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Old 09-15-2019, 02:56 PM
  #1

Once again I have a question. You people have always given me GREAT travelling advice. We are once again doing our Christmas road trip. We are coming from Canada to California with many stops and family fun! We are planning on spending Christmas in San Francisco. Any suggestions on where to go? Things to do? Places to see? Family fun!
Thank you so much!


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Coit tower
Old 09-15-2019, 03:26 PM
  #2

Is fun


Ghirardelli Chocolate factory
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Walking tour
Old 09-15-2019, 03:27 PM
  #3

My friends and I took a tour with the Countess of Drag me Along Tours. It’s a walking tour led by a drag queen. It starts in Portsmouth Square. There are often Groupons for it. It was entertaining and easy walking. The Countess really involves you in the local culture.
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Love it!
Old 09-15-2019, 03:33 PM
  #4

Love the walking tour idea! Sounds great!

And one can never go wrong with Ghirardelli Chocolate!
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:45 PM
  #5

Ride the trolly.

Eat in Little Italy and Chinatown if you like these types of food. Fun just to walk around in these areas as well.

We took boat tour to Angel Island (like Ellis Island but not as developed) plus Alcatraz. My husband enjoyed this more than I did.

View from Coit Tower is wonderful.

Drove down Carol Lombard Street labeled the most crooked street in America. It is filled with colorful historic row houses. Each home has their yard and window boxes full of flowers most of the time. Very pretty! This does not take long.

Ate chowder from a bread bowl at one of the restaurants on the pier. Yum!

Crossed the San Francisco Bridge.

Went north of San Francisco to see the large redwood forest. Best part of the trip for me.


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Old 09-15-2019, 05:01 PM
  #6

Stop in the Fairmont hotel and check out the incredible gingerbread house display and Christmas decor.
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:18 PM
  #7

Oh my goodness. My brother, SIL and niece/nephews live in Berkeley so we've spent Christmas there. FWIW, the Omni is a fabulous hotel and decently priced for holiday travel since they cater to business travel.
Some of what I'll say has been mentioned already. We really liked the night tour of Alcatraz and booked ahed to arrange it. We got tickets for a trolley tour of the city (Christmas themed) and it included a stop at the Fairmont hotel to see their amazing gingerbread houses (plus many other decorations and a running narrative). Ghiradelli chocolate shop is awesome. DD always visit Pier 39 and see the sea lions. We always have breakfast first at the Eagle Cafe (sentimental visit for me but they have a good breakfast). My parents are writers so we took DD to see the City Lights bookstore. (She wasn't that into the discussion of the Beat Poets but we were visiting Lowell, Massachusetts a year later and during a tour at the national park there, they mentioned Kerouac and she piped up, "Did he go to the City Lights Bookstore?")
Have so much fun!!
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Thank you!
Old 09-15-2019, 05:35 PM
  #8

You guys are AWESOME! These are fabulous ideas! Keep them coming!
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:43 PM
  #9

So many good suggestions!

I don’t know how old your kids are, but when DD was 12-13ish we went to a matinee (that’s the “clean” version) of Beach Blanket Babylon and we ALL loved it. Very San Francisco.
https://www.beachblanketbabylon.com/
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:55 PM
  #10

Muir Woods in really nice! Also if you would like to visit Alcatraz make sure your get tickets WAY in advance. I go every year for New Years and they are always sold out for weeks.


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Old 09-15-2019, 06:15 PM
  #11

Check out the museums in SF. There are so many choices and all of them are perfect for kids. We took our kids there so often and they still talk about those visits. China Town was another favorite as well as the Japanese Tea Gardens.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:24 PM
  #12

There’s a passenger ferry that goes across the bay to Sausalito. It’s been a few years, but when we went there were nice little shops and restaurants there.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:25 PM
  #13

Do you like all the traditional spots?
GG Bridge
GG Park
Alcatraz - make reservations now
Coit Tower
Chinatown
North Beach (Italian neighborhood that is becoming smaller and smaller)
Pier 39
Fisherman’s Wharf
A cable car ride
Stay away from Muni, the bus system, if possible. Not pretty these days.
Mission Dolores
Marina Green and Fort Mason/Fort Point/Presidio
We have a beach - Ocean Beach. Do.not.plan.on.swimming. The rip tide is fierce and it’s freezing.
Drive around Pacific Heigts and gawk at the historic mansions
The Disney Miseum in the Presidio

Beach Blanket Babylon has sadly closing on New Year’s Eve.
Lombard Street is not named after Carol Lombard and by the time you get here you might have to make a reservation to drive down the hill. But it is free to look or walk.

Enjoy
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:15 PM
  #14

I totally agree with Amiga’s recommendation of “Beach Blanket Babylon”! DD and DSIL gave us tickets to see the Christmas version a few years ago when we spent Christmas with them. It was a complete laugh riot. The Exploratorium in Golden Gate Park is wonderful as is the DeYoung Museum which is also in Golden Gate Park. Muir Woods with the giant redwood trees is well worth a visit. San Francisco is a such a vibrant, exciting place to visit I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do. Have fun!!
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All of the above...
Old 09-15-2019, 07:52 PM
  #15

are great suggestions. Just a warning: If you are driving, and plan in visiting Muir Woods, make sure you go online and reserve a parking spot. My husband and I visited this summer, and those who had not reserved a spot were turned away.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:53 PM
  #16

Beach Blanket Babylon
Final performance
December 31, 2019

https://www.beachblanketbabylon.com/2019-ticket-prices/
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:41 PM
  #17

Lots of great ideas given so far! Just a suggestion.....if you are on Pinterest, search for things to do in SF. I've started doing this whenever we visit somewhere, even if we've been there before, and have gotten some really great ideas. In SF we recently enjoyed the Wave Organ, the Seward Street slides, and Twin Peaks. Just outside of SF, in Burlingame, we visited the Pez Museum. How many days will you be in SF?
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:08 AM
  #18

We loved the Exploratorium.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:44 AM
  #19

Here was my itinerary the last time I went for a few days in which I didn't have a car:

Day 1 - Arrive 7am – Check-in at hotel, bay boat cruise, Fisherman's Wharf, Anchorage Square, walk along Embarcardero to the Ferry Bldg.

Day 2 - Hop on/hop off bus tour, next bus comes every 15 min (be @ North Pt. & Taylor across from ticket ofc around 9am 1st one). Last stop at Fisherman’s Wharf @ 6:30p (very last stop of night @ Union Square @ 7p). 13 different stops. Went to the CA Academy of Sci and walked Chinatown, etc.

Day 3 - Cable car to Union Square & Westfield Centre Mall areas, walk around


Day 4 – Last walking around, go to gift shops, maybe Madame Tussaud's if still want to do some last stuff.
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Thank you!!!!
Old 09-16-2019, 02:30 PM
  #20

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! These suggestions are fabulous! I so appreciate all the suggestions! Thank you so much!
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