san francisco

A world of diverse landscapes, Hollywood glam and iconic attractions

the city by the bay

Discover another of California's playgrounds, a premier gateway city that is increasingly captivating Kiwi travellers.
San Francisco beckons Kiwi travellers with its alluring blend of iconic landmarks and diverse cultures. Marvel at the majestic Golden Gate Bridge standing proudly against the backdrop of the bay, and uncover the enigmatic history of Alcatraz Island, a fascinating journey into the past. Traverse the winding curves of Lombard Street, an architectural wonder, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Fisherman's Wharf, where seafood delights and vibrant scenes await.

San Francisco's historic cable cars, seamlessly connecting hotspots and parks, are a unique mode of transport that adds to the city's charm. Whether you wander through the vibrant streets, embark on a bay cruise to witness the city skyline from a different perspective, or indulge in artisan coffee in one of its trendy neighbourhoods, San Francisco encourages an open-minded embrace of its distinctive charm.

Let Travel USA guide you in planning an unforgettable Bay Area experience, where every corner holds a new adventure in this captivating playground of California.

Pier_Alcatraz & Coit tower great view of San Francisco

Things to see & do

Browse through our recommended selection of things to see and do in San Francisco. Many of these are included in our suggested itineraries, however, if there is
anything you see that particularly takes your interest, please let us know and we will include it in your holiday package or put you in touch with the right people.

San Francisco Cable Car

All aboard for a nostalgic journey through time and the heart of San Francisco with a cable car ride, an iconic symbol of the city for over 150 years. The Powell/Hyde and Powell/Mason lines steal the show, linking Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, showcasing landmarks and classic city views along the way. Transport and history buffs can dive deeper into their legacy at the Cable Car Museum on Mason Street.

Lombard St

Check out the ‘Crookedest Street in the World’, this legendary San Francisco gem that flaunts eight hairpin turns in just the one block, stealing the spotlight in many movies and TV shows. Be part of the action - whether driving or strolling, this iconic street promises an adventure etched in every twist. Join the ranks of eager tourists and conquer its twists and turns!

Golden Gate Bridge

Cross the legendary Golden Gate Bridge, an international symbol and architectural marvel. It stands as a global icon striking poses for cameras worldwide since 1937. This structural masterpiece links San Francisco to the scenic Marin County and charming Sausalito, offering not just a drive but a cinematic journey through iconic landscapes.

California Academy of Sciences

Experience it all at the California Academy of Sciences. This is not your run-of-the-mill science museum - it's an innovative blend of the Kimball Natural History Museum, Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, and Osher Rainforest, all neatly assembled under the one living roof. Think of it as more than just a suggestion - highly recommended! 

Alcatraz Island

Escape to Alcatraz Island - the notorious former federal prison, smack in the heart of San Francisco Bay, that once caged the likes of Al Capone. Now, it's a hotspot for visitors and history buffs. Dive into the prison's intriguing past, epic escape attempts, and the stories of its infamous inmates. Pre-booking is the key to unlocking this adventure!

Amoeba Music

Add to your record collection at Amoeba Music, a true haven for music enthusiasts with locations in Berkeley, and San Francisco. A paradise for vinyl lovers, stacked with an impressive selection of new and used vinyl records to choose from. For a 'real groovy' experience, Amoeba Music is the place to be!

de Young Museum

Indulge in artistic wonders at the de Young Museum, a cultural treasure where American art, international textiles, and ancient American masterpieces converge. Housed in a show-stopping copper-clad building and featuring ever-changing exhibitions, it takes art enthusiasts through a journey of diverse and captivating expressions that redefine creative boundaries. 

Napa & Sonoma Valley

Embark on a grape-soaked adventure in the Valleys where less than 80 km from San Francisco lies the Napa and Sonoma Valley wine regions. Napa, the larger of the two, is a glam haven of scenic vineyards and posh wineries whereas Sonoma boasts a more laid-back vibe, offering a boutique-style charm. Here’s cheers to unforgettable grape escapes!

Fisherman's Wharf

Experience the lively vibes of Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular waterfront neighbourhood bursting with shops, seafood havens, and diverse attractions. Wander through Pier 39, where iconic sea lions steal the show, as they bask in the sun on the docks. Get ready to soak in the charm of this waterfront gem where new experiences are waiting to be uncovered!

 

Walt Disney Family Museum

Step into an enchanting world and discover the man behind the magic at this vibrant tribute to the legendary Walt Disney. Uncover the magic through captivating exhibits, original art and personal artefacts that narrate Disney's extraordinary evolution from a young artist to an entertainment visionary. 

Aquarium Of The Bay

Dive into the wonders of the sea at this wonderful bayfront setting at Pier 39 - your gateway to the underwater wonders of the Bay Area. Get ready for an educational odyssey as you explore the diverse marine life that calls the San Francisco Bay and its surroundings home. 

Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Embark on a visual journey at West Coast's trailblazer museum, dedicated exclusively to 20th-century art - a dynamic canvas showcasing the evolution of modern art in all its forms. Explore a vibrant mix of artistic expressions, from captivating paintings and sculptures to evocative photography and groundbreaking multimedia creations. 

