North Beach, San Francisco
Viewing Points

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Our most recommended North Beach, San Francisco Viewing Points

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: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

2. San Francisco: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

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 sites, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf. The hop-on-hop-off route stops at key 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 and back on at your leisure to create your own customized itinerary around the city. Explore 3 routes depending on your ticket purchase. San Francisco City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Explore San Francisco’s famous landmarks on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you cruise through the city on an open-top bus and learn about San Francisco's unique history Panoramic Night Tour Board the bus at Pier 41 at the end of Powell St in Fisherman's Wharf to explore the dazzling city of San Francisco at night. Climb up 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 site of the 1939’s World Fair. Heading back into the city, continue along the Embarcadero to view the glittering lights on the Port of San Francisco.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

3. 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. That’s not the end of the delicious snacks either - you'll 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. Your tour will also 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.

San Francisco: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

4. San Francisco: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

Explore San Francisco with a 1-day ticket, that includes two most popular hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tours. You can hop on and off the bus at any of the designated stops to explore all the major sights of San Francisco at your own pace. The Official City Tour - Hop On, Hop Off This 2 hour tour provides the best views of San Francisco's Downtown, Union Square, The Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park from a Double Decker Bus. Be sure to bring your camera, there will be plenty of photo opportunities to commemorate your visit to the city by the bay.  Official City Tour Highlights: Ghirardelli Square – Over 40 shops and restaurants, including the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, world famous for its ice cream sundaes. Palace of Fine Arts – Built for the World Fair has been a favorite wedding location for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Also a popular location for many festival celebrations, orchestras and events. Golden Gate Bridge – A great place to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge or visit the Presidio and its former Military establishments Golden Gate Park – An exciting place to visit a number of museums and attractions such as The Conservatory of Flowers, The California Academy of Sciences and The deYoung Museum. Haight/Ashbury – More commonly known as the “Hippie District”, Haight maintains the Summer of Love feel with its numerous shops and murals dedicated to the 1960’s. City Hall – Great photo opportunities of the San Francisco City Hall structures near to the Opera House, Symphony Hall and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Union Square – The central shopping district in San Francisco, featuring Macy’s, Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus, Victoria’s Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, and hundreds of other major retailers. Fisherman’s Wharf – Located on the northern waterfront, this area is best known for Pier 39 (shopping, restaurants, sea lions and much more), San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the Cannery Shopping Center, Alcatraz Landing, and many other attractions. San Francisco Night Tour This live narrated bus tour shows you the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city at night. Enjoy panoramic views of San Francisco from the top of a double decker bus from Treasure Island. The tour will be led by knowledgeable guides, to make your evening in San Francisco unforgettable.

San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

5. 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.

San Francisco: Double Decker Bus City Sightseeing Tour

6. San Francisco: Double Decker Bus City Sightseeing Tour

See the highlights of San Francisco from the comfort of a double-decker bus on this tour. Pass through well-known neighborhoods such as Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, and Haight-Ashbury. Take the iconic Golden Gate Bridge across the water for views of the city and Alcatraz Island.  Start your trip from Fisherman’s Wharf. Enjoy the vibrant crowds and colorful atmosphere at Pier 39. During the right time of year, you can catch a glimpse of the sea lion colony by the waterfront. On the way to the North Beach neighborhood, take a photo of Lombard Street. Watch drivers wind their way through the most crooked street in the world. Enjoy the Italian influences in the area. After World War II, it became a center for the Beatnik subculture.  Check out the bright blue tower of the Ferry Building with the Bay Bridge behind it. Swing into the Financial District with its modern architecture. Keep an eye out for cable cars in traffic and shoppers on your way to Union Square. Snap photos of the City Hall in the Civic Center. Climb the city’s hills and experience the charms of the famous Victorian houses. They add a pop of color to the ride. Look for signs of hippie culture and murals the closer you get to Haight-Ashbury, a hotspot of the Summer of Love. Descend into Golden Gate Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world. Take a breath of the fresh sea breeze rolling in from the beach nearby. Drive by the Conservatory of Flowers and de Young Art Museum. The path through the park takes you right to the water. Cross the 1.7-mile long span of the Golden Gate Bridge. Spot Alcatraz Island in the bay on the way to North Vista Point. Hop off for a selfie with the bridge and San Francisco as your backdrop. From there, take another trip over the water to return to Fisherman’s Terminal.

San Francisco VIP Segway Tour: Waterfront and Hills

7. San Francisco VIP Segway Tour: Waterfront and Hills

Get VIP views of San Francisco’s waterfront, wharf, and hills on a private Segway tour that includes a cruise through Aquatic Park and ends at Municipal Pier. En route, you will pass myriad attractions, such as the Maritime National Historical Park for panoramic views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. After your brief training session to ensure you feel safe and comfortable on your self-balancing, eco-friendly mode of transport, climb the slopes of Russian Hill, the affluent residential neighborhood that takes its name from the Gold Rush era when settlers discovered a small Russian cemetery at the top of the hill. Peek down paths to see some of San Francisco’s 350 secret stairways. Climb past the cable cars to reach the summit of Lombard Street, the “Crookedest Street in the World.” Continue down the world’s most famous twisting street toward North Beach, heading down the slopes of Telegraph Hill. Experience the European (predominantly Italian) flavor of North Beach. Stop to admire the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Washington Square Park at the heart of Little Italy. Next, you will go to Pier 39, home to San Francisco’s famous sea lions. Glide past the historic fishing fleet of the wharf, and smell the Pacific Ocean before scooting back to the start point. The hills portion of the route may be adjusted or canceled based on rider ability and guest safety. Route changes are at the discretion of the tour guide. Please note: Bring an extra layer of warm, wind resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

North Beach: Curated 4-Course Food Tour

8. North Beach: Curated 4-Course Food Tour

Your fully guided 3-hour tour takes you through the heart of North Beach and not only features great food but exposes you to the bawdy history of this neighborhood that was known as the Barbary Coast during the Gold Rush. On this 4-course progressive prix-fixe dining experience, you will visit 4 restaurants for two appetizers, one entree, and one dessert, with a sprinkling of culinary history and stories in between.  Enjoy authentic Italian wood-fired pizza from the oldest pizza oven on the West Coast, voted the third best pizza in the USA by People Magazine’s Pizza Search. Following this, enjoy contemporary kale chips and vegan sampler in former Amelio’s, a historic North Beach restaurant and speakeasy, host of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe’s wedding dinner. Then, taste sweet and savory local artisan agave caramel and caramel popcorn at a neighborhood gourmet food boutique. Finally, watch an Italian expert cannoli maker fill your delicate cannoli at a historic Italian bookshop turned cafe. 

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What people are saying about North Beach, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 875 reviews

Maggie was our tour guide and was excellent!! She was extremely knowledgeable about the San Francisco area and its history! Our group was very small, so we got a lot of individualized attention. This tour was well worth our time and money! Thoroughly enjoyed it!!

Was a great attraction for a 1st timer to the city. Gives you a good veiw of the city and alcatraz from a different point of view.

Easy ticket on line and boarding . Fun safe cruise We loved spacious seating and view . I will do it again

Jack is very patience as I tried to explore different locations. Thank you!

Great views. Gets a little windy so bundle up and hold on to your hat!