Discovering San Francisco for Families

Leslie Johnson
25th June 2015

San Francisco, the cultural hub of north California has as much to keep children entertained as adults.

Why go?

The city by the bay is the international gateway to the wonders of northern California, with plenty to keep children occupied, from getting their hands dirty cracking into fresh crab at Fisherman’s Wharf, to family-friendly museums and parks.  

Who is it good for? As with so many cities, San Francisco’s sites are best seen on foot, so make sure your kids are old enough to appreciate it and don’t mind walking – we suggest seven and over. It’s also worth noting that the steep hills and cable cars aren’t entirely stroller-friendly. 


Children will love riding the cable cars over its roller-coaster hills. Hop off at Lombard Street to walk the “crookedest street in the world” and enjoy a stroll along the waterfront.

Fisherman’s Wharf is punctuated by the enticing shops of Ghirardelli Square with a chocolate factory at its centre, while the Marina is a great place to join locals flying kites and walking dogs on a weekend morning.

There’s also Golden Gate Park, home to the California Academy of Sciences, the greenest museum in the world. It houses an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest and natural history museum under a 2.5 acre living roof. And, of course, take in the famous site of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Food: Stop for a dim sum lunch in Chinatown or sample the seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf. There’s also a charming Japanese tea house for refreshments with a Pacific flavor at Golden Gate Park. 

The lowdown

Best time to go? The days are warm and sunny in spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November). 

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