Sausalito

Travel across the Golden Gate Bridge to this charming waterfront town, celebrated for its postcard-perfect bay views, eclectic houseboat communities, and a lively arts scene. The perfect day trip, a picturesque escape where every corner exudes the laid-back charm that makes Sausalito a true gem.

Experience live sport

Catch the adrenaline, the cheers, and the thrill of a live game - because experiencing sports the American way is an absolute must! The City by the Bay is home to the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and the Golden State Warriors or you can cross the Bay Bridge to take in an Oakland Athletics ballgame. Chat with Travel USA to score your tickets and we'll look to lock in your seats before you even pack your bags!

Golden Gate Park

Get ready to wander through the sprawling wonders of Golden Gate Park, the city's grand oasis, and unveil treasures like the Japanese Tea Garden, de Young Museum, Conservatory of Flowers, and the California Academy of Sciences. For an adventure on two wheels, grab a bike and pedal your way through this vast playground of nature and culture.

California Great America

Gear up for wild thrills at California Great America, located just 70 km away in Santa Clara - the go-to spot in Northern California for adrenaline junkies and family fun. Dive into a world of attractions, rides, and roller coasters that cater to both big kids and little ones. And don't forget the South Bay Shores Waterpark - the perfect place to cool off!

Coit Tower

Ascend Telegraph Hill to this iconic San Francisco landmark, grab your ticket and elevate yourself to the observation deck for a 360-degree spectacle. Marvel at panoramic views of the city, the bay, and the majestic Golden Gate and Bay bridges. 

3-star Michelin dining

Elevate your taste buds at a 3-star Michelin delight. San Francisco has three - Atelier Crenn, Benu, and Quince. And if that's not enough, the acclaimed French Laundry awaits nearby in Napa. Ans, don't miss the widely acclaimed Japanese inspired SingleThread Restaurant, Farm and Inn nestled in the Sonoma Valley, just 90 minutes north of San Francisco. Click on the link below for more delectable details, including how you can combine an exquisite dining experience with an overnight stay in one of their five luxurious guest rooms.

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The Painted Ladies

Get your cameras ready for ‘The Painted Ladies’, whimsical Victorian and Edwardian beauties famously known as "Postcard Row." These charming houses, draped in pastel hues, are a living canvas portraying the city's historic charm with their unique architecture. It's not just a photo; it's a glimpse into the timeless elegance that makes The Painted Ladies an essential piece of San Francisco's story. Say cheese to history!

 

Apple Park

Visit the heart of Apple Inc. Nestled on the outskirts of San Jose, just an hour from San Francisco, Apple Inc.'s HQ, aptly named 'Apple Park,' boasts the iconic circular main building known as the "Spaceship." While the HQ is a no-go, Apple enthusiasts can swing by the Apple Park Visitors Centre, dive into the Apple Store, bask in rooftop terrace views, and catch a sneak peek at the architectural wonder of Apple Park.

Asian Art Museum

Celebrate the vibrant tapestry of Asia at the Asian Art Museum. With over 18,000 treasures, from ancient jades and ceramics to cutting-edge video art, the AAM is a visual feast. Immerse yourself in the rich traditions and contemporary creativity that make this museum a dynamic showcase of Asia's artistic legacy. 

Chinatown

Welcome to a taste of Asia in America at the largest Chinatown outside of Asia - a vibrant neighbourhood where visitors get to roam through its lively streets adorned with traditional architecture, bustling markets, and an array of authentic Chinese eateries and shops. 

Stanford University

Walk in the footsteps of greatness as you stroll through the hallowed grounds of Stanford University, a powerhouse of academic brilliance and innovation. Download a map from the Visitor Information website and take a self-guided journey into the heart of intellect and progress.

Muir Woods National Monument

Embark on a woodland adventure, just north of the city, where nature’s grandeur awaits in a sanctuary of ancient giants - towering coastal redwoods, some of the world's tallest trees. Wander the trails, in the serenity of this pristine old-growth redwood haven, where every step is a brush with the majesty of these timeless wonders. 

Explore San Francisco with the Go City Pass

With Travel USA and Go City, sightseeing couldn’t be easier. One pass, one price, all the sights - save up to 50% on the best attractions, tours, and activities - see more, spend less! From Madame Tussauds to fast-paced kart racing, we've got you covered!

N.B. The all-inclusive pass is included in Travel USA’s San Francisco and selected California packages giving you unlimited access to more than 30 attractions, tours, and activities during your stay.

GO CITY PASS
Painted Ladies San Fran at sunset San Francisco's icon landscape

Interested in finding out more?

Contact us today for expert travel advice and personalised trip planning assistance.
Bay Bridge San Francisco with stunning yellow sunset

Not quite what you're looking for?

Our packages and featured 'things to see and do' have been created to excite, inspire and inform Kiwi travellers about what we recommend they do when travelling to the USA. All of these can be personalised to your individual needs and preferences. Contact us to discuss your requirements so we can work together to create the perfect adventure for you.
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