San Francisco
Sightseeing Tours

San Francisco sightseeing tours can be by helicopter, walking, eating in Chinatown, touring the gay area, tours of Haight-Ashbury, or bay boat trips to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. 

In the swinging 1960s, San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district was renowned for people taking trips, and visitors taking a more conventional trip to the city today can still book a Flower Power sightseeing tour.

There are also helicopter tours, tours to sample the food in Chinatown, Gray Line bus tours, historical walking tours, gay tours, and boat tours around the famous bay. Some of the best San Francisco sightseeing tours include the following.

San Francisco Helicopter Tours

San Francisco Helicopters offer the chance to see Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and other San Francisco tourist attractions as they've never been seen before – on an exciting helicopter tour complete with choreographed music. Or combine a chopper ride with dinner on a yacht in San Francisco Bay – or a trip out to Napa Valley.

Our Pick of the Guides

Lonely-Planet-San-Francisco-2023.png

Boat Tours Around San Francisco Bay

Some Sample Boat Tours

A range of boat tours which take visitors under the Golden Gate Bridge and out to almost touch Alcatraz are available from the Blue and Gold Fleet. They operate out of Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf and also offer high-speed 30-minute RocketBoat tours.

Also on Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 43½ are the Red and White Fleet with Golden Gate Bay Cruises, California Sunset Cruises, and others. Boat trips around the bay are among the most popular of San Francisco sightseeing tours, and rightly so. Don't miss it.

Gay Tours of San Francisco

Cruisin' the Castro was founded in 1989 and offers historical walking tours of San Francisco's main gay district, the Castro, as well as special Harvey Milk tours, including Harvey Milk's former residence, and the City Hall where he was California's first openly gay politician, and was eventually tragically murdered.

The Magic Bus

Take a Music Trip on the Magic Bus

Read our page about one of the best experiences we've ever had in San Francisco - a San Francisco Music Tour on the Magic Bus.

Food Tours of San Francisco's Chinatown

Some of the Chinatown Tours Available

Check the Wok Wiz website for details of what the New York Times has called "One of the best tours in San Francisco". There's a choice of tours, ending with or without a dim sum lunch, and all taken by Chinatown residents who really know their stuff. Explore not just restaurants and food stores but architecture, herbalists, temples, shops, and Chinatown's own Farmers' Market. There's also a totally food-focussed tour, called I Can't Believe I Ate My Way Through Chinatown. Delicious!

Also see our page on San Francisco's Best Chinatown Restaurants.

Walking Tours of San Francisco

The Victorian Home Walk Tour

Try the San Francisco Historical Walking Tours, led by long-time resident Jay Gifford or his colleague Shonna Sinclair, who's lived in the city for almost 25 years. They'll show you Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow, where tour buses are not permitted, and you'll get to see the outsides and insides of some of San Francisco's fabulous restored Victorian homes.

The Hippy Gourmet runs the Haight-Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour several times a week, seeing the sites associated with musicians like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, and Joni Mitchell.

San Francisco Bus Tours

Two of the Many Gray Line Bus Tours Available

The Gray Line company has a choice of city tours, some with lunch or a bay boat trip included, some without, some Deluxe bus tours, and others to places around the city like the Wine Country. They also have a range of tours in several foreign languages: French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, German, and Korean. 

Other San Francisco pages

  • Pacific Coast Highway dishes the dirt on Alcatraz's famous inmates, like the infamous Al Capone and the well-known Birdman, who never kept birds at Alcatraz!

    Alcatraz Famous Inmates

    Pacific Coast Highway dishes the dirt on Alcatraz's famous inmates, like the infamous Al Capone and the well-known Birdman, who never kept birds at Alcatraz!

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel’s advice on the best time to visit San Francisco, covering the weather and climate from month to month and season by season.

    Best Time to Visit San Francisco

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel’s advice on the best time to visit San Francisco, covering the weather and climate from month to month and season by season.

  • The Pacific Coast Highway Travel guide to the best golf courses in San Francisco for all budgets and skill levels, including courses close to the city center.

    Best Golf Courses in San Francisco

    The Pacific Coast Highway Travel guide to the best golf courses in San Francisco for all budgets and skill levels, including courses close to the city center.

  • Cheap flights to San Francisco with Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, SkyWest, JetBlue and other airlines from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle.

    Cheap Flights to San Francisco

    Cheap flights to San Francisco with Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, SkyWest, JetBlue and other airlines from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel brings you the best romantic hotels in San Francisco, many with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and in the heart of the city.

    Best Romantic Hotels in San Francisco

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel brings you the best romantic hotels in San Francisco, many with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and in the heart of the city.

  • Information about San Francisco, including what to see, where to stay, where to eat, and links to sources of information including the official visitor website.

