Things to do in
San Francisco Bay

Windy urban beaches draw sailors, windsurfers, and scenery lovers to this multi-bay destination.

All activities

121 activities found
Sort by:

San Francisco Bay: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Cruise around the Golden Gate Bay on a boat tour. Enjoy informative commentary, see sights like Alcatraz Island, and purchase food and drink from the onboard bar. Launched in 1939 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition, this 1-hour cruise has been a highlight of any visit to San Francisco for over 75 years. With 8-14 departures daily from Fisherman's Wharf, you will sail along San Francisco's breathtaking waterfront, under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and close to the notorious Alcatraz Island. Discover San Francisco's fascinating history, brought to life through audio commentary broadcast in 16 languages via personal audioguides. Look out for wildlife along the way, including pelicans, sea lions, and even dolphins and whales. Sail past the lively neighborhood of North Beach, the famous swimming clubs of Aquatic Park, the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, and San Francisco Maritime National Park, before heading west towards Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy views of Crissy Field and the lush hillsides of the Presidio, before cruising under Golden Gate Bridge. Steam back into the Bay, traveling past the wildlife reserves of the Marin Headlands, and the legendary town of Sausalito, once home to the 1960s’ flower generation. With Angel Island State Park to your left, cruise around the infamous Alcatraz. After a full hour of exciting sights, the barking sea lions at Pier 39 welcome you back to Pier 43 1/2. A full bar with drinks, snacks, and merchandise, including logo wear, is available at reasonable prices on board the iconic Red and White vessels. Join us on our 5:30 departure for the "Happiest Hour on The Bay" enjoy discounted pricing on cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks. Finish your day or start your evening with Red and White for the best views on board a piece of San Francisco history.

San Francisco: Skip-the-Line 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

San Francisco: Skip-the-Line 1-Hour Bay Cruise by Boat

Enjoy a 1-hour journey along San Francisco's historic waterfront and experience the thrilling history of the San Francisco Bay, with all the sound and glory it deserves. The 1-hour non-stop Bay Cruise takes you past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline. Relax in comfort, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and enjoy a full narration describing major landmarks as you sail by. See sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the iconic San Francisco skyline as you go. Whether it’s your first time to San Francisco, or your 10th visit, the Bay Cruise is something you should experience at least once in your life. You will get a complimentary souvenir map, which is available in nine languages, and if you get hungry, there’s a full-service snack bar on board with food and drink available to purchase.

San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

San Francisco: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Experience the best that the City by the Bay has to offer with the Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off tour. This digitally-narrated tour takes you to the city's must-see landmarks and iconic attractions, providing a comprehensive and immersive experience of San Francisco. Hop aboard the bus and prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, a true San Francisco icon. As you cross the bridge, take in the breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island, and the surrounding hills. This is a photo-opportunity not to be missed! As the tour continues, venture into the heart of the city and visit Union Square, the bustling shopping district. Here, you'll find an array of designer boutiques, high-end department stores, and trendy restaurants. Union Square is also home to the famous cable car turnaround, where you'll see the iconic cable cars in action. The tour also takes you through the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the birthplace of the hippie movement. As you walk through the streets, you'll be transported back to the 1960s, with colorful Victorian houses, vintage clothing stores, and murals celebrating the Summer of Love. No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf. Take in the sights and sounds of this famous waterfront district, where you can sample fresh seafood, browse local shops, and watch the sea lions basking in the sun. From here, you can also catch a ferry to Alcatraz Island or take a cruise around the bay. With the Big Bus tour, you have the flexibility to hop on and off at any of the 20 stops along the route, allowing you to explore the city at your own pace. And with buses running every 10-15 minutes, you won’t have to wait long to continue your adventure. So whether you want to spend more time shopping in Union Square or exploring the Golden Gate Park, the Big Bus tour has got you covered. Complete your SF experience with a half-day guided bus tour to Muir Woods. See the redwoods up close and personal, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore the seaside town of Sausalito on the way back.

San Francisco: California Sunset Boat Cruise

San Francisco: California Sunset Boat Cruise

Enjoy sunset views as you sail on beautiful San Francisco Bay. See important landmarks, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. In the winter months, take in the serene twilight views instead. Along the way, view numerous National Historic landmarks and San Francisco sights, including Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, St. Peter, Paul's Church, and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As the sun begins to set over the Marin Headlands, cruise past Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the shorelines of Tiburon, Belvedere, and Sausalito. Watch the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, as you sail west towards the Golden Gate. On your way back to Fisherman’s Wharf, see many more famous sights, including the Presidio, the Marina District, and Fort Mason.

San Francisco: Inside Alcatraz Tour with Bay Cruise

San Francisco: Inside Alcatraz Tour with Bay Cruise

You will explore INSIDE the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island with America’s most ruthless criminals, including Al Capone. The ferry will leave on time at the specific time you booked. You have to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time at Pier 33. Walk, bike, take public transportation, or drive (as a last resort as it can be challenging to find parking), with easy access from anywhere around the Bay! On the island follow the Cellhouse audio tour “Doing Time” 45 minutes available in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Also included is an amazing 1 hour SF Bay Cruise. Sail past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline.You have the flexibility to go on your cruise on any day at any available departure. You will receive the schedule. Those are 2 separates tours.

