Exploring San Francisco with Kids
Collected by Jenna Francisco, AFAR Local Expert
San Francisco is one of those places that requires return visits. There is simply so much to do there that one visit could never be enough. Now that I'm a parent, San Francisco has become the place I look forward to taking my kids to see their wonder as they explore this unusual city.
Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA, USA
Alamo Square is home of the "Painted Ladies," eclectic musicians, and some of the most incredible views of San Fransisco. The trolleys won't take you all the way there, but cabs are easy to catch. We couldn't have chosen a better way to burn the...
Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Sometimes all it take to make a road famous are eight, tight hairpin turns. This one way street was designed in this manner to compensate for the steep incline (27 degrees) of the hill it’s on. Traffic on the hairpin area is reserved for eastbound...
I discovered this Marin Headlands view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of my very first trips to San Francisco. In my three-plus years living in the Bay Area, I still haven’t found a view to top it. My favorite time to visit is just after sunset,...
57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
It doesn't matter how well you think you know a place—there's always somewhere new worth exploring. San Francisco is packed with secret hideouts. One of my all-time favorites has to be the Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room—and the rather...
16th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project in the Inner Sunset is a reflection of the city’s creative spirit. Artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher led the initiative to cover a stairway in mosaics inspired by the Santa Teresa Steps in Rio de...
Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
100 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The Victorian-era glass and wood structure, which looks like a sugar-coated castle atop a grassy slope, is Golden Gate Park's oldest building. It's also one of San Francisco's most splendid historic sites. Wander through five different galleries...
Polk Gulch, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
ArKi is short for The Architect’s Kitchen since the owner, Tim Setiawan, used to be an architect before he got into the business of serving divine beignet-style donuts, fried to order, served piping hot and delicious. The truck offers several...
1690 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
In Golden Gate Park, right off Ocean Beach, you'll find two historic Murphy windmills that have just been restored to their former working glory. The surrounding tulips and a picnic area make it a perfect pit-stop on your way to, or from, the...
3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA
Standing out in San Francisco's Marina District, this historic landmark is a leftover from the 1915 Pan-Pacific International Expo and was designed by Bernard R. Maybeck, a student of the École des Beaux-Arts. His vision was to...
Lover's Ln, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
If you are looking for a great walk in San Francisco, try the Presidio National Park. Lover's Lane is a nice one to start with. If you drive, just after entering the southeastern gate (Presidio Blvd. Gate), you can make a left and park your car in...
1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
San Francisco is a great city for many reasons, one of which is all of the green space. It's easy to feel connected to nature here. When we planned to visit the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, we didn't expect it to be such an oasis. It was...
San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
The Vaillancourt Fountain is located in a large open square right across the street from the Ferry Building. After getting your foodie fix at the Ferry Building, or possibly after arriving after your cruise around the bay, it's worth stopping by...
933 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
The line for burgers and fries at Gott's Roadside (formerly Taylor's Refresher and don't you forget it) in St. Helena can be ridiculous in the afternoon, but if you go in the morning, you'll have your choice of picnic tables—either in front...
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The de Young Museum, with its perforated copper facade and spiraling tower in the center of Golden Gate Park, is as dramatic outside as it is inside. Follow the widening crack in the sidewalk into the atrium. It's an Andy Goldsworthy–created...
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