Family Holiday Destinations

  • San Francisco
    San Francisco
  • Golden Gate Bridge
    Golden Gate Bridge
  • Trolley Car
    Trolley Car

San Francisco family vacation

Home to the famous Golden Gate Bridge and often called "Everybody's Favourite City", San Francisco needs little introduction.   Situated on a beautiful bay in Northern California and with a charming, laid back atmosphere, San Francisco is well known for it's hilly environment and beautifully preserved Victorian architecture.  San Francisco came alive in the 1960's with it's hippy "Summer of Love"; in the 1990's became well known for it's technology innovation, and the city continues to be well loved for it's multi-cultural character.  But is San Francisco a good family holiday destination?  You bet!

With a mild climate (warm summers and mild winters), this friendly city is packed full of family-friendly hotels and attractions.  Mum will love the quality and varied shopping, and Dad may well like to catch a game of football (Chicago 49ers) or baseball (San Francisco Giants).  Kids will get a kick out of riding in the famous cable cars, and there are loads of attractions the whole family will enjoy, not to mention the largest China Town in USA.

Got the time and energy to venture further afield?  Why not hire a car and explore the country around San Francisco.  Drive the visually spectacular Route 1 along the ocean heading either North or South, or visit some of the charming Northern Californian villages and beautiful beaches.  Yosemite National Park is also well worth a visit, 4-5 hours drive from San Francisco.  One of the most famous natural attractions in California, this park boasts spectacular mountain ranges, waterfalls and giant Sequoia trees.


Visit the SAN FRANCISCO TRAVEL WEBSITE for more details on the destination.

Families Will Love

  • Cable cars - No better way to experience San Francisco than on board one of it's iconic open air cable cars.  Rides cost just $5.  For fabulous views of the bay and Alcatraz Island, hop onto the Powell-Hyde car at the corner of Powell and Market Streets, heading towards Fisherman's Wharf.
  • Golden Gate Park - over a thousand acres of beautiful parkland by the Bay and home to a multitude of family friendly attractions.  Highlights include the Koret Children's Quarter with a newly built playground and merry-go-round, Stowe Lake paddle boat rentals, and the impressive Academy of Sciences.
  • Alcatraz - perhaps of most interest to slightly older children (school age and above), but perfectly fine for children of all ages, no visit to San Francisco is complete without experiencing the former penitentiary, now tourist attraction, Alcatraz Island.  Also known as "The Rock", this island was once home to some of America's most notorious criminals.  Families of all ages will enjoy the ferry ride from Fisherman's Wharf, and the tour of the actual prison building is very interesting.  During summer months, make sure you book ahead, as this attraction is very popular
  • San Francisco Zoo - Right next door to Ocean Beach, the San Francisco Zoo is home to over 250 species of animals.  Don't miss the Gorilla Preserve - one of the largest of it's kind in the world, and the 6 acre petting zoo is wonderful for toddlers
  • Exploratorium - the world's largest hands on science exhibit, the Exploratorium is a fascinating museum of science, art and human perception.  Favourites for kids include the shadow room, distortion room and the tactile dome.  Best to visit in the afternoons as the mornings can be busy with school groups (during term time).
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum - just over the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, this well designed museum has hands on exhibits inside and out for children of all ages.  Kids love the imagination playground, art studios and exploring an authentic fishing boat.

Facts for Families

Main Airports: San Francisco International Airport
Time Zones: GMT - 7
Peak Travel Periods: June to Sept.
Off Peak Travel Periods: Winter
Vaccines Required: None
Weather: Moderate climate year round
Currency: US Dollar
Family Friendly: Yes

 Family Accommodation San Francisco family vacation

  • Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf

    Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf

    Ghirardelli Square is just a 4-minute walk from this central San Francisco hotel.

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  • Casa Luna San Francisco

    Casa Luna San Francisco

    These private apartments offer the comforts and conveniences of home in the heart of San Francisco.

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