhoods of San Francisco. Learn about what made the Haight-Ashbury, Mission, and Castro districts what they are today and why they’re important to so many. After a slow drive through Nob Hill and Chinatown, visit the charming Italian neighborhood of North Beach. Finally, enjoy a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and pause along the cliffs to admire the beautiful views of the “city by the bay”. Take in the spectacular beauty of Golden Gate Park before finishing your tour.

San Francisco Ultimate City Tour with Bay Cruise Option

10. San Francisco Ultimate City Tour with Bay Cruise Option

Travel through the Golden Gate Park and enjoy seasonal flower displays, bison grazing, and pass windmills overlooking the Pacific. Enjoy neighborhoods dotted with colorful Victorian homes. Learn about San Francisco’s early settlements, from Native Americans, to Spanish missionaries and the frenzied days of the Gold rush as you drive through the once infamous Barbary Coast. Scheduled stops on your tour include Vista Point at Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks for breathtaking hilltop panoramic views of the city (weather permitting), and the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park. You will also make other stops and take advantage of photo opportunities as recommended by your tour guide. You will see many of the famous sights of San Francisco including Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, Presidio National Park, Alcatraz, City Hall, and Nob Hill. Once you finish your bus tour at Union Square around 1 PM, take an hour to rest and recover before joining a San Francisco grand city tour walking tour. Experience downtown Union Square, Chinatown, and the Financial District for 2-2.5 hours on a tour that is less walking, more fun facts and interactive conversation so you never get tired or bored.   Visit places great for Instagram photos, go inside famous buildings, and enjoy a small surprise tasting. During the tour, your expert guide will inform about the city’s history, the gold rush, influential women, buried ships under buildings, and will give you insider new on any current events that may be going on in SF. You’ll also receive the best tips and tricks to explore the city on your own and enjoy your trip to its fullest. Add on a Cruise of San Francisco Bay and end your tour with a 1-hour cruise of the San Francisco Bay where you will sail by the famous Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge. If you are ready to experience even more, go for the optional 4-hour bike rental. Fall in love with all San Francisco has to offer as you pedal around and explore the area at your own pace.

Frequently asked questions about Nob Hill

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Other Sightseeing Options in Nob Hill

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What people are saying about Nob Hill

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,096 reviews

Had the loveliest day. Maggie is a kind, knowledgeable and easy going guide who manages to ensure you get a lot out from the 8 hours spent together. She’s got plenty of insider tips to take you off the tourist path which is great. The tour itself is a perfect balance of walking, using public transport and having rest breaks for anyone wondering how the day breaks down. The highlight was the boat cruise but I generally enjoyed it all. Thoroughly recommended. Ps. We did have a small group of solo travellers but I’m sure the tour would have been fine with a bigger group.

Jamie was a great guide, and did am excellent job combining history, architecture, and ghost stories into our tour. Be aware that this is a walking tour in San Francisco - there are several blocks of very steep hills. Jamie did a great job of making sure nobody was rushed and waited for everyone in the group, but limber up before you go!

we had an amazing time with Jamie as our guide. we did the extended tour and there were all kinds of stories, history to be learned and a fun way to spend the evening. will do again!

It was such a nice way to get a flavor for the city and decide which spots you wanted to investigate more fully.

Great experience. Wear warm clothing if weather is cool.