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San Francisco Small group activities

Our most recommended San Francisco Small group activities

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge Seaplane Tour

1. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge Seaplane Tour

Take off from the waters of the San Francisco Bay and fly high above this gorgeous city of tall buildings, steep hills and trolly cars. Choose to meet your tour at the Seaplane base in Mill Valley or book a roundtrip shuttle from Fisherman's Wharf. Cruise around and over the Golden Gate Bridge and make sure you snap some stunning pictures to amaze your friends. Fly over Fisherman's Wharf and look down on the chic restaurants and shops below. Fly over Angel Island and Alcatraz before heading over the picturesque towns of Tiburon, Belvedere and Sausalito. Finally, land back on the water and taxi up to the dock in Sausalito.

From San Francisco: Yosemite Tour with Giant Sequoias Hike

2. From San Francisco: Yosemite Tour with Giant Sequoias Hike

Begin your Yosemite National Park day tour by getting picked up at select San Francisco hotels. Cross the Bay Bridge and drive through the Central Valley to the town of Oakdale where you will stop for a short break. Start your day in the park at Tunnel View. Then, go to Bridalveil Falls for a quick walk to the base of the roaring waterfall. Next, proceed onto Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. After, enjoy some free time where you will get a chance to picnic at the base of Yosemite Falls, by a river, or in a granite-enclosed meadow. Chances are high that you will see rock climbers in the spring or fall, bears in the summer, and spectacular ice formations in the winter. After regrouping, head to El Capitan, the center of the rock climbing universe. Depending on the season, you may see some climbers on the rock, but they will appear smaller than ants on the 3000-foot (914 meters) rock. Enjoy a photo stop at Valley View and then head to the Tuolumne Grove to take a one-mile (1.6 km) hike to see a grove of 1500-year-old giant sequoia trees. Please note that the hike to the sequoias may not be available during the snow season. After the hike, head back to San Francisco with a restroom stop along the way.

From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Trip

3. From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Trip

Spend an active, fun-filled day learning why Yosemite is one of America’s most popular national parks. Hike through the park with an experienced guide and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature on this tour. Start off by making your way east from San Francisco and heading across the Bay Bridge. Continue toward the Sierras and into the mountains. Learn about California’s rich history as you pass through some of the first settlements built during the Gold Rush. Arrive in Yosemite National Park for a 2.5-mile round-trip hike to see the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. Be prepared for a strenuous hike, descending 400 feet into the grove, before turning around and trekking back up. Next, cruise into the famous Yosemite Valley to take in views of Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome, and more. Capture breathtaking photos at Tunnel View and take in the eastern expanse of Yosemite Valley. Then, enjoy 1.5 hours of free time to explore on your own. You can meander down paved paths, hike around Yosemite Falls, engage further with the park’s history at the visitor’s center, or visit the Ansel Adams Gallery. In the late afternoon, you’ll depart for San Francisco, stopping for a short break before arriving back in the city. Arrive back at your hotel in the late evening to sleep off the day’s adventures.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Helicopter Adventure

4. San Francisco: Golden Gate Helicopter Adventure

Soar over San Francisco in a helicopter and take in the breathtaking views. Admire the Golden Gate Bridge and the Golden Gate National Reserve with tour narration from your pilot; there is no better way to enjoy the dramatic and ever-evolving San Francisco skyline. Meet your pilot at the heliport in the lovely bayside village of Sausalito. Before you step foot on a helicopter, your pilot will share a short introduction to helicopter flying and basic safety instructions. Jump in the helicopter, fasten your seatbelt, and enjoy the head rush as the aircraft takes off. Fly along the coast over the Golden Gate National Reserve past Baker Beach and the Pt. Bonita Lighthouse, over to Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park, then right over the legendary Golden Gate Bridge. Make sure to spot the Crissy Field, Downtown San Francisco, Oracle Park, and the infamous Alcatraz Island prison. Come face-to-face with the historic Angel Island – the Immigrant Gateway to the West before you take a smooth landing at the heliport next to Sausalito’s Richardson Bay. Leave the heliport feeling on top of the world and full of endorphins. Seeing everything in a 360-view and feeling weightlessness in the sky will leave long-lasting memories, guaranteeing you will want another ride.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard GoCar Tour

5. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard GoCar Tour

Zip around in a GPS-guided, talking GoCar, which will be your guide on an exciting loop of San Francisco's breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street. GoCar allows you to experience the beauty of San Francisco and visit places tour buses cannot go – all at your own pace. Go off the beaten path through San Francisco's iconic parks on your way to the Golden Gate Bridge and back. Snap amazing photos along the Pacific Ocean and see the Golden Gate Bridge up close from above and below. You can even park and take a stroll along the span of the bridge if you choose. On the way back, explore the boutique shopping districts of Chestnut and Union Street, then fill the trunk with the latest fashions, or stop for a bite to eat. Finish your tour by winding your way up Russian Hill to take an exhilarating ride down notoriously crooked Lombard Street.

