San Francisco City Half-Day Private Custom Tour
"‘Choose Quality over Quantity’"
"‘San Francisco is the delightful city that possesses all the attractions of the next World’"
Tour Description: This new panoramic three-and-a-half hour city custom tour is the perfect introduction to San Francisco - highly recommended for first-time visitors and for those with limited time in the Bay Area. It's the best way to see the top attractions and sights of ‘The City’ in a short amount of time. It's the only way to access locations where tour buses and large vans are increasingly prohibited. We include famous and iconic sights, historic neighborhoods, and beautiful vistas. Our daily tours are now available in several languages narrated by professional and passionate tour guides and are not pre-recorded.
This fantastic panoramic city tour is offered daily at different time-slots: morning, afternoon, and also at night, by either deluxe SUV or luxury small van for group tours – but all with highly qualified local tour guides who have earned hundreds of 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor.
Some of San Francisco's most photographed sights and streets are prohibited to buses and larger van tours; for example, these tours are not allowed within ½ mile of Lombard Street, the famous ‘Crookedest Street in the World.’ This is the iconic street that became the symbol of the hilly and windy streets of San Francisco. Not only can our luxury vehicles go there, but we can drive you down this scenic street and stop for the best photos at the foot of the hill. Among other major sights, you will see Nob Hill and Chinatown as you cruise past Union Square on the way to North Beach and San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf.
You will also cruise through the picturesque Marina District and stop at the Palace of Fine Arts. We drive through the city's most exclusive area, with magnificent Queen Anne Victorian homes, in Pacific Heights. Another photo stop will take place in the historic Presidio and at the southern end of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Don't miss our photo stop at the Cliff House overlooking Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park. We will also drive you up to spectacular Twin Peaks where you will enjoy sweeping and panoramic views of San Francisco and the Bay. When Twin Peaks is foggy, we substitute this photo stop with a guided tour to Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower (tickets to the top of the tower are not included, but entrance to the monument and its newly repainted 1930s murals is free).
We then cruise through the Haight-Ashbury, where Scott MacKenzie, Jerry Garcia, and Janis Joplin lived. Even John Lennon popped by, opposite from the present-day Jerry Garcia's ‘Love, Peace and Ice Cream.’ Some latter-day hippies are still strumming their guitars, while ‘Happy High Herbs’ in a bright green Victorian supplies medicinal needs.
Alamo Square, with its classic row of ‘Painted Ladies,’ is famous for its Victorian Homes where the ‘Full House’ TV Series (1987–1995) was filmed. City Hall has just declared this area off-limits for tour buses; however, private SUV tours are allowed. See classic Victorian houses high above a view of downtown skyscrapers.
Note: There are many wonderful sights to see in San Francisco and beyond, so we highly recommend booking our full-day custom tour of San Francisco or our full-day San Francisco city tour combined with Sausalito, Muir Beach Overlook (for spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean), and Muir Woods National Monument. You will see and visit all the major attractions and sights of the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the ancient tall redwoods, in one day for only 20% more than the cost of the 3.5-hour tour.What's Included?
- Local tax and complimentary pick-up and drop-off in San Francisco downtown, Fisherman's Wharf, and surrounding neighborhoods
- Meals, driver's gratuity (US tips/gratuities are recommended at 15%-20%), and entrance tickets to any optional site(s) or monument(s).
For time considerations we don't drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on the half-day tour but we do include it on our full-day San Francisco city custom tour.
