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Things to do in

North Beach, San Francisco

Our most recommended things to do in North Beach, San Francisco

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

1. 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: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

2. 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.

SF: Alcatraz Ticket w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Night Tour

3. SF: Alcatraz Ticket w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Night Tour

See the best of San Francisco with this combined hop-on-hop-off ticket and Alcatraz Island visit. Explore the island of Alcatraz and enjoy 2 days of sightseeing with insightful commentary from a live guide. Tour the famous prison that has played a role in jailhouse folklore and the historic evolution of the West Coast. Learn more about the 14 unsuccessful escape attempts by over 30 prisoners and their fates. Your Premium Big Bus hop-on-hop-off pass is a great way to see the sights of San Francisco. Listen to commentary by live English-speaking guides, or enjoy pre-recorded audio commentary in 10 languages. Your 2-day ticket includes a full day of unlimited hop-on-hop-off and a 1-hour panoramic night tour. Explore one of San Francisco's most fascinating neighborhoods on a fun and informative walking tour of Chinatown. The tours are offered daily, and you can ask an agent for locations and time schedules. Also included are a bonus 1-hour bike rental (with the purchase of a 1-hour rental) and Players Arcade Drink and Game Tokens. Hop-on, hop-off tour stops include: Stop 1: Corner of Jefferson & Mason StreetStop 2: Holiday Inn Northpoint b/w Jones & ColumbusStop 3: Washington Square - Columbus & Union StreetsStop 4: Embarcadero Center - Corner Clay & Battery StreetsStop 5: Ferry Building - Market St b/w Stuart & Spear StreetsStop 6: Union Square South - Geary St across from Macy’sStop 7: Hilton Hotel - Corner Mason & Ellis StreetsStop 8: Civic Center - Fulton St b/w Larkin & Hyde StreetsStop 9: Alamo Square - Corner Fell & Pierce StreetsStop 10: Haight Ashbury - Haight & Shrader StreetsStop 11: Golden Gate Park - Music Concourse Drive Golden Gate ParkStop 12: Golden Gate Bridge- North Vista PointStop 13: Palace of Fine Arts - Richardson & Francisco StreetStop 14: Marina Neighborhood - Lombard & Fillmore StreetsStop 15: Lombard Street Corridor - Lombard & Gough StreetsStop 16: Union Square North - Post & Powell StreetsStop 17: Chinatown Gate - Grant and Bush StreetsStop 18: Portsmouth Square - Kearny & Clay StreetsStop 19: Pier 35 Cruise Terminal - The EmbarcaderoStop 20: Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf (then return to Stop 1)

San Francisco: Food Walking Tour of Chinatown & North Beach

4. San Francisco: Food Walking Tour of Chinatown & North Beach

On their own, Chinatown and North Beach stir your senses. Together, they awaken you to new flavors, new cultures, and to parts of your heart. Explore both on this unique combination walking tour. Start by exploring Chinatown by twilight, including tasting Dim Sum from one of the oldest bakeries in this vibrant neighborhood. You will delve into Chinese mysticism and culture, as you explore local sculpture and architecture and see close up how fortune cookies are made by hand. Tea is to Chinatown as North Beach is to coffee and you will sample both. You will also get the opportunity to search out authentic Chinese and Italian crafts and pottery. We will help you uncover the hidden secrets only intrepid locals know. And you'll be astonished by new finds in secret alcoves. We'll explore the "Beat Generation" of North Beach as we visit the very place where Francis Ford Coppola wrote "The Godfather" screenplay and the location where Bill Cosby and Steve Allen got their start, which has not changed at all since they performed there. Of course,you must try pizza and wine in North Beach, don't worry, we've got you covered! From wine to Dim Sum, fortune cookies, and teas, to cappuccinos in the very places where the Beat Generation started and Barbary Coast history that made San Francisco what it is began. You will feel like you've really experienced Chinatown and North Beach on this fascinating San Francisco walking tour.

Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

5. Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

Immerse yourself in the vibrant streets of San Francisco on a guided e-bike tour on the first day and on the second day travel by ferry to the island of Alcatraz. Discover the island's dark secrets with an audio tour. Uncover the best of the city on this 2-day tour.  Meet your guide and get set up with your e-bike, lock, and helmet. Store your things away in the handlebar bag and rear gear rack. Peddle through the back alleys of North Beach’s Little Italy and have up-close views of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Building.  See the Barbary Coast and San Francisco’s historic supper clubs. Find out how the neighborhoods have transformed from scandalous to sparkling. Ride around the Giants’ Oracle ball park and into the culturally rich Mission, Castro, and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods View the ever-changing street art and the locals make each community unique. Cruise to Nopa and take in the charming Painted Ladies of Alamo Square before visiting the Civic Center. Ride through Polk Gulch and finish your tour at Fisherman’s Wharf. Cross San Francisco Bay on a journey to the notorious Alcatraz Prison by ferry. This world-famous prison served as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 and housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman.  Take the award-winning audio tour and hear the tales of those who lived in Alcatraz. This tour brings history alive through the recounting of tales from correctional officers and prisoners.

