Santa Clarita Guide, What To Do in Santa Clarita

Travel to the San Francisco Bay Region


Inn Above Tide, San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Neighborhoods

The Embarcadero
Nob Hill
Marin County/Sausalito
Union Square



Things to Do - Tours

Alcatraz
For those of us with a little imagination and an interest in history, Alcatraz is an island shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Board an Alcatraz Cruises ferry and embark on a journey to discover the real Alcatraz Island. Upon coming ashore, you'll see an island filled with flowers and birds. You may walk the island at your own pace, leisurely viewing buildings as you please. The 45-minute audio tour of the prison will supplement what you've heard about Alcatraz and correct any fabricated stories you may have heard. The stark contrast between a dilapidated prison and nature's beauty provides for an astonishing and unique experience.

Cable Cars
"…that climb halfway to the stars." There are three main lines that run through San Francisco, and riders may purchase either one-way tickets or day passes. Be sure to visit the Cable Car Museum. The cable car operators could be referred to as San Francisco's ambassadors, as they are often happy to provide verbal directions to their passengers.

Insider's Tip: A 3-day metro pass, which includes access to the Cable Car system, will easily pay for itself. One- and seven-day passes are also available.

Guided Walking Tours
415-557-4266
Free guided City Walking Tours are available through the Library. Locals will take you around on history, architectural, legend and lore tours, lasting one and a half to two hours. Check the web site for the tour schedule or pick one up at the San Francisco Public Library or the San Francisco Visitors Center in Hallidie Plaza (Powell at Market).

San Francisco Fire Engine Tours and Adventures
415-333-7077
Riding the Big Red Shiny Mack Fire Engine, you'll depart from the Cannery at Fisherman's Wharf. This 75-minute tour will take you through the Presidio, to Fort Point at the base of the GG Bridge, and over the Bridge.

Then you'll drive through Sausalito, a beautiful little village with fabulous views of San Francisco. Traveling through the pretty streets of Union Street, you'll return to the Cannery.

Victorian Homewalk
415-252-9485
These "painted ladies" grace the streets of Pacific Heights, San Francisco's most prestigious neighborhood. Begin your tour at Jackson Street near the northwest corner of Alta Plaza Park. The apex of the tour is at the Broadway bluff between Webster and Lyon Streets.


Things to Do - City Sights

Cable Car Museum
415-929-1873
Now this is really awesome. In this working powerhouse, get a first hand look at how the cable car system has worked in San Francisco for the past 125 years. Cables for all three lines run through the Cable Car Museum on Mason & Washington. (An easy walk downhill from the Fairmont Hotel.) Visitors may observe the sheaves and cables running the cars either from above on the main floor of the museum or through windows below ground. Cable Car souvenirs of all sorts, from jewelry to brass bells, may be purchased in the museum's gift shop. Authentic vintage San Francisco street signs are also available. (The shop no longer sells cable car passes.) The museum is open free to the public.

Coit Tower
415-362-0808
Dedicated to the City in 1933, the observation deck of this monument offers amazing views of San Francisco. It is located on Telegraph Hill.

Fisherman's Wharf
One of San Francisco's most popular destinations, this entertaining walk takes you past mounds of fresh seafood choices. Many of the dishes available at these restaurants have been passed down through generations of native Italians and San Franciscans. Adjacent to Pier 39.

Fort Point National Historical Site
This landmark has been seen in many movies including, "Vertigo" (1958), "Point Blank" (1967), "Foul Play" (1978), "The Presidio" (1988), and "Bicentennial Man" (1999). In real life, it began existence in 1861 to protect San Francisco Bay and was used again for that purpose during WWII. Between 1933 and 1937, the fort was used as the base of operations during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take a tour and you'll experience the life of a soldier, both in the fort and at the cannon bases. A great place for kids and adults to let off some steam. Make a reservation to take part in the pier crabbing or a canon-loading demonstration. Or sign up for the candle light tour. Located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Ghirardelli Square
415-775-5500
This popular destination offers shopping, waterfront dining, galleries and visitor information. Historic walking tours take place on weekends during the summer months when docents dress up in Victorian garb and pass out samples of Ghirardelli chocolate. It's a short walk (uphill!) from Fisherman's Wharf and the cable car stop. Be sure to indulge in the famous Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Sundae!

