Things to do in
Ghirardelli Square

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Ghirardelli Square: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

1. San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

Meet your guide at the north end of Fisherman's Wharf at 9:30 AM and start your experience by taking in the amazing views of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Hear how San Francisco transformed from a sleepy village to a booming port city when gold fever swept the nation in 1849. Learn about the life of the Italian chocolatier Domenico Ghirardelli at the famous former chocolate factory in Ghirardelli Square. Stroll along the fog-lined waterfront and drool over the numerous stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. Walk a portion of the historic Barbary Coast trail while your guide tells you about it's colorful past. You and your group will then make your way to Pier 39 and admire historic ships in the harbor. Witness the colony of sea lions that have taken over many of its docks. Continue along the Embarcadero Promenade and learn about its evolution from a traditional maritime port to a modern urban waterfront filled with trendy restaurants and amusement piers. The walking tour concludes at Pier 33 at 10:45 AM, where you will present your photo ID to receive your 11:00 AM Alcatraz tickets. Board your ferry and enjoy a self-guided tour of Alcatraz upon the island.  Learn about the history of the cell house and its former residents with an award-winning audio tour available in multiple languages. You can expect to be done with the whole experience by around 2:30 PM.

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San Francisco Vista Helicopter Tour (15-20 minute tour)

2. San Francisco Vista Helicopter Tour (15-20 minute tour)

Take in an aerial view of San Francisco and the Bay Area with the Bell Jet helicopter. Choose between 3 departure times and pickups at Union Square, Nob Hill, or Fisherman’s Wharf. Relax on the ride to the launch pad. After a safety briefing, climb aboard and see a vista of the world-famous city.   Admire the city's landscape and see landmarks like Alcatraz Island, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Ferry Building, Ghirardelli Square, Coit Tower, and AT&T Park. View both the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge; if you're lucky, fly over and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Throughout the 15 to 20-minute flight, enjoy inspiring background music and live narration from your pilot. After touching down back at the launch pad, you will be transported back to your original departure point.

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San Francisco: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

3. San Francisco: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

Explore San Francisco with a 1-day ticket, that includes two most popular hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tours. You can hop on and off the bus at any of the designated stops to explore all the major sights of San Francisco at your own pace. The Official City Tour - Hop On, Hop Off This 2 hour tour provides the best views of San Francisco's Downtown, Union Square, The Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park from a Double Decker Bus. Be sure to bring your camera, there will be plenty of photo opportunities to commemorate your visit to the city by the bay.  Official City Tour Highlights: Ghirardelli Square – Over 40 shops and restaurants, including the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, world famous for its ice cream sundaes. Palace of Fine Arts – Built for the World Fair has been a favorite wedding location for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Also a popular location for many festival celebrations, orchestras and events. Golden Gate Bridge – A great place to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge or visit the Presidio and its former Military establishments Golden Gate Park – An exciting place to visit a number of museums and attractions such as The Conservatory of Flowers, The California Academy of Sciences and The deYoung Museum. Haight/Ashbury – More commonly known as the “Hippie District”, Haight maintains the Summer of Love feel with its numerous shops and murals dedicated to the 1960’s. City Hall – Great photo opportunities of the San Francisco City Hall structures near to the Opera House, Symphony Hall and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Union Square – The central shopping district in San Francisco, featuring Macy’s, Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus, Victoria’s Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, and hundreds of other major retailers. Fisherman’s Wharf – Located on the northern waterfront, this area is best known for Pier 39 (shopping, restaurants, sea lions and much more), San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the Cannery Shopping Center, Alcatraz Landing, and many other attractions. San Francisco Night Tour This live narrated bus tour shows you the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city at night. Enjoy panoramic views of San Francisco from the top of a double decker bus from Treasure Island. The tour will be led by knowledgeable guides, to make your evening in San Francisco unforgettable.

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San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

4. San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

Explore San Francisco’s historic waterfront from the back of a self-balancing, eco-friendly Segway on this 2.5-hour tour, including a 45-50 minute training session on how to safely operate your vehicle. Your fully narrated route features spectacular views of San Francisco Bay, including Fish Alley, Fisherman's Chapel, the World War II Liberty Ship, and Submarine Pampanito. Go behind the scenes to see where the fishing industry, fleet and seafood processing are located, and catch the scent of the Dungeness crab stands in Fisherman's Wharf. Time permitting, you can take a loop through North Beach and San Francisco's Little Italy. On alternate days, a different route is taken, traveling from the Wharf area towards the Golden Gate Bridge. This loop glides through the Marina District, past the yacht harbors, and along Marina Green to the Palace of Fine Arts. Note: Please bring an extra layer of warm, resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

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San Francisco: City Sights, Muir Woods & Alcatraz Day Tour

