2 Days in San Francisco

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Two days in San Francisco are enough to visit its main tourist-circuit sights and the neighborhoods that give the city its undeniable character. There’s also time to heed the call of the bay, with Alcatraz and Sausalito luring urbanites across the water. Here’s how to maximize two days in SF.
 
Day 1: Explore Some Neighborhoods
Morning: Start today near Union Square, a central spot with easy access to iconic areas and attractions such as Chinatown, Grace Cathedral, and the St. Francis Hotel. A cable car ride takes you through cosmopolitan and old-school neighborhoods at a leisurely pace, while hop-on hop-off bus tours allow you to see more attractions in less time—some even go across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Afternoon: For low-key exploring on your first afternoon, culinary or cultural walking tours let you easily get to know San Francisco neighborhoods with local expertise. North Beach and Chinatown are the main players, but if you’re ready to venture farther out, head to the Mission, where you’ll find multicultural cuisine, eclectic shops, and beautiful alleyway murals.

Night: San Francisco has all the nightlife offerings of a world-class city. Edgy crowds congregate in Lower and Upper Haight, while the cool tech kids meet Burning Man types in SOMA. If around on a Thursday, it’s worth prebooking admission to California Academy of Sciences’ adults-only NightLife events, which offer music and cocktails while visitors explore the museum after hours.

Day 2: Cross the Bay
Morning: Your second morning is a perfect time to venture out onto the bay. Early-access Alcatraz tours should be booked well in advance, as they let you explore the infamous island-prison before most crowds arrive. If you get started early enough, you’ll have time to celebrate your morning accomplishment with a champagne brunch bay cruise afterward.

Afternoon: For lunch, take a ferry to Sausalito, a charming bayside town full of shops and galleries across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Muir Woods is another popular destination north of the city, offering an urban escape with old-growth redwood groves. Some tours visit both Sausalito and Muir Woods in a single afternoon.

Night: There is no shortage of memorable ways to spend your last night in San Francisco. Dine and dance to live music on an evening bay cruise, or choose a more casual nighttime bus tour—some travel in Volkswagens decked out in hippie gear, while others stop for illuminated city views from urban gems such as Treasure Island or the Presidio.
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Early Access to Alcatraz and Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Visit Alcatraz Island before most visitors arrive and tour San Francisco on a motorized classic cable car. You’ll head to Alcatraz early to enter this National Historic Landmark District. Explore the former prison via the award-winning audio guide, and enjoy a sightseeing tour of Chinatown, North Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge on a cable car retrofitted with wheels, so you can see more of the city.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$192.50 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$192.50 USD

Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Ride a double-decker sightseeing bus to San Francisco's most famous landmarks with a choice of 3 different passes. Explore the city's 49 square miles, including stops at big-name attractions like Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts and Union Square. Go at your own pace, hopping off at any of 24 stops, exploring at your leisure, and then hopping back on when you're done. Upgrade to the Big Bus to take walking tours of the Barbary Coast, Chinatown and North Beach. Choose the Premium or Deluxe pass to take a night bus tour, and a trolley tour in nearby Sausalito (included in Deluxe ticket only).
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$35.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$35.00 USD

San Francisco Dinner Dance Cruise

Spend an evening on the San Francisco Bay with this 2.5- or 3-hour dinner cruise, including a 4-course gourmet meal of fresh, local ingredients prepared on board. After dinner, dance to the live band or enjoy the nighttime views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the city skyline from the exterior deck. Viator Exclusive: Upgrade to include window seating and a bottle of sparkling wine, an option available nowhere else.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$150.31 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$150.31 USD

San Francisco Champagne Brunch Cruise

Glide across San Francisco Bay with unlimited mimosas and sparkling wine on this 2-hour, weekend brunch cruise. Sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, pass Alcatraz, and see the city skyline from the deck. A hearty buffet and onboard music keep the mood festive while you enjoy brunch and sightsee.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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$104.22 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$104.22 USD

San Francisco Golden Gate Seaplane Tour

Admire San Francisco from the air on this seaplane adventure from Sausalito. Aboard a 6-passenger plane, you’ll fly over the bay, taking in views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Muir Woods and more. See downtown San Francisco and Fisherman’s Wharf, and soar past Angel Island. Everyone gets a window seat on this 30-minute flight, and transportation is available from Pier 39.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
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$189.00 USD
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  • Duration: 30 minutes
From
$189.00 USD