Check us out on Trip Advisor and see what customers think of our fabulous private and custom tours
- Complimentary pick-up and drop-off
- Grace Cathedral – Nob Hill
- Union Square-The Heart of San Francisco
- North Beach and Washington Square ‘Little Italy’
- Chinatown – the largest Chinatown outside of Asia
- Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf
- Lombard Street – San Francisco's Crookedest Street
- Palace of Fine Arts in Marina District
- Pacific Heights – Elegance and Extravagance
- The Golden Gate Bridge: The Gateway to the Golden State
- Sea Cliff – An elegant and upscale neighborhood
- Palace of the Legion of Honor and Land's End
- Golden Gate Park Wonders
- Twin Peaks and Sutro Tower
- Haight-Ashbury –The Hippy Capital of America
- Alamo Square Park and the ‘Painted Ladies’
- City Hall – The Civic Center
9.00 -: 9.00 –: Complimentary pick-up at your hotel in downtown San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf, Marina District, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, North Beach, Chinatown, Union Square, Financial District, Nob Hill, Mission, Castro, Haight-Ashbury, Japantown, or San Francisco Presidio
Grace Cathedral - Nob HillBack to Top
Grace Cathedral rises high on Nob Hill, across from Huntington Park, thanks to its magnificent central spire and towers. Grace Cathedral attracts a large local congregation, as well as many visitors and lovers of architecture from around the world who come to admire this historic monument. The original Grace Church was founded in 1849 but was damaged in the1906 earthquake. The Neo-Gothic style Cathedral we see today was completed in 1964 after 36 years of construction. Grace Cathedral is also famous for its prayer labyrinth, modeled after a medieval original in Our Lady of Chartres in France, and its ‘Gates of Paradise’ bronze doors cast in Ghiberti's original mold in Florence, Italy. Nob Hill was built up in the 1880s with the wealth of the ‘Big Four’ railroad barons, and the access that two cable car lines gave it then and still give it now to visitors. It is now principally known for its ‘Big Four’ elegant hotels: the Fairmont, the Huntington, the Mark Hopkins, and the Ritz CarltonUnion Square-The Heart of San FranciscoBack to Top
Union Square is a beautiful plaza named for the 1850's decision that California joined the Union as the 31st state. The square is bordered by some of San Francisco's most notable stores, including Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Levi's, Nike, Neiman Marcus, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Victoria's Secret, but there are also plenty of shopping choices and upscale boutiques, trinket shops, and large department stores within a few blocks of the plaza. Many of San Francisco's busiest theaters, restaurants, and old-style saloons are located around Union Square, not to mention the famous turn-about of the main cable car line to Fisherman's Wharf. It is two blocks away from Market Street, the major transport street of the city.North Beach and Washington Square "Little Italy"Back to Top
North Beach, otherwise known as ‘Little Italy,’ is a popular destination for locals and visitors, thanks to its lively nightlife: Jazz and blues clubs, character-filled bars, bohemian coffee houses (no Starbucks!), restaurants and specialty shops, many of them over 100 years old. The neighborhood adjoins the Financial District (on one block you'll have the best view of San Francisco's unique 48-story building called the Transamerica Pyramid), and Chinatown. North Beach is also famous for its churches; the center of the old Italian social life was the marble-filled St. Peter and Paul's Church on Washington Square. Newly remodeled, small and serene, is the church and national shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of San Francisco.Chinatown-the largest Chinatown outside of ChinaBack to Top
San Francisco's Chinatown was the port of entry for early Hoisanese and Zhongshanese Chinese immigrants from the Guangdong province of southern China. San Francisco is home to the largest Asian community outside of Asia, and its Chinatown is the oldest one in North America. Its colorful stores, temples, restaurants, and tea houses draw curious visitors from all over the world who want to explore this unique neighborhood. Located between Union Square and North Beach, it is an entirely different world full of surprises. We can drive by the Chinese Fortune Cookie Factory down a typical side alley.Pier 39 and Fisherman's WharfBack to Top
Fisherman's Wharf is without a doubt, San Francisco's most popular tourist destination, where millions of local and international tourists come to visit its popular attractions, museums, aquarium, and famous sea lions. San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops as well as an eclectic mix of street entertainers. Other popular attractions include the Pier 39 Aquarium, Musée Mécanique (featured in the movie The Princess Diaries), and Ripley's Believe-It-or-Not Museum. This is also the starting point for Bay Cruises, and we are happy to arrange a San Francisco-Bay Cruise combo tour if you wish to explore San Francisco Bay after your city tour.Lombard Street- San Francisco's Crookedest StreetBack to Top
Lombard Street is famous for its steep one-block section atop Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets. The cable car line is clanging by, while the views are stupendous of the Bay and the City. This windy and scenic street consists of eight tight hairpin turns. The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia. The 1922 paved brick design was intended to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade, when its homeowners wanted to drive their cars up and down. Now, almost 350 cars a day, drive down in peak season, and it's one-way downhill. The occasional lost tourist does drive uphill! 250 steps on each side are for the thousands of visitors on foot. Hydrangeas and agapanthus in full bloom have attracted ever more people since 1960. Julia Morgan, the Hearst Castle architect, designed a half-timbered house there covered with bougainvillea. Every direction presents a classic postcard photo. Since 1980, this section of Lombard Street is prohibited to large vans and tour buses, but it is accessible to our SUV tours For that reason we highly recommend our custom tours.Palace of Fine Arts in Marina DistrictBack to Top
The Palace of Fine Arts is a stunning masterpiece of art inspired by Roman and Greek classic architecture. It is the only remaining building of the one-mile, one-year long Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. The dramatic and impressive setting of the Palace of Fine Arts prompted filmmakers to feature this unique structure in many movies including ‘The Rock,’ ‘Vertigo,’ and ‘The Bachelor.’ While you're enjoying a stroll by the lagoon, you may see couples exchanging marriage vows or posing for photos, as this is one of the most beautiful locations in San Francisco for weddings and nature lovers.Pacific Heights – Elegance and ExtravaganceBack to Top
Pacific Heights is an affluent neighborhood of San Francisco located in one of the most scenic and park-like settings in California, offering panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, and the Presidio. This elegant neighborhood was first developed in the 1870s, with small Victorian homes built along the new Broadway cable car line. Around the start of the 20th century, and especially after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, many were replaced with period homes. Still residential, the area is characterized by beautifully maintained Victorian, Mission Revival, Edwardian, and Château styles homes. Some of these homes are also used as consulates including those of Germany, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Egypt, Russia, South Korea, and Vietnam. Others, such as the Fairmont family home, became private schools. As of 2013, Pacific Heights was named the most expensive residential neighborhood in the United States, with the median price of a single-family home costing $10,250,000. Some mansions go for over $35 million!
