Best San Francisco Tours
Planning a trip to San Francisco?
Check out our list of the best San Francisco tours that all offer a unique and fun way to see all of San Francisco in a day!
There are over 300 different companies offering various selections of San Francisco tours. You’ll find a variety of bus tours, bike tours, tours to Yosemite from San Francisco and more. But there are only a handful that provide a truly “All In One Day” tour like Dylan’s minibus tours of San Francisco.
This is our list of the best tours in and around San Francisco:
So, how do you choose the best San Francisco tour with so many options?
Based on our experience it comes down to seeing the best parts of San Francisco in a single day. That is why we created the top rated tour — our Famous San Francisco to Muir Woods Tour.
If you’re looking for the top San Francisco tour options, we’ve got you covered with this list! We think each of these adventures provides excellent insight into the city and surrounding sites.
Most Popular Tours
Tours of San Francisco AND Muir Woods
On the San Francisco to Muir Woods tour, you’ll explore the most iconic city sites such as Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Palace of Fine Arts, and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge.
You’ll also travel to some of the lesser-known destinations throughout the city. From the Presidio, the former military base which is now a gorgeous park and home to Chrissy Field, George Lucas’ Lucasfilm headquarters, and the Walt Disney Museum, the mansions on Billionaires Row and the charming coastal town of Sausalito (available only on the 8:00 AM tour). Along the way, you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity, and geography of the Bay Area.
After touring the city, you’ll be transported to Muir Woods just outside of the city to hike among the magnificent redwoods. You’ll have over an hour to hike the trails, listen to a Ranger Talk, or wander through the gift shop. There’s a lot to see and do in Muir Woods, so make sure to read our blog on Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Muir Woods in preparing for your visit to the national monument.
This San Francisco tour and visit to Muir Woods is a great way to see all of San Francisco in a day! You’ll also be sure to get some amazing recommendations for restaurants and other things to do in San Francisco during your visit to the Bay Area.
Explore San Francisco, Muir Woods and Alcatraz Island
Dylan’s is the only Bay Area tour company offering San Francisco, Muir Woods, and Alcatraz in one day! If you want to experience some more action-packed excursions from San Francisco, this is the best tour for you.
Visit famous sites in San Francisco, along the way learn all about the city’s history and culture. There will be plenty of opportunities to hop on and hop off the bus, take photos, and even wander around a bit. Head out of the city to Muir Woods to hike among the redwoods. Enjoy lunch, explore Pier 39’s shops and San Francisco’s infamous sea lions.
You’ll be dropped you off at Pier 33, the Alcatraz departure point. Dylan’s takes care of Alcatraz reservations ahead of time, so you can board the ferry for the Official Alcatraz Day Tour of the island with no hassles or waiting in line.
During your tour of Alcatraz you’ll be able to wander the notorious penitentiary grounds, listen to the famous audio tour and take in the history of the island. For Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Alcatraz read our blog and prepare yourself for what to expect.
While this full day city tour with Muir Woods and Alcatraz makes for a long day, it’s the only one of the many San Francisco tours that offer both of these national park sites in one day. So, if you want to do some major city sightseeing in the US, this is a great option.
Bike the Golden Gate Bridge
There might be a lot of tour companies offering San Francisco bike rentals to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. Still, there’s only one San Francisco tour company which allows you to enjoy Sausalito, Muir Woods, and riding the Golden Gate Bridge all in one day!
Our Bike the Bridge and Shuttle to Muir Woods is the only combo tour of its kind: explore San Francisco’s top landmarks, walk among the Giant Redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument, enjoy a break for lunch in the charming coastal town of Sausalito, and enjoy an e-bike rental to bike the Golden Gate Bridge and explore the city.
Cruise the Golden Gate Bridge on an e-bike and experience the breathtaking views of San Francisco’s skyline from the other side. While cruising through the city, be sure to hop off your bike as often as you want to take photos of the Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
If a Ride to the Woods isn’t your ideal tour itinerary, check out Ride the City. This San Francisco bike tour includes a guided loop through the city to the top sites and lunch in the colorful Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
With the e-bikes, you’ll effortlessly climb San Francisco’s hills as you learn the fascinating history of Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy stunning views of the Bay as you approach the Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll bike through the peninsula’s most iconic neighborhoods, see the National Historic Monument of Aquatic Park, and explore such scenic locations as the Roman and Greek inspired Palace of Fine Arts.