North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

6. North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

Take a behind the scenes food tour of North Beach and Little Italy. Enjoy tasting great local foods, see how these culinary delights are made and meet the local artisans who make them on your guided walking tour. North Beach and Little Italy will awaken your senses. From the cafés and restaurants, to the smell of fresh-baked bread in the air. Just when you think you can't feel any more romantic you will discover quaint shops filled with incredible crafts and ceramics that will fill you with awe. Explore the life of North Beach, as we join family bakers kneading love into every loaf of bread. And just when you think that you can't be any closer to food heaven, we visit real coffee shops that fresh roast the coffee beans daily. And if that was not enough, we uncover authentic Italian cathedrals where hundreds of couples have felt their heartstrings tug. As you taste everything from cappuccinos, chocolates, breads, pastries, olive oils, specialty meats, and more, your senses and your taste buds will come alive. Every time we find another artisan crafting food handed down through generations or weaving life into handmade crafts, you'll know that you've experienced one of the places that makes San Francisco a series of ever expanding adventures. All food and drinks are included on this tour that was voted "Best City Tour" two years in a row on Citysearch. Tasting portions guarantee that you will not walk away hungry on this leisurely walking tour that strolls 7-8 flat blocks.

San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

7. San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

Explore San Francisco’s historic waterfront from the back of a self-balancing, eco-friendly Segway on this 2.5-hour tour, including a 45-50 minute training session on how to safely operate your vehicle. Your fully narrated route features spectacular views of San Francisco Bay, including Fish Alley, Fisherman's Chapel, the World War II Liberty Ship, and Submarine Pampanito. Go behind the scenes to see where the fishing industry, fleet and seafood processing are located, and catch the scent of the Dungeness crab stands in Fisherman's Wharf. Time permitting, you can take a loop through North Beach and San Francisco's Little Italy. On alternate days, a different route is taken, traveling from the Wharf area towards the Golden Gate Bridge. This loop glides through the Marina District, past the yacht harbors, and along Marina Green to the Palace of Fine Arts. Note: Please bring an extra layer of warm, resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

8. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

The Official city tour begins in Fisherman's Wharf heading towards the ferry building, then downtown Union Square. Go on a shopping spree with the top brands in the world and take lots of pictures with the heart of San Francisco. The tour will then continue to the Civic Center which houses the City Hall, Opera House and Symphony Hall. Moving on, you will be at Alamo Square with the world famous attraction 'painted ladies' (Victorian houses) and taken back in time to 'Summer of Love' at Haight & Ashbury. Next stop will be Golden Gate Park which holds the California Academy of Sciences, De-Young Museum, Japanese Tea Gardens, Conservatory of flowers and many more attractions. From here, you will be taken to the most iconic attraction of San Francisco, The Golden Gate bridge. Don't forget your cameras to capture the great views of the bridge, Alcatraz Island and the Bay. On the way back to downtown, you will pass The Palace of Fine Arts. Continuing through Van Ness Ave, down to Chinatown with lots of restaurants and souvenir gift shops, bustling cultural shops and the famous Chinatown Gates. At the end of your tour, you will return to the Fisherman's Wharf area with Pier 39, San Francisco Dungeons, Aquarium of the Bay, Madame Tussauds, etc.

San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

9. San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

Take a small-group day trip by bus around San Francisco. See the Golden Gate Bridge, spend time at the Muir Woods National Monument, and enjoy lunch in picturesque Sausalito. Meet outside Fisherman’s Wharf at your chosen tour time. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 6 hours you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity and geography of the area. You will exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration, enjoying lunch in Sausalito and then spending over an hour in the beautiful Muir Woods National Monument. At the end of your amazing adventure, you’ll be dropped off at the same location where you boarded the bus.  Here are the places you will explore (photo stops noted by *): • Fisherman's Wharf - One of San Francisco's most popular destinations. From beautiful old shipyards to Boudin's Bakery and the smell of fresh clam chowder, Fisherman's Wharf has it all • Chinatown - Boasting the largest Chinatown in the United States, this 24-block mecca is bustling with energy, amazing food, and unique shops that give this area its charm • North Beach - Voted as one of the USA's ten great neighborhoods, North Beach is best known as the home of Little Italy. From delicious restaurants to authentic sidewalk cafes and bakeries, you will feel the charm of San Francisco as soon as you arrive • Pacific Heights* - Offering one of the most scenic outlooks in all of Northern California, Pacific Heights is home to Billionaire's Row, featuring the estates of politicians, tech titans and other San Francisco celebrities  • Presidio - Former military base, now a beautiful park that includes Crissy Field, Fort Point, Lucasfilm's headquarters and the Walt Disney Museum • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared "one of the 10 wonders of the modern world," the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco • Muir Woods* - Muir Woods National Monument is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful trees in the world. Many consider this stop to be the highlight of their trip. The National Monument entry fee is an additional expense to the paid on the day. • Fort Point* - Located just beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point gives you a front-row seat to the Bay and is a great photo stop. This former military fortification was used during WWII • Sausalito* - Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge, this artistic enclave has the setting and beauty of a European Mediterranean town. Enjoy your lunch on the San Francisco Bay • Lombard Street - All tour buses and vans are prohibited from going near Lombard Street, but you can be dropped close by at the end of the tour.

San Francisco Movie Sights City Tour

10. 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?

Other Sightseeing Options in North Beach, San Francisco

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What people are saying about North Beach, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,264 reviews

This is one of the best hop on hop off tours I've done. We've used the big bus company in other cities, and this was fantastic. We were able to see everything San Francisco has to over, including going over the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, Fisherman's Wharf and so much more. Our ticket also included a evening tour, which took us over the Oakland Bay Bridge, which is equally stunning in it's own right, and gave us beautiful views of downtown San Francisco. We would highly recommend this tour.

Definitely ride on the upper deck!! Its amazing!! BRING A COAT, HOODIE, it's COLD!!!! Drivers were amazing and the knowledge about this city is awesome!! DO IT!!!

Was a great experience. Saw lots of San Francisco. Our guide Adam was excellent

I had a glorious time on the cruise. Staff members we are so nice and friendly.

excellent boat, clean, narration very clear and informative.