Some of San Francisco's wealthiest business tycoons, actors, politicians, and celebrities live in the gorgeous mansions that grace Pacific Avenue and Broadway in particular. These scenic hills and gorgeous views make Pacific Heights a perfect setting for filmmaking, including Mrs. Doubtfire and Princess Diaries.
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge, completed in May 1937, was the longest suspension bridge span in the world at the time. It became a Modern Wonder of the World spanning the opening of San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. Its ‘international orange’ color, was chosen specifically because it complements the bridge's natural surroundings and enhances its visibility in the fog. We'll bring you to the best viewing spots either from Fort Point via Crissy Field under the bridge or to beautiful Baker Beach, which offers the best views of the bridge. Due to time considerations, we don't drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on the half-day tour, but we do include it on our full-day San Francisco city custom tour.Sea Cliff – An elegant and upscale neighborhood Back to Top
Sea Cliff is another elegant and upscale residential neighborhood similar to Pacific Heights, with many of the houses enjoying spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, China Beach, and Baker Beach. Some of the neighborhood's most famous current and past residents include Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner, actor Robin Williams, actress Sharon Stone, actor Cheech Marin, Gap founder Donald Fisher, and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett. Bus and van tours are prohibited in this neighborhood, but it is accessible to our SUV tours.Palace of the Legion of Honor and Land's EndBack to Top
The California Palace of the Legion of Honor (abbreviated to Legion of Honor) is one of San Francisco's fine arts museums, perched atop the cliffs at Land's End. It is a replica of the Palais de la Legion d'Honneur in Paris, and was completed in 1924 as a memorial to the Californian soldiers who died in WWI. The museum contains a representative collection of European art and sculpture, the largest portion of which is French, including the statue of Joan of Arc and Rodin's ‘The Thinker.’ This area located in Lincoln Park, now a public golf course, was once one of San Francisco's 22 cemeteries! It was also the terminus for the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental automobile road.
Land's End is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area located in San Francisco's wildest and rockiest coastline. It was once strewn with shipwrecks from years gone by.The Golden Gate Park WondersBack to Top
In 1870, William H. Hall, California's first state engineer assisted by John McLaren started laying out the Golden Gate Park project inspired by Frederick Law Olmsted, the creator of the famous Central Park in New York. It was a considerable challenge for them to convert rolling high sand dunes into a green space. The Park consists of 1,017 acres configured as a rectangle and similar in shape and concept to New York's Central Park. With about 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate Park is the third most visited city park in the United States after Central Park in New York City and Lincoln Park in Chicago.
Attractions: Some of the most popular attractions in Golden Gate Park include: the Conservatory of Flowers, the De Young Art Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, Queen Wilhelmina Garden and Dutch Windmill, the Buffalo Paddock, the Rose Garden, California Academy of Sciences, the Arboretum, Golden Gate Archery Range, the Polo Fields and the Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant. Broad sweeping meadows attracted thousands of hippies to free concerts during the Summer of Love. There are also many walking and biking trails as well, surrounded by ponds, man-made lakes and waterfalls along JFK Drive.
The North and South Windmills. The North (Dutch) Windmill was built in 1902, and the South (Murphy) Windmill began operation in 1908. Both were used to pump water throughout the park before electric pumps replaced them. Over the years, extensive and expensive repairs have been made to both windmills. The North Windmill is complemented by the beautiful Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, which is at its prettiest in spring.