Visiting Yosemite National Park from San Francisco
If you didn’t think that you could see Yosemite from San Francisco in one day, let us prove you wrong!
Yosemite is known for world-renowned views of towering mountains, flourishing animal life, and awe-inspiring natural phenomena everywhere you look. Just a few short hours out of San Francisco, it is possible to visit Yosemite from San Francisco in a single day!
This is the perfect San Francisco tour for adventurers who want to check this national park tour off their bucket lists. During this full-day experience, you can hike to the Giant Sequoias (conditions permitting), take in stunning views of Half-Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls, and still have time to explore the valley floor. All while making it back to your San Francisco beds that night!
Visiting Wine Country from San Francisco
This one is for the wine enthusiasts out there!
With famous Napa and Sonoma wineries a short shuttle away from the city, experiencing the wine country is a must-do for any wine lovers visiting San Francisco.
Some popular wineries you might tour in wine country include Peter Cellars, Nicholson Ranch, and Starmont Winery & Vineyards. If you’re visiting in late summer or early fall, you’ll be greeted by lush, beautiful views of full vines and bursting grapes ready for harvest. At some of the wineries, you may be treated to a detailed description of the winemaking process.
Planning Your San Francisco Trip
Believe it or not, the best time to visit San Francisco is from September to November. The temperature in the city is best during the fall and the crowds are a lot less than in the summer. Summer is the peak of tourism for San Francisco, tourists hope for beautiful weather and a lot of sun, but this can be very disappointing. During summer, the average temperature is usually not higher than 60℉, and there is a lot of chilly fog accompanied by sea winds, which makes the summer not the best time to be in the city. The room rates also rise in summer since it is peak season, so be sure to book your hotel reservations months in advance if you want to visit the city during summertime.
During spring, San Francisco has mild temperatures and a lack of rain which makes it a good season to travel to the Bay Area. San Francisco is famous because of its fluctuating climate so be sure to bring layers in case the weather changes quickly. In winter, we also recommend bringing a lot of layers since it can feel frigid.
As mentioned before it is very important to pack a lot of layers when visiting San Francisco. The temperatures in the city can change very quickly, and every neighborhood has its own climate some days. These are called microclimates — yes, these are REAL.
If you are planning on doing a few hikes during your trip make sure to bring the right clothes and equipment. Prepare yourself by reading blogs about hiking to make sure you know what to expect.
San Francisco has a lot of different and unique neighborhoods. This makes it a bit hard to find out what the best places are to visit when you only have a short amount of time in the city. We created a top 10 of our most favorite neighborhoods to make it easier for you to choose!
On the Dylan’s Famous Tour with Muir Woods you will visit the majority of these neighborhoods.
This is probably the most crowded and touristy area of San Francisco. The famous Pier 39 is located in Fisherman’s Wharf as well as most of the major hotels and souvenir shops. Definitely a must-see!
Chinatown attracts more visitors a year than the Golden Gate Bridge, it is a unique neighborhood which is definitely one of our favorite places in the city!
This is where our bike shop is located. 🙂 Make sure to walk around Little Italy and to eat at one of the great restaurants.
Telegraph Hill is located between Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach. Make sure to visit Coit Tower for an incredible view of the city and the Bay.
The famously twisting Lombard Street is a must-see when visiting San Francisco. Enjoy going down the eight hairpin turns on a unique ride of the city’s ‘crookedest street.’
This neighborhood is famous for its colorful murals. The Mission is home to a lot of great restaurants, and on a sunny day you can hang out in Dolores park where you can enjoy a view of the city.
This is San Francisco’s vibrant gay neighborhood, you can wander through the streets while enjoying the rainbow-flag clad streets. A big movie fan? Make sure to stop at the beautiful Castro Theater to catch a movie!
The “Summer of Love” took place in this vibrant and unique neighborhood. You can stroll through the street and discover the funky shops and little stores. Your trip to haight street is not complete without a stop at Amoeba Music.
Visit this neighborhood to spot the most expensive houses, Victorian homes, and impressive views in the city. This is also considered by many to have the best weather in the city thanks to the microclimates!
The Financial District is known for the prominent skyscrapers, but there is a lot more to do. Discover the Ferry Building, City Hall and Union Square, all of it is easy to do in only one day!
Presidio is great for hikes, and if you rent a bike, you can bike all the way to the Golden Gate bridge through this big park. Traveling with kids? Pay a visit to the Disney Family Museum in the old barracks.
Book Your Tour of San Francisco Today
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