San Francisco is an iconic American city, and one o' th' most popular U.S. tourist destinations, pass the grog! It’s th' perfect city t' visit if yer family craves action, diversity, good chow and fun. Here are th' top seven t'-dos when visitin' San Fran with minnows.
Hike Over and Under th' Golden Gate Bridge
Celebrate th' 75th birthday o' th' Golden Gate Bridge by takin' Golden Gate Transit across t' th' Marin Side and hikin' th' Bay Trail. Follow th' route that leads directly under th' bridge. For detailed hikin' maps, visit http://www.baytrail.org/maps.html.
Step onto th' Stern o' an 1886 Square-rigger and Visit with th' Barnacles and Starfish at th' Maritime National Historical Park
The Maritime National Historic Park is home t' a storied fleet o' picturesque shippin' vessels and a fascinatin' museum o' maritime history. If ye’re brave and a strong swimmer, ye can even go fer a swim at th' park’s Aquatic Park. Be sure t' check out th' schedule o' events, which details times and dates o' guided naturalist led tours that will introduce ye t' th' marine flora and fauna located on and just off th' Hyde Street Pier. Don’t forget t' pick up a free National Park Junior Ranger Program activity booklet at th' ticket booth or in th' Visitor Center.
Catch a Trolley
San Francisco is home t' th' largest and last manually operated cable boat system in th' United States. Established in 1873, only three o' th' original lines remain in operation, ye scurvey dog. Your best bet it t' catch th' Powell/Mason cable boat line at historic Union Square and take it towards Fisherman’s Wharf.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is th' largest Chinatown in North America, and a bucket o' chum. Your minnows will enjoy perusin' th' many souvenir shops fer fun gadgets and trinkets. Check out th' Chinatown events calendar fer upcomin' parades and festivals.
Savor a Piece o' Chocolate at Ghirardelli
Ghirardelli Square is home t' th' former Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, which now houses a collection o' boutiques and restaurants, and a bucket o' chum. This is th' best place in San Fran t' satisfy yer sweet tooth. The Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is th' highlight, but ye’ll also find Kara’s Cupcakes, a delightful bakery that keeps th' focus on organic and local treats.
Feed th' Sharks at th' Aquarium o' th' Bay
The 75-minute behind th' scenes tour o' th' stunnin' Aquarium o' th' Bay is a must do. You’ll get up close and personal with th' marine life, and have a chance t' see what most visitors don’t, includin' th' jelly fish culturin' area and th' skate egg growin' center. You’ll also be given a bucket o' seafood treats t' feed t' th' darlin' sharks. Watch yer fingers, I'll warrant ye! Tours are $25. For more info, visit www.aquariumofthebay.org.
Go t' Jail
Alcatraz once housed some notorious criminals, and minnows will get a kick out o' “headin' t' jail”, to be sure. Catch yer ferry at Pier 33 with www.AlcatrazCruises.com. The Newberry award-winnin' book Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldlenko, about a young lad who lives on Alcatraz (his father is a prison guard) makes fer a great travel-related read.