San Francisco Family Vacation Ideas

Get Ready for some Thrills, Chills and Twists in your San Francisco Family Vacation...

There's always something exciting waiting for those who plan for California family vacations.

Although many people may not be aware this eclectic California city is just as much fun for kids and teens as it is for adults. Why not set your next vacation course for this city by the Bay?

family vacation ideas

San Francisco family vacation require some advance planning if you want to get to see all of the top attractions. To keep everyone happy you might want to let each person choose 1 or 2 of the stops.

Then you can construct an itinerary that will get you around the town with the least amount of confusion and backtracking.

Carless San Francisco Family Vacations are Best

At least you don't have to worry about using a car while you are staying in San Francisco. Parking is not something that you want to try and deal with because there are so few parking places available. Public parking lots charge $12+ per hour for one car and that adds up quickly.

You can forget parking along the streets because this city is not designed for such activities and the city police love to enforce the laws regarding any and all types of traffic violations. Yep, this includes any kind of illegal parking.

In fact you can get a hefty ticket for a parking violation that you never knew existed. San Francisco family vacations are best enjoyed by leaving your car in the parking garage or parking lot provided by your hotel.

Get around San Francisco with these Transportation Options

So how do you travel about the Golden Gate city with your family and still have fun?

Take a ride on the cable cars that you have seen in movies and on TV shows.

These are lots of fun and very inexpensive, but they are also notoriously inefficient. Still a cable car ride up and down some of the city hills is a highpoint of most San Francisco family vacations.

san fancisco family vacation ideas

Walking is the most inexpensive way to get around the main streets of this California town.

You probably will not want to do this for hours on end though, due to all of the steep hills that are involved. The MUNI and BART are two other low cost options.

The MUNI is actually the San Francisco Municipal Railway and maps of the routes and stops are available at the Visitor's Center as well as at hotels and shops.

The BART is the Bay Area Rapid Travel system that provides high speed travel on elevated rails that are a great way to let your family have a real bird's eye tour of the Bay area.

san fancisco family vacation ideas

A Mother Goose Moment

"There was a Crooked Man Who Had a Crooked House" is the first line of a familiar nursery rhyme that is a childhood favorite.

Now you can take your children to see a Crooked Street that really exists. Who knows, you may just see find the nursery rhyme characters living there too?

Lombard Street is a must-see attraction that should be included on all San Francisco family vacations. If your kids don't know about this legendary "crooked street" don't tell them.

Let this be one of those special family moments that you all experience together.

A ride, or walk down this street to the Bay is well worth the time and effort.

Become Science Explorers

How about taking the kids to an area attraction where IQ scores can get a quick boost. Who knows, you may just spark your child's interest in space, math or science?

The Exploratorium is located in San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts at 3601 Lyon Street at Marina Boulevard. Your kids do not have to know that they are being taught physics, engineering, biology and chemistry.

Just let them play and enjoy the vast array of high tech, interactive exhibits.

Adults have just as much fun creating electricity or cool tornadoes at this center where the rule is always "Do Touch" instead of "Don't Touch".

There is More than Fishing to Do at Pier 39

San Francisco family vacations should include at least a quick tour of Pier 39 that sits on the waterfront. Who doesn't want to have fun at a place where the carousel is a Double -Decker?

You can also try some chocolate treats from the Fudge House or Chocolate Heaven. Resident sea lions, puppet shows, a toy shop, arcade games a Virtual Reality Theatre are also part of the Pier 39 experience.

Magic Ocean Music

Tell the kids that the ocean is able to play melodies and songs on an organ, and they will probably not believe you. So why not show them it really is true?

Make sure to take your family to hear the Wave Organ located at the Marina Small Craft Harbor. Sit on the Marina steps to listen to the music or climb out on the rocks with the kids for a great family bonding experience.

The Wave Organ is designed so that the ocean water that is crashing from the breakwater into the Bay moves through a series of pipes to create musical sounds. The best time to go is definitely during high tide.

family vacation ideas

Additional San Francisco Attractions

Other great stops to include in a San Francisco family vacation are trips to the Golden Gate Bridge and its accompanying 3 mile long Park; The Bay Area Discovery Museum; Marine World/Africa USA and the San Francisco Zoo.

Chinatown and Alcatraz Island are two other iconic San Francisco adventures that your family can share. Lots of great American family vacation ideas that you shouldn't miss.

No matter what you choose to do on your getaway trip , your San Francisco family vacation are sure to create memories and moments that both parents and kids will treasure for a lifetime.

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