The Conservatory of Flowers, a beautiful Victorian-style greenhouse, was built in 1876 of traditional wood and glass panes. It was modeled after the Palm House at Kew Gardens in London and houses a collection of tropical plants and flowers. It has been severely damaged in several storms over the years with its most recent full repair and restoration in 2003.The Twin Peaks and Sutro TowerBack to Top
The ‘Twin Peaks’ are two connected hills standing on the highest elevation of San Francisco (after Mount Davidson). On clear days, this spectacular overlook offers 360° sweeping and beautiful views of theSan Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Ocean. Sutro Tower stands atop of Twin Peaks and was formerly used as a broadcast transmitter for radio and television stations. Sutro Tower stands 297.8 m (977 ft) above the ground rising near Clarendon Heights in San Francisco, which became a prominent part of the city skyline and is considered a landmark.Haight-Ashbury-The Hippy Capital of AmericaBack to Top
Haight-Ashbury is a district named for the intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets, noted for its role as the center of the 1960s hippie movement, a successor and closely associated offshoot of the Beat Generation in North Beach in the 1950s. The 1880s and 1890s Victorians followed the building of a Haight Street cable car line to bring people to Golden Gate Park. Wonderfully painted houses, some with truly wild and psychedelic colors, make the atmosphere just as eclectic as in the heyday of the 1960s hippie era.
The '60s era and modern American counterculture have been synonymous with San Francisco and the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood ever since, and with it, the rise of a drug culture and rock-and-roll lifestyle. College and high-school students began streaming into Haight-Ashbury during spring break of 1967. During that year, the neighborhood's fame reached its peak, as it became a haven for a number of top psychedelic rock performers and groups of that time. Famous musicians and band members lived there, including Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead (the Victorian home where they lived is located a few blocks from Haight Street). During the famous ‘Summer of Love,’ psychedelic rock music was entering the mainstream, receiving more and more commercial radio airplay. ‘San Francisco’ (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) was written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas and performed by Scott McKenzie, becoming the ‘flower-power’ anthem for everyone visiting this area. Today, you will see plenty of present-day hippies - and their grandchildren; it's a great place for vintage clothing, eclectic costumes, smoke shops, cafes, restaurants, tattoos, body piercing, and nostalgia for the glorious ‘Summer of Love.’Alamo Square Park and the "Painted Ladies"Back to Top
Alamo Square is a residential neighborhood and beautiful park located in the Western Addition district of San Francisco. Alamo Square is famous for ‘The Painted Ladies’ referring to beautiful Victorian Homes which form a storybook row on the east side of the park, and the backdrop of the Financial District, many visitors remember this scene from the ‘Full House’ TV series. In addition to ‘The Painted Ladies,’ you will see many stunning, large, and architecturally distinctive Victorian mansions in this neighborhood. Due to its popularity, as of 2014 it has been declared ‘off-limits’ to tour vans and buses accommodating more than seven passengersCity Hall – The Civic CenterBack to Top
The City Hall of San Francisco is the focal point of the Civic Center area. Its European beaux-arts dome is the fifth largest in the world, and is 19 feet higher than the United States Capitol. The rotunda is a spectacular space and venue for special civic and public events. The Office of the Mayor is on the second floor of City Hall where bronze busts of former Mayor George Moscone and his successor Dianne Feinstein can be found reminding us of the Moscone and Harvey Milk assassinations that took place in 1978. San Francisco's beautiful City Hall has been featured in many movies including ‘The Rock’, ‘Dirty Harry,’ ‘Milk,’ and the James Bond film, ‘A View to Kill.’ Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe married at San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954. Also in this Civic Center area, you will see the Asian Art Museum next to San Francisco Public Library, Davies Symphony Hall, the Opera House, the Veteran's War Memorial Building (where the United Nations Peace Treaty was signed in 1945), and the California State Building. On Sundays and Wednesdays, there is a Farmer's Market of local produce and food vendors on U.N. Plaza across from City Hall
This SUV tour is totally private and the price is per person.
This VAN tour is totally private and not available for public
or individual reservations. The price is per party and not per person.
|Guests||Price per party|
|1 - 5 Guests||$759.00|
|6 - 7 Guests||$799.00|
|8 - 10 Guests||$849.00|
|11 - 12 Guests||$899.00|
|13 - 14 Guests||$950.00|
|Totally Private||Based on 3.5- hour tour and $189 per hour thereafter|
Included: Pick-up in San Francisco downtown or Fisherman’ Wharf, all applicable taxes, and 3.5-hour city guided tour.
Not included: The price does not include meals, driver’s gratuity, overtime and optional activities or features.