    San Francisco

    Information about San Francisco, including what to see, where to stay, where to eat, and links to sources of information including the official visitor website.

  • Take a San Francisco Music Tour with Magic Bus, a trip through the musical past to Haight-Ashbury, the City Lights Bookstore and the Summer of Love.

    San Francisco Music Tour on the Magic Bus to Haight-Ashbury

    Take a San Francisco Music Tour with Magic Bus, a trip through the musical past to Haight-Ashbury, the City Lights Bookstore and the Summer of Love.

  • A selection of the best Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway Travel website, for travel and photographic inspiration.

    Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge

    A selection of the best Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway Travel website, for travel and photographic inspiration.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel's advice on visiting Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and seeing its museums, gardens, lakes, buildings, and even bison!

    Visiting Golden Gate Park

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's advice on visiting Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and seeing its museums, gardens, lakes, buildings, and even bison!

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel's guide to visiting the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco including how to get there and free walking tours of the bridge.

    Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's guide to visiting the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco including how to get there and free walking tours of the bridge.

  • The Best Nightlife in San Francisco could be at the California Academy of Sciences where once a week it becomes a temporary nightclub.

    Best Nightlife in San Francisco at the California Academy of Sciences

    The Best Nightlife in San Francisco could be at the California Academy of Sciences where once a week it becomes a temporary nightclub.

  • A perfect day in San Francisco would include Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, and the California Academy of Sciences.

    Perfect Day in San Francisco

    A perfect day in San Francisco would include Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, and the California Academy of Sciences.

  • San Francisco Airport hotels include a Grand Hyatt, La Quinta, Westin, Marriott, Super 8 and bayfront hotels ranging from budget to 5-star luxury.

    San Francisco Airport Hotels

    San Francisco Airport hotels include a Grand Hyatt, La Quinta, Westin, Marriott, Super 8 and bayfront hotels ranging from budget to 5-star luxury.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks ten reasons to visit San Francisco's Chinatown ranging from food and fortune cookies to historic landmarks and shopping.

    Ten Reasons to Visit San Francisco's Chinatown

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks ten reasons to visit San Francisco's Chinatown ranging from food and fortune cookies to historic landmarks and shopping.

  • Before you go it helps to know what to eat in San Francisco and so here's our list of ten San Francisco dishes and drinks that you have to try.

    Ten San Francisco Dishes and Drinks

    Before you go it helps to know what to eat in San Francisco and so here's our list of ten San Francisco dishes and drinks that you have to try.

  • The best museums in San Francisco include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum and Exploratorium.

    Best Museums in San Francisco

    The best museums in San Francisco include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum and Exploratorium.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel's book review of Insider's Guide to San Francisco guidebook by Jill Loeffler, publisher of the San Francisco Tourism Tips website.

    Your Insider's Guide to San Francisco

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's book review of Insider's Guide to San Francisco guidebook by Jill Loeffler, publisher of the San Francisco Tourism Tips website.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel lists the ten best things to do in San Francisco, including Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman's Wharf.

    Ten Best Things to Do in San Francisco

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel lists the ten best things to do in San Francisco, including Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman's Wharf.

  • 101 free San Francisco attractions and things to do are in the Kindle guide, 101 Free Things to Do in San Francisco, in the Travel Free eGuidebooks series.

    Free San Francisco Kindle Guide to Free Attractions

    101 free San Francisco attractions and things to do are in the Kindle guide, 101 Free Things to Do in San Francisco, in the Travel Free eGuidebooks series.

  • San Francisco has some of the best Chinatown restaurants in the USA, and its Chinese restaurants provide superb dining. Here are our top eating places.

    San Francisco Best Chinatown Restaurants

    San Francisco has some of the best Chinatown restaurants in the USA, and its Chinese restaurants provide superb dining. Here are our top eating places.

  • Touring Alcatraz, the former island prison, is one of the best things to do in San Francisco and attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year.

    Touring Alcatraz

    Touring Alcatraz, the former island prison, is one of the best things to do in San Francisco and attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year.



Recent Articles

  1. 7 Scenic Overlooks On California's Coast Besides Big Sur

    Apr 14, 24 10:52 AM

    California has many equally mesmerizing coastal spots with scenic vistas and viewpoints beyond its famed shores in Big Sur!

    Read More

  2. 8 Serene Towns On The Pacific Coast For A Weekend Retreat

    Apr 14, 24 10:52 AM

    Discover eight charming coastal towns along the Pacific Coast for a serene weekend getaway with unique experiences and breathtaking scenery.

    Read More

  3. 7 Alternative Scenic Drives To Big Sur

    Apr 14, 24 10:52 AM

    Big Sur and Highway 1 offer some of the most scenic drives in California. But there are lots of other alternative drives to Big Sur along the coast.

    Read More