San Francisco with Kids!
We absolutely love San Francisco. It is such a fun family friendly city with so much to see and do! But more importantly, it is so totally completely different from our small southern town. It has a wonderful way of opening your eyes to different lifestyles and provides a perfect learning experience for kids! Make sure you check the weather forecast…we went in July and it was chilly (in my opinion).
Here are my top 10 things you must do in San Francisco!
1. Alcatraz– this may seem obvious, but neither my husband nor I are history buffs and I truly didn’t know if the kids were old enough to enjoy it. But at 7 and 9 years old, they loved it. Get the audio tour- it was fantastic. The kids only made it about ¾ the way through the audio tour before moving on, but overall it was definitely worthwhile. Make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time, they sell out months in advance!
2. Exploratorium– I honestly thought this was just another kid’s museum. Y’all, I was so wrong! This hands-on museum is one of the best in the country in my opinion. I wish all kids could learn this way and the adults loved this too! My biggest regret was not having more time to spend there!
3. Fisherman’s Wharf Boudin Bread Museum- we stopped here because a. we were starving and b. they’re known for their breads. What I didn’t know was how much my kids would love this museum and watching the bread being made. I’m not a huge fan of the wharf area only because its super touristy, but we did get to see a few seals which is always fun. (They are not there all year long- just a note if you are expecting to see them.)
4. Lombard Street- again Uber to the rescue. We not only walked down this famous street but our lovely Uber driver drove us down it. The kids thought this was fantastic! There are a million people standing in the road taking pictures so be safe.
(Side Note: San Francisco hills are no joke…we walked our butts off!)
5. Ride a Cable Car- The lines for the cable cars can be really long…so instead of stressing about it, we just picked a random stop to get on and off. No destination. Just a ride there and back which was way less stressful than being on a timeline and WAY MORE FUN!
6. China Town- Not only is it cool to walk the streets and see the different markets but you can visit the fortune cookie factory. They will let you write a fortune and insert it into your own freshly made cookie for just a couple of dollars and its really fun to watch the ladies creating these little cookies in assembly line style.
7. Japanese Tea Garden- I just loved this place. I sooo wish we had had more time for us to participate in one of the traditional tea ceremonies, but it’s definitely on the list for the next visit. BUT, this place was great for the kids to wander and climb and get some of that energy out!
8. Eat! No, seriously, San Fran is known for brunch for a reason…because it’s amazing!!! But I love using my trusty Yelp app to avoid going to the tourist traps and to get a more authentic experience. Gah, I’m drooling just thinking about all the deliciousness! Mama’s in Washington Square is a bit of a tourist stop, however it lived up to the hype. Go early, the day we went the line started forming an hour before the even opened. (Sidenote: restaurants will always have negative reviews…look at the most recent and the overall reviews when selecting a restaurant.)
9. Golden Gate Bridge- this one is also pretty obvious. In hindsight, we should’ve biked the bridge but I wasn’t sure if my kids could do it (they totally could have). So we took an Uber over the bridge instead! Our fabulous driver took us to two different overlooks and even took our picture for us!