Golden Gate Bridge
877-GGB-TOLL
You can walk, bike or drive over the bridge. A toll is collected on the southbound lane for motor vehicles. You can purchase souvenirs at the Gift Center, which is located on the southeast side of the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza. There are two great photo ops. The first is just before heading over the bridge northbound. (It comes up very quickly, and the parking lot is just off to the left.) The second is on the north side of the bridge immediately after crossing over. Turn left at the second exit (Alexander Avenue). While it appears on the map that this is a major highway, the route across the bridge is actually heavily congested. It's well worth the effort, but be prepared.

Lombard Street
This street gets its claim to fame for being the 'world's crookedest street' with its nine hairpin turns. It's a street lined with lovely homes, landscaped with beautiful flowers, and alive with tourists. The best photo ops are from the bottom, at Leavenworth Street, looking up.

Pier 39
415-705-5500
Street performers, cable cars, sea lions, shopping, dining, a magic carpet ride, a carousel, and The Great San Francisco Adventure playing on a giant screen. So much to do! Adjacent to Fisherman's Wharf.

The Presidio
415-561-4323
In 1776, the Presidio was established by the Spanish and taken over by Americans in 1846. In 1989 the Army closed the base and the National Park Service opened it to visitors in 1994. One of the most famous movies filmed at the Presidio was, "The Presidio" (1988). Stroll around the grounds and through many of the buildings.

Union Street
415-781-7880
Next, head over to Union Street and get some of the best coffee in the City. Walk among these gingerbread Victorians turned art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.


Things to Do - Park & Rec Areas

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
This park encompasses 74,000 acres of land and 1,250 historic structures, the largest urban park in the world. It's actually about 2 ½ times the size of San Francisco! With sweeping vistas of San Francisco Bay and miles of trails, there's so much to explore in the park. You'll find listed a few of the highlights.

Golden Gate Park (Part of the GG National Recreation Area)
This section of the park encompasses over 1,000 acres. In the southeast corner of the park, ride the 1912 Herschell-Spillman carousel. There's also horseback riding, paddle boating and a 9-hole golf course.


Things to Do - Performances

Golden Gate Park Band Concerts
415-831-2790
Sundays at 1:00 pm, April through October


Things to Do - Museums

California Academy of Sciences
415-750-7145
Explore the stars in the planetarium or the underwater world in the aquarium. Experience an earthquake at the Natural History Museum. Programs for families.

Exploratorium
415-EXP-LORE
Explore the human body; play with the stuff that makes dough stretchy; and build a zoetrope, spectroscope, telescope or solar system.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
415-447-5000
This shipyard floats six impressive historic vessels including the 1886 square rigger Balclutha which measures 300 feet in length. Over 100 small crafts are on view including The Mermaid, the one-man sailboat that carried a solo voyager across the Pacific from Japan in 94 days.

Wells Fargo History Museum
415-396-2619
Hop aboard the stagecoach and get a glimpse of gold nuggets, working telegraphs and mining tools. Find out how the bank dealt with Black Bart and other stagecoach robbers.


Things to Do - Retailers

Basic Brown Bear Factory
This is a real working teddy bear factory where you can tour and make your own bear. Located in the Cannery.


On Your Way Home

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Yes, it's a bit out of the way if you are traveling back to Santa Clarita on I-5, but it is well worth the stop. If you only have an hour, take the Redwood Grove Nature Trail, a 0.8 mile trail. This is a wheelchair (and stroller) accessible loop walk that begins near the Visitor Center. One of the tallest trees in the park, the Statue of Liberty, is about 280 feet tall and over 17 feet wide. You'll find it about halfway through the loop.

Tip: For crystal clear photos, you'll need your tripod, but it is well worth the effort!


Endorsed by
County of Los Angeles SCV Chamber of Commerce California Travel and Tourism Commission
In association with
City of Santa Clarita SCV Tourism Bureau
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