San Francisco (California)

San Francisco is a great place for a family vacation.  There are tons of things to do with kids, from crossing the Golden Gate bridge to riding a trolley car.  San Francisco has many historical sites to tour as well, including the notorious prison, Alcatraz.  


General tips on a San Francisco trip with kids:

  • San Francisco is a large city, with several distinct neighborhoods.  It is also a VERY hilly city so be sure to know if your hotel is uphill or downhill from the tourist destinations!
  • San Francisco does have a significant vagrant/panhandler population.  Be sure to talk with your children beforehand to prepare them, and as in any large city, steer clear of the areas with aggressive panhandlers.  Talk to your hotel concierge for up-to-date information.  
  • Transportation: San Francisco has a great public transit system.  All of the various systems, including the BART subway, the MUNI buses, and the cable cars, are easy to navigate and use.  Driving is not encouraged unless you plan to see some of the sites outside of the city.
  • Food: San Francisco has amazing restaurants but many may not be kid-friendly.  In the tourist destinations, you will find plenty of restaurants that cater to kids.  We found a great Italian and pizza place that our kids enjoyed near our hotel, Palomino.  There are local bakeries/sandwich shops, like Boudin Bakery, that are authentic and good for kids.  The Ferry Building at the Embarcadero has a great market with lots of choices.  And of course, since you are in California, don’t forget In-and-Out!  We lucked into a walk-in table at the famed Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley and surprisingly, it was our kids’ favorite meal!    
  • Lodging: San Francisco has many amazing hotels.  We stayed at the Hyatt Regency on the Embarcadero, and it was a large business hotel but in a great location.  Areas of the city to consider are: Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Union Square.  
  • City passes: There are a couple of ways to save money if you plan to see a lot of the sites in San Franscisco.  Check out:
  • Websites to help you plan your trip:


Don’t miss attractions with kids:


Historical Sites: Check back often for more of these sites to be reviewed by The History Mom!  Note that only sites reviewed by The History Mom are marked with *. Other links are external links to the museum’s own web site.


Books to Read:


Photo provided by Pexels.

This page is continually updated.



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