Discover San Francisco

San Francisco Educational Tours

A cable car slowly climbs a steep city street. There’s a massive red suspension bridge shrouded in fog, and a distant view of a mysterious, rocky island. Dress warm – you’re in San Francisco! This beautiful city welcomes visitors with unique landscapes, a cool climate, eclectic architecture, historic landmarks and diverse restaurants.

San Francisco Overview

One of the most famous landmarks in San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge. Visitors can walk or bike across the bridge for stunning views of the city and the bay. Nearby, the Presidio is a former military base turned national park, offering hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and historic sites. The Golden Gate Park is a sprawling urban park with a variety of attractions – even a bison paddock! One of the most popular locations within Golden Gate Park is The Japanese Tea Garden, a peaceful oasis with serene gardens and a traditional tea house. Other attractions within the park include the San Francisco Botanical Garden, the de Young Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences.

For those interested in history, the Alcatraz Island is a must-see destination. Students hoping to see art will appreciate San Francisco’s comprehensive selection of museums and galleries, such as The Asian Art Museum and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The Exploratorium is another must-see museum for science lovers. This hands-on science museum offers interactive exhibits and workshops that allow visitors to explore and experiment with various scientific concepts and principles.

San Francisco has a thriving performing arts scene offering many opportunities for young performers. See a performance by the world-renowned San Francisco Ballet or the San Francisco Opera at the glamorous War Memorial Opera House. Dance as a whole is particularly loved and celebrated in San Francisco. There are over 200 dance organizations in the area and dance festivals and events are held year round, such as Carnaval San Francisco and the San Francisco International Hip-Hop Dance Fest.

Finally, for foodies, San Francisco is a mecca of culinary delights. The city’s diverse population has led to a rich culinary scene, with a wide range of international cuisines and famous local dishes such as sourdough bread and clam chowder. Visitors can also explore the city’s many farmers’ markets and food festivals that feature produce from the surrounding area.


This infamous former federal prison is now a popular tourist attraction, featuring tours of the prison cells and the island’s history. Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse in the Western United States but became a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963, housing famous convicts such as Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly.


Fisherman’s Wharf is classic San Fran, from the brightly colored cable cars to the colony of sea lions napping on the docks and rocks. Fisherman’s Wharf is the center of San Francisco’s fishing industry as well as a world famous tourist attraction and commercial area.

The San Francisco Travel Association says, “PIER 39, the most visited destination in San Francisco, offers two levels of dining, entertainment, shopping, and attractions, all surrounded by unbeatable views of the city and the bay. Located along the historic San Francisco waterfront, PIER 39’s location provides the picture-perfect backdrop for postcard views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the city skyline.”

Aquarium of the Bay is located on Pier 39 and is home to more than 20,000 marine animals. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the aquarium is dedicated to ocean conservation and addressing environmental challenges like climate change, pollution, and loss of animal habitat (your students may recognize the Aquarium of the Bay as the setting for the Disney animated film Finding Dory).