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Best things to do in and around San Francisco with a teen.

(24 Posts)
SwiftAnchor Sun 18-Jun-17 14:23:41

My 16 yr old and I are heading to San Francisco next week for just over a week.

Looking for recommendations of things to do/see/places to eat.

We have booked Alcatraz, a baseball game, and bike hire to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. DD is also keen to go to the treasure island market and I'd like to see the Japanese tea gardens.

So looking for any other suggestions please of somethings we may not have thought of. smile

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feltcarrot Sun 18-Jun-17 14:29:47

Just came on to see you've already mentioned a lot of things we did in SF when the DC were 17 and 15!
We cycled over the bridge and then down in Sausalito which is lovely and then took the ferry back, it was one of the highlights of our holiday,
We shopped, Mac, Macy's etc, took a cable car, saw the painted ladies at Alamo Square, drove up to Twin Peaks where you get an incredible view of the city and generally just enjoyed mooching about!

bruffin Sun 18-Jun-17 14:30:29

There a days when the japanese tea gardens and the museums are free.
My dd 19 loved the Walt Disney museum ( not a theme park)
My ds 21 liked the museum on one of the piers that had slot machines on one of the piers

bruffin Sun 18-Jun-17 14:32:23

Also walked up Lombard Street

elQuintoConyo Sun 18-Jun-17 14:46:35

You can hire 3-wheeled car-things and drive around- often saw them coming down Lombard Street ( the really windy one).

Go up the hill to Coit tower - built by an eccentric lady who fancied firemen so much she was a bit of a pyromaniac wink she left money in her will to build the tower in honour of them. Quirky!

Saulsalito was absolutely lively - we got up super early to rent bikes, over the bridge and mooched around Sausalito (we called it Little Sausage but i think it refers to willows in some way). There are floating boathouses there, very nice ones too. Little Sausage is very pretty and was fairly quiet after the rush and noise and bustle of the city (we were there early June).

Don't be surprised to see a lot of homeless people in SF with obvious mental health issues, I had no idea and it was so sad.

Chinatown is great - 2nd biggest Chinese city lutside of China (biggest is NYork). Excellent food.

We spent time in North Beach (a kind of Little Italy) where all the Beat poets hung out (Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti). There are some fab murals and bookshops (eg City Lights, buy a copy of Kerouac's On the Road - and eye opener for your dd!). And the food, again is great. We went to a restaurant called the Stinking Rose: we flavour our garlic with food. Amazing.

Ah, San Francisco you special place! I'd love to go back. Have a whale of a time OP.

smashyourglasses Sun 18-Jun-17 15:13:16

The Exploratorium at the Embarcadero is very popular with kids and teens, also the California Academy of Sciences in the park. Better to hike up Twin Peakes, start at the Castro, an area very much worth seeing. Hire bikes and ride through Golden Gate Park, there's so much to do you could make more than a full day out of it. The Matcha tea and Green Tea cheese cake in the Japanese Tea Garden are heavenly..
Or you could carry on cycling until you arrive at Ocean Beach and spend the whole afternoon there. The Mission is a cool area, find the graffiti covered alleyways and cool/weird stores, then head to La Taqueria for burritos and tacos.

MakeItStopNeville Sun 18-Jun-17 15:16:22

DH and I hired a GoCar that is like a 3 wheeled motorbike with a body. It has GPS and can give you a narrative as you're driving around. We cried laughing driving that thing. So much fun.

kath6144 Sun 18-Jun-17 16:18:55

We are going early July with a 17yo and a 19yo.

We have been told by a couple of people to go to Muir woods, north of SF, which has giant redwoods. There are shuttle buses available from Sausalito (taking 40mins ish) and bike parking at the ferry terminal in Sausalito. Then walks at the woods.

SwiftAnchor Sun 18-Jun-17 18:01:11

Brilliant thanks everyone, some great suggestions here, will look into all of these.

Any suggestions for things to do in the evening also?

I'm really getting excited now! Although I'm wishing the pound would pick up a bit against the dollar! grin

OP’s posts: |
bruffin Sun 18-Jun-17 18:13:31

Chicago cheesecake factory at the top of Macys is good, long queues though.

SwiftAnchor Sun 18-Jun-17 20:10:51

Oh that sounds good! Definitely a must! 😊

OP’s posts: |
bruffin Sun 18-Jun-17 21:16:00

Sorry its The Cheesecake Factory , not sure where i got Chicago from grin

elQuintoConyo Sun 18-Jun-17 21:33:58

One evening we got off the tour bus at the wrong stop, thought 'ah well, nevermind, let's find a cinema'.

Only we were in the Tenderloin district and the one cinema we found was called Dildo Wars hmmconfusedgrin Avoid Tenderloin!

DPotter Sun 18-Jun-17 21:36:12

Alcatraz is a must but getting booking on line now as when we went there were no places available for 'on the day travel'. Brilliant trip

SwiftAnchor Mon 19-Jun-17 19:08:38

Haha I'll try to avoid any screenings of dildo wars! 😂

I've my Alcatraz tickets booked, got them in advance as I heard they booked out.

We land at 6pm and I've been told that traffic can be really bad and it can take an hour in a taxi. Anyone had any experience of the BART from the airport?

OP’s posts: |
Rioja123 Mon 19-Jun-17 19:10:01

In and out burger!!

elQuintoConyo Tue 20-Jun-17 06:57:14

BART from airport is very easy and there are loads of stops. We landed a similar time and don't remember it being super busy or anything.

You can spend hours at Alcatraz, hours and hours. It us a very intrrestong place and very spooky. We were there in June and parts of it were chilling. Try and see the Clint Eastwood film before you go - Escape from Alcatraz.

The journey there and back by boat is sectacular.

bruffin Tue 20-Jun-17 07:27:42

I know op has already booked but The Behind the Scenes Alcatraz tour is well worth the extra money.
Another must is clam chowder in sour bread bowl.
It is also never that warm in San Francisco so take something warm to wear

Belindabelle Tue 20-Jun-17 10:03:14

We are going in October so thanks for the thread. We only have 4 full days before setting off down the coast so I am going to have to be selective in what we do.

I was planning on getting the BART from the airport as it looks really easy.

Just wondering how 'easy' is it to cycle the Bridge. DH and DS would love that but I am not very fit.

Misspilly88 Tue 20-Jun-17 10:05:50

Emmys spaghetti shack for dinner was fun smile

smashyourglasses Tue 20-Jun-17 11:35:11

The cycle to the bridge is quite hard if you're not that used to cycling. It's uphill once you get near the bridge. I cycled from North Beach to the house boats at Sausalito. Very tiring but well worth it, especially going down hill after the bridge grin i loved it. It's something you probably won't do again so why not. Take a bottle of water with you.

SwiftAnchor Fri 30-Jun-17 02:11:16

We are now sitting in the airport waiting to come home from an amazing trip. I just wanted to say that the cycle to Sausalito was definitely worth it, one of the best things we did. It is quite steep just before the bridge but most people got off and pushed the bikes. It was a really windy and dull/cold crossing the bridge but we arrived in Sausalito to lovely sunshine. Do it if you can, it's so worth it! smile

OP’s posts: |
bruffin Fri 30-Jun-17 02:21:41

Glad you had a good time. I would love to go back

SwiftAnchor Fri 30-Jun-17 03:16:09

It was fantastic, thanks for all the tips on this thread! Just dreading the long flight home now!! ☹️

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