From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

6. From San Francisco: Napa & Sonoma Valley Full-Day Wine Trip

Discover the wine-making traditions of Napa and Sonoma on a full-day scenic tour from San Francisco. Enjoy panoramic views along the coast and stop at 3 wineries for tasting. Traveling in small groups, drive to the Golden Gate Bridge - stopping for a photo opportunity - and continue to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, home to acclaimed Californian wines and artisanal cheeses. Following magnificent views of San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands, journey through the rolling hills of Napa and Sonoma. Stop at 3 different wineries to taste several different types of wine, and learn about the area and its wine production history. During the day, you will also make a lunch stop at the gourmet Oxbow Public Market in Napa, where plenty of delicious food options await, along with the chance to try more wines for the true afficionado.

San Francisco: Chinatown Walking Food Tour

7. San Francisco: Chinatown Walking Food Tour

Don’t fall for the culinary tourist traps when you’re in San Francisco. With this food tours of San Francisco, you can experience an irresistible food tour in the cultural hots pot of Chinatown. Explore the remarkable and historic ethnicity, culture and foods that define Hong Kong and mainland China. Taste authentic Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine from five Chinese owned and operated restaurants, food establishments and ethnic bakeries. Your expert foodies have done extensive and delicious research to offer you the ultimate Chinatown food tour. The tastes, traditions, and old-world class of these landmark establishments are a true San Francisco experience. Let us tease your taste buds with the sweet and savory flavors of delectable authentic Chinese cuisine. This 3-hour Chinatown tour includes flavorful food specialties served from five of the following places: • New Hollywood Bakery and Restaurant: Light and buttery buns filled with barbecue-flavored cha siu pork • Bund Shanghai: Traditional Shanghai-style cuisine • Grant Place: A local favorite known for Hong Kong style dim sum and Chinese specialties • Hunan House: The distinctive flavors of Hunan cuisine • AA Bakery & Café: Freshly made Hong Kong style egg tarts cooked to a smooth flan-like perfection with a buttery and flaky crust • Z&Y Restaurant: Chef Han has grown in reputation by preparing food for presidents and foreign ministers of the people’s republic of China Behind every great food establishment in this city there is an equally great story of history, tradition and even innovation. On this Chinatown food tour, you’ll discover these amazing histories while tasting what has made these Chinese restaurants and bakeries so prized among locals.

From San Francisco: Yosemite Lodge 2-Day National Park Tour

8. From San Francisco: Yosemite Lodge 2-Day National Park Tour

Escape to the mountains for 2 full days of hiking, sightseeing, and exploring in the amazing natural wilderness of Yosemite National Park. Trek through Yosemite Valley and the Giant Sequoias. Spend the night in the heart of Yosemite Valley at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Your hotel is located at the base of Yosemite Falls - the waterfall that gave the hotel its name. On this tour of Yosemite National Park from San Francisco, you'll have 2 days to explore, giving you more time and flexibility to see all the sights. Your guide stays in the hotel with the group, providing valuable knowledge of the history of Yosemite and a more personal experience of the park throughout your trip. The 2 days in Yosemite National Park are divided between time in Yosemite Valley and exploring the outlying areas of the park. In the valley, you will visit and photograph famous highlights such as Yosemite Falls (the tallest waterfall in North America), El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, and Inspiration Point. Beyond the valley, enjoy a hike among the Giant Sequoias (weather permitting). This tour of Yosemite arrives back in San Francisco at approximately 21:00 on the second day.

From Sausalito: San Francisco and Alcatraz Helicopter Tour

9. From Sausalito: San Francisco and Alcatraz Helicopter Tour

See the California coast along San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge on a helicopter tour with a live guide and pilot. Take off and land in Sausalito to see famous landmarks from another angle, including the Alcatraz prison. Enjoy a 20-minute flight over the splendor of the land and waters along the North Pacific. Take off from the bayside village of Sausalito, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Next, fly along the shoreline of the quaint bayside village of Sausalito, then right over the legendary Golden Gate Bridge. Continue to soar over Crissy Field, downtown San Francisco, and Oracle Park – home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. Fly over the infamous island prison of Alcatraz. Finally, your flight will be completed with a pass by the historic Angel Island, and back for a smooth landing at the heliport next to Sausalito’s Richardson Bay.

