San Francisco
San Francisco
Fisherman's Wharf

At Fisherman's Wharf, the smell of salt air and breezes blowing off the ocean makes you want to hop on the first boat and sail across the Pacific, but a cruise around San Francisco Bay with kids is great fun (no sailing experience required). On land, explore historic sailing ships or a World War II submarine. Around Pier 39, you'll find a different sort of marine life – California sea lions. Round out your visit to Fisherman's Wharf with a visit to "The Rock," Alcatraz Island.


Alcatraz Island
Pier 39
Maritime National Historical Park
Bay Cruises - Take a boat cruise around San Francisco Bay. In the hour-long cruise, you'll sail past the San Francisco waterfront, Sausalito, Alcatraz and Angel Islands. The most memorable highlight - sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.
USS Pampanito Submarine - Take a tour of this World War II long-range cruising submarine. The "silent service" wasn't so silent - it was noisy and hot in a submarine, and it had very cramped quarters. Inside the submarine, you'll see berths in the torpedo room, the tiny galley kitchen, radio and engine rooms, and crew's quarters, with bunks stacked three deep (the crew took turns sleeping). The audio tour is free, informative, and you can take it at your own pace.
Musee Mechanique (Pier 45) - The Musee Mechanique is an antique coin-operated arcade, a collection of mechanical toys from the late 19th and 20th century. These charming mechanical toys feature a handmade miniature carnival and farm, gypsy fortunetellers, 3-D steroscopes of the San Francisco earthquake, player pianos, plus old favorites such as Whac a Mole, pinball machines and old video games. Great place to come on a bad weather day.
Boudin Museum and Bakery Tour (Jefferson St.) - The Boudin family has been making sourdough bread in San Francisco since 1849. Step into the museum and demonstration bakery, a self-guided tour, to find out more about San Francisco history (the Boudin family rescued the "mother dough" in the 1906 earthquake), what makes sourdough bread sour, and watch bread being made. At the end of the tour, there's free samples of bread (try the raisin chocolate) and jam, and don't miss the bread in delightful shapes - crabs, alligators and turtles. (The self-guided tour is free for kids 12 and under, with a paying adult.)
Sidewalk seafood (Jefferson at Taylor) - Stop to watch people cooking and cracking crabs. There are big steaming vats where the crabs are boiled, then the crabs are cracked open with mallets.
Ride the cable car – At the corner of Beach and Hyde Streets is the cable car turnaround for both the Powell-Hyde cable car. Riding up the hill, be sure to look back for views of the wharf and San Francisco Bay.
Lombard Street - Lombard Street looks like a child's drawing - a red brick road, planted with bright flowers, curving back and forth down the steep hill. Drive down the hill in a car for the full effect (but it is very crowded in summer.) Or, take the Powell-Hyde cable car, and hop off at Lombard Street. The view from the top of the hill is spectacular.
Fun food
Chocolate lovers (kids and parents) will want to head over to Ghirardelli Square, to the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop for gooey ice cream sundaes and chocolates, a San Francisco tradition. Also fun to watch is the mini chocolate factory, machines mixing that lovely chocolate, going round and round.

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