San Francisco: Alcatraz with San Francisco Bay Cruise

San Francisco: Alcatraz with San Francisco Bay Cruise

Explore the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island to learn about America’s most ruthless criminals, including Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Enjoy a ferry transfer from San Francisco and an admission ticket to the famous prison. Embark on a scenic 1-hour cruise of San Francisco Bay before or after your visit. Board the ferry and arrive on Alcatraz Island to begin your visit. Take advantage of an insightful and award-winning audio guide in multiple languages to immerse yourself in the dark history of Alcatraz and learn all about its old inmates and the many fateful escape attempts. Spend as much time as you'd like before taking the ferry back to the pier. Additionally, enjoy a 1-hour narrated sightseeing cruise of San Francisco Bay in a comfortable boat with both indoor and outdoor seating. Take in the scenic views and sail past famous San Francisco landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, the Bay Bridge and much more. Sail along the historic waterfront, past the famous Pier 39 sea lions and take in the city’s fascinating skyline from the unique vantage point of the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

San Francisco: Bridge to Bridge Cruise

See both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on a single boat tour with personal headphone audio included. Explore San Francisco's famous landmarks, history, natural history, architecture, and Native American culture on board this unique bay cruise. During the 90-minute round trip cruise you'll depart from Fisherman's Wharf, one of the city's busiest tourist attractions. From there, sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, the Golden Gate is one of the world's most famous and beautiful bridges, and was at one point the largest suspension bridge in the world. Cruise past Alcatraz Island, once home of one of the world's most infamous prisons, and take the chance to enjoy the stunning San Francisco waterfront. The boat will pass along the harbor before heading under the colossal San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Then it's time to head back to the charming city of San Francisco by the sea. For a limited time, all San Francisco Bridge to Bridge Cruises have a Buy One, Get One (BOGO) offer for the bar! Double the delight as you sip and savor the beauty of the San Francisco Bay while toasting to memorable moments.

San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

Take a relaxing 90-minute round trip sail onboard a luxury catamaran. See sea lions, famous sights, and sunset views of San Francisco as the sun dips below the Bay. Sail by Alcatraz Island, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and past Sausalito. Search for the famous Pier 39 sea lions and other kinds of sea life playing in the ocean. Cruise along the shore, gazing on the city skyline as you watch the magnificent sunset. Relax with a complimentary drink on board either a 55- or 65-foot catamaran. Both come complete with a protected viewing area, providing panoramic 360-degree viewing, in addition to canvas trampoline nets for the more adventurous who want to experience the sights in the bracing open air.

San Francisco: Muir Woods and Sausalito Small-Group Tour

San Francisco: Muir Woods and Sausalito Small-Group Tour

Starting from San Francisco, this guided tour takes you to Muir Woods National Monument and Sausalito. Discover the mystery of 400-feet (130 meters) tall redwood and sequoia trees at Muir Woods before stopping in Sausalito to sightsee, shop, and more. After pickup, start your tour with a scenic and informative drive to the Golden Gate Bridge through several of the best San Francisco neighborhoods as well as the Presidio, a former military area of great beauty. Crossing the GG Bridge, stop at the northern vista point for stunning views of the bay and the bridge. Scenic views continue as the tour passes above the town of Sausalito and through portions of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Mount Tamalpais State Park, which merge with Muir Woods. Arriving at Muir Woods National Monument, your guide will inform you of the best way to experience the grove and where the oldest trees are located. An approximately 1 hour and 20-minute stay allows you to see much of the grove and explore the gift shop, café, and visitor center. The tour includes a stop in Sausalito to enjoy the art galleries, shops, cafes, restaurants, and yacht marinas. Views from Sausalito include the Bay Bridge, parts of the East Bay, and San Francisco. After about an hour in Sausalito, you’ll get driven back to your hotel. Alternatively, if you want more time in Sausalito, a ferry boat, taxi, Lyft, or Uber service back to San Francisco can be arranged at your own expense.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Sunset Cruise

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Sunset Cruise

will take you from PIER 39 and past two San Francisco icons, the famous California Sea Lions and the Golden Gate Bridge. As the sun sets on the San Francisco Bay and the lights come up in the city, you'll continue to take in the many sights while you go by Angel Island, Sausalito, Tiburon, and the world famous Alcatraz Island. There is no better seat on the Bay to see one of the most beautiful cities in the world turn on its lights. Don’t miss this breathtaking experience! Includes: 90-minute cruise

Top Attractions in San Francisco

Things to Do in San Francisco Bay

Cities in United States

Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco Bay

Want to discover all there is to do in San Francisco Bay? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San Francisco Bay

Overall rating

4.6
(8,956 reviews)

A great day out in the Somona Valley. We were picked up promptly from our hotel by our friendly guide, Anya, who was very helpful and knowledgeable though out the day. We loved the quick stop off at the Golden Gate Bridge for a photo opportunity and enjoyed spending time in Sonoma town for lunch. All the three wineries we visited were very accommodating with a great selection of wine for tasting. We were with a great group of people from all over the world who were good fun and very interesting to spend the day with. Thanks for a lovely day Anja.

Tour around Bay, seeing Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge and Treasure Island. Seals were laying out around dock. Check off my bucket list! Our boat had good 80s 90s music. Recommend to all. Little chilly after sun sets.

Our guide Ulrich was awesome! Very informative and gave great insights into the history of the city. We loved all the recommendations he had and the tour was fantastic. Highly recommend!

It was fun with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge and SF Skyline.

I could have left a little earlier to get more sunset time