Discovery tours in a mini-car
The companies Electric Time and GoCar send out fleets of battery-operated mini cars every day, in which visitors can use GPS navigation to explore San Francisco without getting lost. A loudspeaker voice shows the way.
485 Jefferson Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
2715 Hyde Street, Fisherman’s Whart
San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 788 43 00 (Electric Time); (1800) 91 46 27 (GoCar)
Website: http://www.etcars.com (Electric Time)
Gray Line offers a four-hour ‘Deluxe City Highlights’ tour to see many of the major attractions, including the Golden Gate Park and the bridge. A minibus picks up participants from centrally located hotels at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (from April-October also at 3 p.m.), prior registration required.
With Tower Tours you can do a similar tour at the same price and will also be picked up by a bus. Daily departures at 9:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Phone: (415) 558 94 00 (Gray Line); (415) 434 86 87 (Tower Tours)
The public transport system is exemplary, so you don’t have to walk, you do it for pleasure. There are tours for every taste. For example , if you want to get to know the local gay scene, Cruisin ‘The Castro offers a four-hour tour with brunch, where you can watch the famous quilt, which is made in memory of AIDS victims. The tours start between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The Foot! Walking Tour is a fun way to explore some of the city’s most famous areas, including Nob Hill, Union Square, Chinatown, and North Beach, and is led around by a professional comedian. The tours last about two hours.
The Haight Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour takes the nostalgic visitor back to the 1960s and the famous ‘Summer of Love’, while also getting to know the Victorian Haight Ashbury, which was once a popular health resort at the end of the nineteenth century. These tours are offered on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m.
Passionate hikers who have some spare change can also take part in the Footnotes Walking and Hiking Tour , which takes tourists on a six-day tour across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands footpaths. Participants spend the night in first-class guest houses, while the natural trails of Mount Tamalpais, Muir Woods and Stinson Beach are tackled during the day. Tours are organized once a month in summer.
Phone: (415) 550 81 10 (Cruisin ‘The Castro); (415) 637 54 53 (Foot! Tour); (415) 863 16 21 (Haight Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour); (925) 672 59 08 (Footnotes Walking and Hiking Tour)
Website: http://www.webcastro.com/castrotour (Cruisin ‘The Castro)
Do not miss a boat tour in the bay, because from there you have the best view of the city and enjoy a unique view of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are numerous providers who file at Fisherman’s Wharf. The Blue and Gold Fleet offers a tour with a guide every day from Pier 41, which lasts about an hour.
Phone: (415) 705 82 00 (Blue and Gold Fleet)
San Francisco from above
San Francisco Seaplane Tours planes take off from Pier 39 or Sausalito every day between 9:00 AM and sunset.
Phone: (415) 332 48 43 (San Francisco Seaplane Tours)
Round trips with the cable cars
With the Cable Car Charters , you can take a city tour of Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square every day.
Phone: (415) 922 24 25 (Cable Car Charters)
The bay is surrounded by fascinating places worth seeing; All visitors have to do is board a ferry, take a deep breath of the fresh sea air and the occasional fog, and you’re ready to go. The Mediterranean town of Sausalito, also known as Little Willow, is the first to be found after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Artists, bohemians and occasionally one or the other gangster have been at home here for a long time. Baby Face Nelson worked in a bar in Sausalito for a while until the long arm of the law reached him. You can still see a lot of houseboats here, but since commuters have also settled here, there is not much left of the unconventional hippie lifestyle and creativity. Writer Jack London had ties to this place, as did British Zen Buddhist Alan Watts, who settled here and made a significant contribution to promoting Zen Buddhism in the West. In the past, a train connection brought commuters to San Francisco, which was discontinued after the bridge was built in 1937. Nowadays it is easy to take the public ferry from Pier One for a return trip to this popular port area. After only 40 minutes drive you can experience one of the most idyllic communities in Marin County with numerous shops, boutiques, galleries and attractions, such as thatBay Model , a scale model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Delta, and the Bay Area Discovery Museum with its interactive exhibits for children. Further information is available from the city administration.
Phone: (415) 289 41 00 (city administration)
A visit to the Central Coast of California should definitely be combined with a trip to Monterey . Larger tour operators such as Gray Line offer bus trips there every day, but it is more interesting to drive by car, because just driving on Highway 280 and then along the impressive coastal road Highway One is worthwhile. The landscape changes several times on the two-hour drive. John Steinbeck fans will surely recognize the hard life in the country, which the Nobel Prize winner won in his influential works such as The Grapes Of Wrathdescribes. Just before Monterey, artichoke fields stretch for miles and are still laboriously plowed by hand – by immigrants who are looking for their luck in the USA. Attractions in Monterey include the Monterey Bay Aquarium , historic Cannery Row , the former ‘sardine capital’ of the world, and the National Steinbeck Center in nearby Salinas. At Fisherman’s Wharfthere are kitschy souvenir shops, but also pelicans and sea lions, which enjoy the attention of tourists. There is also one of the many whale watching boat tours that start regularly depending on the weather and the number of spotted whales. The standard price is $ 27, and you have a pretty good chance of seeing gray whales, minke whales, killer whales, humpback whales, or even the mighty blue whales. Sanctuary Cruises is committed to whale conservation and operates the only whale watching boat in the bay that is non-smoking and non-fishing. The flora of this area with its numerous cypresses and green hills is just as impressive. For more information, contact the Monterey Peninsula Visitors and Convention Bureau , 5 Portola Plaza.
Tel: (831) 649 17 70 (Monterey Peninsula Visitors and Convention Bureau)