San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

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San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

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: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

2. 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: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

3. 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 Segway Sunset Tour

4. San Francisco Segway Sunset Tour

See 3 of San Francisco’s most enchanting neighborhoods during sunset and at night on a 2.5-hour Segway tour with guide. Meet your guide at Fisherman’s Wharf, where you will get a 45-50 minute training session to familiarize yourself with the self-balancing Segways. Then, glide through North Beach, best known as San Francisco’s Little Italy. Stop at Washington Square Park and learn about the Beat Generation that used to frequent the area. Then, continue to Chinatown, a veritable city within a city. See the hidden alleys of the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. Enjoy romantic night views of the Transamerica Pyramid and Ferry Building. The tour will then loop back from the edge of the Financial District towards the Wharf. Cruise past historic piers along the Embarcadero, while San Francisco Bay glitters against the night. Your next stop is Fisherman’s Wharf, gliding past picturesque fishing harbors and hidden gems such as Fish Alley and Fisherman’s Chapel. Watch Dungeness crabs being cracked, and see the Cable Car turntable at the end of the Hyde Street Line. At Ghirardelli Square, you will learn more about the famous chocolate that bears its name. View the streamline design of the National Maritime Museum and take in breathtaking views of Alcatraz Lighthouse and the twinkling lights of the Bay Bridge. Then, return to the start point, and end with an Irish coffee at Buena Vista Café. 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.

San Francisco: 2-Hour Private Group Tuk Tuk Night Tour

5. San Francisco: 2-Hour Private Group Tuk Tuk Night Tour

Experience San Francisco by night in a tuk-tuk, a modern-day rickshaw that puts nothing between you and the sparkling City by the Bay. Have a blast on a 2-hour private group tour, enjoy panoramic views, and listen to live commentary from your guides. During your tour, marvel at the majestic Golden Gate Bridge and ominous Alcatraz Island from bustling Fisherman's Wharf. Cruise through the back alleys of Chinatown, breathe in the delicious aromas of dinners in North Beach, and feed your Instagram with glittering shots of the most gorgeous city in the world. Tours start at Fisherman’s Wharf at Umbrella Alley. Private tours are limited to 5 adult riders per tuk-tuk (or 6 riders if the group includes children and adults). Tour highlights include: • Fisherman's Wharf, Dungeness crab stands, and picturesque fishing harbors • Maritime Park and historic ships at Hyde Street Pier • Marina Green with views of Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Bay • Views of the Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field • The Palace of Fine Arts • Marina district • City Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, War Memorial Opera House, Asian Art Museum • Union Square • Dragon’s Gate and Chinatown • Jackson Square historic district • Transamerica Pyramid, Embarcadero Center, and Financial District • Ferry Building and Embarcadero • Exploratorium and cruise ship terminal • Broadway Street and tunnel • Lombard Street – the most crooked street (depending on traffic conditions) • North Beach Little Italy and Washington Square Park • Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill • Pier 39 and Ferry Arch at Pier 41

San Francisco VIP Segway Tour: Waterfront and Hills

6. 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.

San Francisco: Design in the Financial District Audio Tour

7. San Francisco: Design in the Financial District Audio Tour

Explore San Francisco’s historic Financial District with this self-guided audio walking tour created by John King, the San Francisco Chronicle's urban design critic. See the area's most impressive architecture and delve into the history of some of its most iconic buildings. Find out about this area inhabited by gargoyles and walruses, where redwood trees hug an 850-foot pyramid. Learn how the past collides with the present and find the hidden clues that show how the district has evolved. Go at your own pace with plenty of opportunities to take a break along the way. Some of the highlights from the tour: • The identity of shrouded sculptures that look down on San Francisco's famous cable cars • An ornate office building that's only 20 feet wide • A 20-story metal high-rise perched atop two classical banks • Stunning art deco lobbies • Why everybody was wrong about the Transamerica Pyramid • The office of fictional detective Sam Spade

Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

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What people are saying about San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 63 reviews

It was a fun way to keep teenagers engaged and see the sights of the city. If you are looking for a detailed tour regarding the history of the area, this is not it.

Very good introduction and explanation. A very personable and very cool guide. Value for money is absolutely fine. We will definitely do a tour like this again.

TK was great! Our group happened to have only six people in it, so he was able to keep everyone engaged by name and make the tour personalized.

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

TK and Brian were excellent!! Best way to see the wharf and north beach