Add dates
Nob Hill

Culture & history

Our most recommended Nob Hill Culture & History

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. 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. 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: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

3. 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

4. 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.

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

5. 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.

California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

6. 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 Double Decker Bus Night Tour

7. 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: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

8. 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.

From Los Angeles: 7-Day Golden Experience Tour

9. From Los Angeles: 7-Day Golden Experience Tour

Day 1: LOS ANGELES – SANTA BARBARA – 17 MILE DRIVE – CARMEL Depart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community to browse in the local shops. Head north to the world-famous Route #1 where you'll get to 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 and enjoy some free time to stroll in town before departing to reach your hotel at the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Day 2: SAN FRANCISCO – BAY CRUISE – GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE – CHINATOWN Start your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. See great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island on your way to Sausalito. 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. Day 3: MODESTO – YOSEMITE Summer Route: Head east through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and Half Dome. After a beautiful day in the park, head to Stevenson Ranch and stay the night at the Comfort Inn and Suites Stevenson Ranch. Day 4: STEVENSON RANCH – LAS VEGAS Head east through the desert and Death Valley to arrive at the gambling capital of the world: Las Vegas. Stop for lunch at the outlet mall in Barstow and in the evening, take a tour of the strip to see some amazing hotels such as Caesar’s Palace, Luxor, Mirage, Paris, Venetian, Bellagio, New York New York, Treasure Island, and more. Stay overnight at the Harrah’s Hotel. Day 5: LAS VEGAS – GRAND CANYON – PAGE Start the day traveling through the desert and through the Navajo Indian reservation before you arrive at the south bank of the Grand Canyon. After lunch, continue along the canyon east stopping at some of the Indian market places to browse the handmade arts and crafts. Then, head to the Page and Lake Powell area for the evening where you will stay at the Quality Inn View of Lake Powell. Day 6: ANTELOPE CANYON – BRYCE CANYON Tour the lower Antelope Canyon and visit the spectacular dunes created by the wind, water, and sand. Then head west to Bryce Canyon, home to the most amazing natural sculptures in the world. Experience the unique changing of the colors during the sunset from one of the vista points in the park (this may change due to changing sunset times). After the visit, head towards the town of Kanab, where you will stay overnight at the Days Inn Kanab. On certain departures, the tour will continue to Cedar City for the night. Day 7: ZION PARK – LAS VEGAS Head into Zion Park and enjoy a short walking trail along the Virgin River that runs through the park. Arrive in Las Vegas and head towards Los Angeles for a late night.

San Francisco: See the Best w/ a Local Private Walking Tour

10. San Francisco: See the Best w/ a Local Private Walking Tour

This experience is essential to anyone who is serious about exploring the best of San Francisco. Start the day with a coffee on Union Square, named for a series of pro-union mass demonstrations for the Civil War. This is the epicenter of the city’s shopping district and a great place to start your orientation in the city.  Walk through Chinatown, which remains its own authentic world despite the number of international visitors. Join the locals and check out the vegetable and herb markets, restaurants and the colorful markets along Stockton Street. Your local host will also recommend some peculiar knickknack shops which are a great source of souvenirs. On a nice day, let your local host take you on a diversion to the waterfront and grab some lunch in the Ferry Building Marketplace, where there are several excellent options, from street food and gourmet meals. Refueled, walk leisurely past the Embarcadero, the views on the bay are breathtaking and more and more attractions are popping up along the Fisherman’s Wharf, including the Exploratorium and Pier 39.  Your local host will suggest activities for the afternoon. According to your preferences, you may consider exploring the huge Golden Gate Park and its peculiar gardens, walk around the elegant Nob Hill or have a taste of the great mix of modern and old-world charm of the Mission.  A great place to end the experience is the Marin county end of the Golden Gate Bridge as the late afternoon fog rolls in, and you’ll witness the ultimate magic show - now you see the Golden Gate Bridge, now you don’t. This experience is great for all ages. Book this experience and you will be contacted within 24-hours with questions about your preferences and interests. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Replicate the experience of spending time in a city with a friend who lives there as the best travel moments come from going beneath the surface of a destination and discovering it through a local lens. Based on the things that you would like to see and do a personalized and bespoke itinerary will be built just for you. Please note that this will be outlined but flexible.  During the exploration, if you feel like changing direction, or if your local host believes that you'd enjoy a sight or different experience, they will suggest and discuss with you changes to the itinerary. You will be able to arrange a meeting point and time with your host in the most convenient place for you.  Enjoy discovering amazing spots in San Francisco that you don't know about and are difficult to find in any guidebook or on the internet as they are lesser-known to the crowd but loved by locals. Let your private local host show you the San Francisco you will love.

Frequently asked questions about Nob Hill Culture & History

What are other things to do than Culture & History that are worth visiting in Nob Hill?

The other unmissable things to do in Nob Hill are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Nob Hill

Want to discover all there is to do in Nob Hill? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Nob Hill

This was a very informative tour. You did have to do a lot of walking if you got off at one of the stops. The actual landmarks were spread out from the bus stop. The headphones worked very well with the audio and that was much better than a person using a microphone.

Our guide was Maggie and she was wonderful. She clearly enjoyed showing us her beautiful city! The walk was great and I didn't feel any part was too strenuous. She did a great job!

We really enjoyed the tour, Gamin and her puppy were wonderful. We loved learning the spooky history and stories that she told us!

We were able to see all the major attractions as well as walk around the city!

Excellent trip took us over and return the Golden Gate Bridge