5. San Francisco: City Sights, Muir Woods & Alcatraz Day Tour

Meet outside Fisherman’s Wharf at your chosen tour time. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 3 hours, you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity, and geography of the area. You will exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration. At the end of the adventure, you will be dropped off at Fisherman’s Wharf or North Beach, where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch and explore Lombard Street. You can also take in stunning views over the city from the Coit Tower or watch Pier 39 infamous sea lions. Your guide will recommend restaurants and must-see locations during your break. After lunch, walk over to Pier 33 to depart for Alcatraz. Upon arriving to Alcatraz Island you will take the official tour and have the opportunity to explore additional exhibits at your convenience. Lastly, return by ferry from Alcatraz back to Pier 33 where you are free to enjoy the rest of your evening. Here are the places you will explore (photo stops noted by *): • Alcatraz* - Used as a federal prison between 1933-1966, Alcatraz housed some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, including Al Capone, James "Whitey" Bulger, and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Featuring unbelievable views of the San Francisco peninsula, a visit to the island is essential when in town • Fisherman's Wharf - One of San Francisco's most popular destinations - from beautiful old shipyards to Boudin's Bakery and of course, the sea lions of Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf has it all • Fort Point* - Located just beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point gives you a front-row seat to the San Francisco Bay. This former military fortification was used during both the Civil War and World War II • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared one of the 10 wonders of the modern world, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco • Pacific Heights* - Offering one of the most scenic outlooks in all of Northern California, Pacific Heights is home to Billionaire's Row, featuring the estates of politicians, tech titans, and other San Francisco celebrities • Chinatown - Boasting the largest Chinatown in the United States, this 24-block mecca is bustling with energy, amazing food, and unique shops that give this area its charm • North Beach - Voted as one of the USA's ten great neighborhoods, North Beach is best known as the home of Little Italy. From delicious restaurants to authentic sidewalk cafes and bakeries, you will feel the charm of San Francisco as soon as you arrive • Haight Ashbury* - The origin of the hippie culture and the birthplace of the “Summer of Love.” From the stunning Painted Ladies to the homes of music’s favorite 60’s bands, this district started the counter-culture movement across the USA • Tenderloin - Nestled near downtown San Francisco, the Tenderloin neighborhood continues to resist gentrification, all while spearheading the local arts movement. It’s a must-see in our modern-day city • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared “one of the 10 wonders of the modern world,” the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco

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San Francisco Segway Sunset Tour

6. San Francisco Segway Sunset Tour

See 3 of San Francisco’s most enchanting neighborhoods during sunset and at night on a 2.5-hour Segway tour with guide. Meet your guide at Fisherman’s Wharf, where you will get a 45-50 minute training session to familiarize yourself with the self-balancing Segways. Then, glide through North Beach, best known as San Francisco’s Little Italy. Stop at Washington Square Park and learn about the Beat Generation that used to frequent the area. Then, continue to Chinatown, a veritable city within a city. See the hidden alleys of the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. Enjoy romantic night views of the Transamerica Pyramid and Ferry Building. The tour will then loop back from the edge of the Financial District towards the Wharf. Cruise past historic piers along the Embarcadero, while San Francisco Bay glitters against the night. Your next stop is Fisherman’s Wharf, gliding past picturesque fishing harbors and hidden gems such as Fish Alley and Fisherman’s Chapel. Watch Dungeness crabs being cracked, and see the Cable Car turntable at the end of the Hyde Street Line. At Ghirardelli Square, you will learn more about the famous chocolate that bears its name. View the streamline design of the National Maritime Museum and take in breathtaking views of Alcatraz Lighthouse and the twinkling lights of the Bay Bridge. Then, return to the start point, and end with an Irish coffee at Buena Vista Café. Please note:  Bring an extra layer of warm, wind resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

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San Francisco: City Highlights Walking Tour

7. San Francisco: City Highlights Walking Tour

Get an insider’s view of San Francisco’s most vibrant downtown neighborhoods on a small-group walking tour of Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Chinatown, and Union Square. Begin your urban walking adventure by meeting your guide at the northern end of Fisherman’s Wharf. Take in views of the bay, the stunning Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz.  Find yourself at the famous former chocolate factory in Ghirardelli Square and then stroll along the waterfront as you drool over numerous stalls selling Dungeness crab and the famous clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. Make your way to Pier 39 to meet the colony of sea lions and head towards San Francisco’s Little Italy neighborhood. Soak in all the aromas from the numerous bakeries and restaurants that line the streets of North Beach.  Turn the corner and take a few steps down to a very different neighborhood, Chinatown. Marvel at the colorful facades, temples, and dragon gate and find yourself at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company where you can make your own fortune cookie. Next, enjoy a short walk through the financial district and to the Ferry Building Marketplace for a nice, leisurely lunch break. Give your feet a break as your guide takes you on the subway for a brief ride to Civic Center Plaza.  Gaze at the stunning City Hall and opulent performing arts complex. Then head to Union Square, the city’s main shopping district, and enjoy the sights and sounds of this bustling neighborhood.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ghirardelli Square

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What people are saying about Ghirardelli Square

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 474 reviews

Great way to see the different neighborhoods of SF! I’m a native and I still explores areas I really hadn’t seen before! Would do it again in a heartbeat!

They were great. Tour lasted longer than expected. Michael was amazing. He seemed to know everything about San Francisco. He kept us entertained.

Our tour guide John was chatty, informative and a fantastic tour guide. We loved spending time with him Yesterday. From Sally & Sam

Susan, our guide was excellent! So much fun and made you relax and enjoy the experience! Highly recommend this company and guides.

First helicopter ride and was one I will repeat! It was very enjoyable and and pilot was remarkable!!