Photo Courtesy of a TripAdvisor Traveler/4CornersThe Painted Ladies of San FranciscoView from the topSea lions at Pier 39.View from Coit TowerSFOSFO Golden GateGolden Gate Park - Japanese Tea Garden

Families will love:

  • One of the most scenic spots on earth
  • Breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Plenty to do for kids of all ages

With a population of under a million people, and a worldwide reputation as one of the most scenic spots on earth, San Francisco is that rare small city that's a big tourist destination. Families who travel here will appreciate the almost small-town feel of the City by the Bay, as well as its larger-than-life majesty. This is a place where you can linger for hours in a ... more
With a population of under a million people, and a worldwide reputation as one of the most scenic spots on earth, San Francisco is that rare small city that's a big tourist destination. Families who travel here will appreciate the almost small-town feel of the City by the Bay, as well as its larger-than-life majesty. This is a place where you can linger for hours in a quaint neighborhood cafe with breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, kick back on one of the city's many picture-perfect parks, or rub elbows with local commuters as you partake of one of San Francisco's biggest tourist attractions, its cable cars.

I've called San Francisco home for several years and still cannot get over the beauty right outside my door. Shady streets lined by colorful Victorian houses lead up a hilltop that offers a panoramic view from the Golden Gate to the East Bay, all of it basking under a sunny, but crisp blue sky -- most of the time. Add in some of the country's best food, much of it locally grown and organically produced, and this gem of a city really is a great family destination.

From cable cars to Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge,
there is more than enough to keep kids of all ages busy here; and if you want a quick primer before arriving, you may want to check out some of the many movies that celebrate the sights in this city. Hollywood has always loved San Francisco as is clear from such films as the Alfred Hitchcock classics The Birds and Vertigo, to Mrs. Doubtfire, Pacific Heights, So I Married an Axe Murderer (it's a comedy), and even The Wedding Planner. San Francisco, however, is an equally entertaining city for anti-tourists: the type of people who skip the Eiffel Tower while in Paris and prefer a slice of local life over the lines and crowds that the tourists bring. As you'll see from my recommendations for families, I advise a little bit of both.

Written by Andrea Orr less

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