I am sure many of you have come with San Francisco with a tour group or independently. Yes, yes? And for sure you already have seen Golden Gate Bridge, Japanese Tea Garden, Coit Tower, Fishermen’s Wharf…. that you thought you are done with this city, right? Well, you may have seen the big sites of the city, and thought you never have to come back again. But think again ladies and gents, you sure you not missing out on other details in the city?
Today I will list out some useful alternative one day tours and websites that I recommend for traveling in San Francisco. I use all the websites I mentioned here very heavily ( I depend on those websites), and has been to at least one independent tour of each type I mentioned here (not all specific tours).
For those who are looking for restaurants, weekend events with people’s reviews and ratings, Yelp got it all right here. I first discovered Yelp when I was bored and wanted to find weekend activities/festivals for the weekend in San Francisco. I found out Yelp has a list of events coming up this week, and there are ratings from the people who attended the event during the previous years (This is how I found out about Halloween parties, Pride Parade, festivals, and tours in SF). I chose an event that seems to get lots of reviews and most were positive, and bam I had a great time that weekend ^_^ This is also a great website resource to find decent restaurants in town!!
Yelp – http://www.yelp.com/
2. Save that $$ = Goldstar.com
If you are someone who likes to 1. plan a little ahead, 2. have some idea what you want to do, 3. plus want to save money, this is an amazing site to go to (granted you have a working credit card either from Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express). I know, sometimes you want to attend comedy or musical shows in the city, but the price is making you taking a step back. Look no further, Goldstar has tickets to many shows and activities in the city for less. For example, you want to take your kids to Aquarium of the Bay at Fisherman’s Wharf, original ticket price would have been around $16 dollars, however, at Goldstar they have discounted tickets at mere $8 dollars per person! Or you want to see that that longest running musical show Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco, the original price would have been around $48-76 dollars, but at this website they would sell for $24-$38 dollars !!
Granted this is a popular website, and there are limited quantities for discount tickets, so plan ahead, look for shows or activities you want to do in San Francisco, and search here! Also want to note that you will need a printer to print out your tickets/reservations.
Gold Star – http://www.goldstar.com/events/browse/94109
3. Mingle with Locals = MeetUp.com
If you like to social and wants to meet people in the city, meetup.com is a great place to find groups by your interest/hobbies and go to. (Please choose group wisely, watch out for personal safety, I cannot guarantee all the groups’ quality since I only been in 5). Groups like “Walking in San Francisco for Health and History” often provides weekly walking tours for $2 dollars with a historian/tour guide in training that will take you around the city either hiking on the hills that will oversee the city, go to museums around the town, or take you to trails in the beautiful Golden Gate park that you never thought of trying out. Just remember to check on if you pay for the activities separately on another event website, by cash, or by paypal.
Meet Up – http://www.meetup.com
4. Who Wants to be Stuffed? Food Tours Will Smooth Your Soul!
San Francisco is rich in culture, history, and food! If you are traveling independently (or with your family), and wants to experience the city closely, I highly recommend taking the independent tours in San Francisco. Many of these tours are about 2-4 hours long, and requires ability to walk around the city with slight uphills. If you love food and wants to sample a variety of delicious food in San Francisco, food tour is the one not to be missed. “Local Tastes of the City” and “Edible Excursions” will take you around areas in San Francisco, give you some history background of the area, and go into different restaurants and bakeries in town, show you how they made the food, and how the food ties in with the culture. The one I went took us to 7 different locations, we sampled from coffee, chocolate, to sausages, bread, cakes and more…We even got to take home the food we did not finish. You will be full by the end of the tour for sure!
Edible Excursions – http://www.edibleexcursions.net/
Food Adventures – http://www.foodieadventures.com
Local Tastes of the City – http://www.localtastesofthecitytours.com/
5. A Little Spice to Your Night Travel = Ghost Tours in San Francisco
If you love listening to ghost stories as kids, and has always been fascinated by the supernatural occurrences, San Francisco is a great place to be. Tours like San Francisco Ghost Hunt and Haunted Height Walking Tours meets at night, and will take you for a walk around the neighborhood for around 2 hours to see the beautiful houses in San Francisco that also has dark histories. You can read my experience with San Francisco Ghost Hunt Tour here. Remember, please bring a warm, thick jacket with you, for the nights in San Francisco can be very, very cold…
San Francisco Ghost Hunt (No Reservation Needed)- http://www.sfghosthunt.com
Haunted Height Walking Tour (Reserve Ahead of Time)- http://www.hauntedhaight.com/