Muir Woods and Sausalito Experience

Tired of the urban cityscape and feel like you need a breath of fresh air? Then jump on this San Francisco day trip by bus, and visit some of the world's tallest trees at Muir Woods National Historic Monument, only minutes from downtown. One moment you'll be kicking your way past the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito, and a short while later wandering beneath the majestic canopy of centuries-old California coastal redwoods.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$69.99 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$69.99 USD

Skip the Line: San Francisco Ferry to Sausalito or Tiburon

Getting across San Francisco Bay is as easy as taking to the water. The San Francisco Ferry runs one-way and round-trip service to both Sausalito and Tiburon, so rather than worry about traffic, you can sit back and relax while savoring incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and the San Francisco skyline. The bayside towns of Sausalito and Tiburon make great day trips from San Francisco, and each boasts a bevy of boutiques, galleries and restaurants to explore. Linger by the water, enjoy a drink (own expense) or simply stroll along the narrow streets and delight in the surrounding scenery. This ticket allows you to skip the box office line and head straight to the gate.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
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$12.50 USD
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  • Duration: 30 minutes
From
$12.50 USD

SPECIAL OFFER

Muir Woods and Sausalito Half Day Tour

Experience Muir Woods National Monument and the quaint waterfront town of Sausalito on one half-day tour. Travel across the Golden Gate Bridge on a guided day trip that includes pickup in a convenient central location in downtown San Francisco, transportation to Marin, and National Park entrance fees. Enjoy free time among the ancient redwoods, then explore Sausalito at your own pace before returning to San Francisco by ferry.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$67.15 USD
$79.00 USD  $11.85 USD savings
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$67.15 USD
$79.00 USD  $11.85 USD savings

Flavors and Murals of the Mission District of San Francisco

Discover a variety of delicious foods along with vibrant street art on a 2.5-hour food and art tour in San Francisco’s Mission District. Your guide introduces you to the history and culture of the neighborhood as you take in eye-popping murals along Balmy Avenue and Clarion Alley, and taste the specialties at five favorite local eateries. Expect to try gourmet donuts, Mexican pastries, agua fresca (fruit drink), sweet or savory pie, and stop at a famous taqueria before finishing up at Dolores Park and the Mission Dolores.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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$89.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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$89.00 USD

San Francisco City Lights Evening Tour

Roll thorough San Francisco during the twilight hours in a double-decker tour bus. During this 2-hour tour, see the sights of Union Square, the Marina and Chinatown as their lights twinkle on. Get your camera out to snap photos of the Golden Gate Bridge from a scenic overlook and cross the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island. Look back at the city skyline from your vantage point in the middle of the bay and witness the Bay Bridge's LED art installation. Along the way, learn about the history, architecture, culture and traditions of San Francisco through live narration.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$30.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$30.00 USD

Mission District Culinary Experience with Cocktail Pairing

Taste an array of culinary offerings in San Francisco's Mission district during this 4-course progressive dining experience. Follow a foodie guide through the historically Latino neighborhood packed with bars and restaurants. Stop at four different restaurants for a prix-fixe menu starting with 2 appetizer stops followed by an entree and concluding with dessert. Along the way you'll hear the stories of restaurant owners and chefs, who will give a behind-the-scenes perspective of the area, while enjoying food tastings. The mission is to help guests experience the world differently through storytelling and food, so you might try a unique dish or experience an old favorite in a new way. So bring a sense of adventure during this fascinating insider tour that's rated five stars on Yelp.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$102.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$102.00 USD

San Francisco Love Night Tour

Get to know the hippie past and hipster vibe that make up San Francisco today aboard a colorful 1970s-era Volkswagen bus. Enjoy the illuminated city during this 2-hour night tour that takes you to Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, downtown and more. Check out the homes of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, while listening to ‘60s classics. So dig your shoes into groovy shag carpet and shake some beaded curtains. Each bus accommodates up to just six people.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$65.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$65.00 USD

Big Bus San Francisco Night Tour

Get a unique perspective on San Francisco by taking a 1-hour nighttime bus tour. See neighborhoods such as Fisherman's Wharf, Embarcadero, Chinatown and the Financial District while listening to commentary from a live guide. Multiple tour departure times available to suit your schedule.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$35.00 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$35.00 USD

Mission 18th Street San Francisco Food Tour

Get a taste of San Francisco’s Mission District on this 3-hour food tour. Led by a local guide, you'll treat your taste buds to a diverse range of cuisine, from traditional Latin recipes to modern spins on local dishes. Bring an appetite for authentic tacos and Mexican delicacies, house-cured pastrami sandwiches, horchata-flavored cupcakes and more. This tour is offered along Mission in the evening along 18th Street.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$113.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$113.00 USD


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