San Francisco may be filled with today’s biggest tech companies, but you’d be surprised at the sheer number of many family-friendly opportunities available in this often-foggy metropolitan city. As a Bay Area native, I present to you five activities you can do with your entire crew without wearing out the the west-coast-best-coast vibe.
Have a family picnic at Mission Dolores Park.
This park is full of colorful local characters and offers a stunning view of San Francisco on a clear day. You can enjoy the panorama by sitting on the higher part of the grass slope while watching people walk their dog or play a game of ultimate frisbee. Don’t miss local favorites like Tartine Bakery and Bi-Rite Creamery for some scrumptious pastries and ice cream!
Ride the iconic cable car.
It’s no doubt a touristy thing, but what is a true San Franciscan experience without the cable car? Acquaint yourself with the city’s steep hills as you travel up and down across town and see for yourself why people still embrace this timeless form of transportation.
Visit Ghirardelli Square to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Ghirardelli Square on North Point Street by Fisherman’s Wharf is a go-to spot for most to try San Francisco’s famous chocolates. The sweet shop includes full service dining with views of the water. If you’re looking for something savory on the other hand, there’s the classic west-coast IN-N-OUT burger fives minutes away by foot on Jefferson Street.
Stage a family photoshoot at the Palace of Fine Arts.
Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, the Palace of Fine Arts is an impressive Beaux-Arts style structure containing classical columns and ornately decorated walkways that give this hipster city a slightly more European feel. While it serves as a very popular place for engagement photoshoots, why not stage one for you and your kids? With a big enough space for kids to run around, you’ll be sure to get some great photos of them in front of a beautiful backdrop.
See an albino alligator at the Academy of Sciences.
The California Academy of Sciences is a must for all families. This natural history museum is among one of the most famous in the world, housing over 46 million specimens and includes an impressive rainforest dome and an outdoor roof deck. One of their most famous inhabitants is Claude the albino alligator, who lives on the first floor. Be sure to buy your tickets early so you don’t face the long queue during high season.
Vivian is New York City-based food and culture enthusiast. When not working, you can find her traversing across the globe, frolicking around food markets, meeting new people at jazz bars, and immersing herself in art museums.