In America’s favorite vacation city, a massive, magical complex for children seems to float among the skyscrapers surrounding it. Around the urban park called Yerba Buena Gardens are the Rooftop play and learning garden; the Zeum, a tech-based visual, performing, and media arts center for ages eight to eighteen; an ice skating rink; a bowling center; and a historic carousel in a glass house. Looming above all this, Sony’s Metreon is a three-story, blockbuster family entertainment center. The Embarcadero from Fisherman’s Wharf to China Basin has been transformed into a dazzling waterfront esplanade, with a wide sidewalk for jogging, biking, walking, and baby “strollering.” Tall palms, historical plaques, Victorian-style benches and lamp stands, cobblestones, antique trolley cars, restaurants, and a Major League baseball park are all part of the shiny and new bayside sweep. Old favorite attractions are the cable cars, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, and Chinatown. More than 200 parks and playgrounds are places to let off steam and have a picnic. Kids love the outdoor recreation and amusements on Marina Green and Fisherman’s Wharf, while parents like the romantic
Victorian neighborhoods, the museums, and the choice of over 3,500 restaurants—more per capita than any other American city. A visit to San Francisco
is not complete without a ferry ride around the bay and a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge! Only locals know of the more than 300 hidden stairways that wind up and down the hills, through forest glades and lush gardens. With a little investigation your family will discover the stairways and other hidden treasures, such as mysterious Chinese temples smoky with incense, a museum of antique nickelodeon games, and a students’ cafe with knockout views and yummy, inexpensive food. Walking is the best way to explore the ethnic districts of North beach
, the Hispanic Mission District, and Chinatown, as well as the neighborhoods inhabited by the “Painted Ladies,” as the city’s thousands of early twentieth-century mansions are called. Local mariners share the bay with visitors on sightseeing sails, whale-watching cruises
, and deep-sea fishing expeditions. Whale-boaters row, kayakers paddle, and flotillas of windsurfers flit like butterflies. The above description is an excerpt from "Fun With the Family in Northern California." Whether you're a first-time visitor or a long-time local resident, this chapter from the Fun With the Family Series will help you find fun and engaging activities that the entire family can enjoy at great destinations throughout the state, suitable for “kids” of all ages. This chapter includes Marina District, Waterfront, North Beach, Golden Gate Park/Ocean Beach, Downtown/South-of-Market, Chinatown, and More San Francisco.
© Copyright Karen Misuraca published by Insiders' Guide all rights reserved.
This travel guide comes from:
Fun With the Family Northern California Guide Book