Yosemite Valley 3-Day Camping Adventure

10. Yosemite Valley 3-Day Camping Adventure

Spend 2 nights camping in the world famous Yosemite Valley outside of San Francisco. You will travel in an eco-friendly biofueled vehicle, and all camping gear is provided to lighten your load. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag and enthusiasm for the Californian wilderness. Don't worry if you've never camped before. The camping and cooking equipment is provided, using quality tents. Everybody is expected to participate in the set-up and break-down of camp, and a professional guide will be there to ensure a positive camping experience. You will camp at comfortable campsites that have hot showers and modern facilities. Swimming is available nearby. Food is also provided, but there will be no chefs! You will get the chance to cook over campfires, and you will also be the waiters, dishwashers, and of course the guests! The fare is all-you-can-eat and very tasty, and is a mixture of chicken, beef, and vegetarian. Day 1: On the morning of your first day camping, your guide will meet you downtown at the corner of Mason and O'Farrell Streets in front of the Hilton Hotel at 08:15. Once out of San Francisco, cross the Central Valley and head through gold country on your way to the mountains. Before reaching Yosemite Valley, hike down for a picnic among the giant sequoia trees, the largest living things on Earth. Meals on the first day are not included in the tour price, but you will have an opportunity to get food en route to the park. Depending upon group interest and logistics, you may visit any of the 3 sequoia groves. The hike through the giant sequoias is pleasantly shaded and brings you right up close to these massive wooden monuments, some of which are more than 1,000 years old and measure up to 30-feet wide and 300-feet tall. Continue into the park on a 90-minute guided tour, and descend into Yosemite Valley, the most famous and photographed part of Yosemite, thanks to the work of photographer Ansel Adams. While in the Yosemite Valley, your guide will give you an orientation to the park, as well as an explanation of the itinerary and options for the next 2 days. After some free time in Yosemite Valley, head for the campsite to set up camp, ending the day with drinks around the campfire as you decide what to do with your next 2 days in the park. Day 2: Rise early and prepare breakfast and lunch, clean up camp, and head off in the van for a fun day full of hiking, sightseeing, and exploring. Usually the second day is reserved for exploring Yosemite's High Country. A group hike to May Lake and Mount Hoffman is generally the highlight of the day, depending upon snowpack. May Lake is a picturesque example of a High Sierra lake. If you want more of a challenge, you can continue past May Lake to Mount Hoffman. Located at the geographic center of the park, Mount Hoffman is a non-technical hike that rewards you with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain landscape. At the end of the day, head back to camp for dinner and time to unwind by the campfire. Day 3: Day 3 is a free day, where the itinerary is based on the interests of the group. Normally the tour heads back into Yosemite Valley, where you can choose one of a number of great hikes, rent a bike, or relax in the shade by the emerald green Merced River. After a full day in the park, head back to San Francisco, arriving around 21:00. In May, June, and early July, you have the option of joining a whitewater rafting trip on the Merced River, depending on snowpack. This Class III-IV adventure can be added to your Yosemite Escape adventure for only $140-$160.

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Frequently asked questions about San Francisco

What top attractions are a must-see in San Francisco?

What are the best day trips and excursions from San Francisco?

The best day trips and excursions from San Francisco are:

Napa

Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco

Want to discover all there is to do in San Francisco? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San Francisco

On January 1, I was worried that the road would be blocked due to snow, and I thought that it would be impossible for us to do such a difficult thing on a day trip, so we participated. Although my stay was short, about 4 hours, I was able to visit places with beautiful scenery by stopping here and there, listening to explanations, and being able to take pictures. On the round-trip bus, they explain San Francisco and Yosemite, and show you a video of Yosemite, so you won't get bored. Also, for us, it was a good break during the trip because we were able to go while sleeping. It was a very satisfying tour blessed with good weather.

Awesome from pick up to drop off. The young lady that picked us up was great. Now on to the flight. This is a must do on anyone's bucket list. I flew my family from Alabama for this adventure so my daughters 13th B'day, she want to see the Golden Gate Bridge. The flight was smooth and informative from start to finish. Daniel was our guide and pilot. This man is an incredible pilot and great guide. He is full of information or BS but you would never know difference. I have flown a lot and he smooth. Thank you to everyone for making this a great experience. Daniel we are not from the UK straight out of South Alabama.

Our Tour Guide Mitch was great, we had a blast! Would definitely recommend this tour. Doing Muir woods prior to wine country was a treat. Muir woods was very cool. We had lunch at Girl and the Fig in Somona Plaza for lunch and it was excellent. Cute restaurant with lots of charm and great food.

Jeffery was this most kind and fun tour guide. We really enjoyed everything!! All the vineyards and lunch at Napa was just perfect for Mom’s 70th birthday. Thank you for making it so special! We would absolutely recommend and we will be back!

Excellent tour with an excellent guide! J was amazing!