San Francisco is a huge city with plenty attractions. If you are taking the bart like I did as I was staying in Pleasanton, I recommend you to drop off at at Powell St. Bart Station as there is a Visitor Information Center where you can get different maps, make inquiries as well as book trips too.
Instead of fumbling through the maps and seek directions while exploring San Francisco’s attractions, I decided to take up a day bus tour which will make traveling easier. There is around 20 designated points to embark or disembark the bus. So if you like a particular attraction, you can drop off at that attraction’s bus stop. I walked over to Union Square where all the major bus tour operators are. After making sure how it works and checked the price, I signed up for the 48 hour Dynamite ticket with The Big Bus . This awesome tickets is a steal! It consists of the 2 days bus tour, walking tours, night tour, Sausalito tour and a free hour bike rental. Buses run every 15 minutes. Do remember to obtain a headset when you board the bus as there is an English commentary by the tour guide. If you would like to take a look on the sightseeing tours that the Big Bus cover, you can download Big Bus tourist map. Alternatively, you can also download the interactive Big Bus Tours app for iOS or Android.
The night tour is freezing cold for me even though I have my coat. I was shivering throughout the tour as the temperature stayed around 7 degrees. The strong coastal wind makes it worst. Everyone is just shivering at the top. There are two girls who decided to forsake this trip halfway just before the The Golden Gate bridge as one of the girl is wearing shorts. But this coldness is definitely worthwhile as this spectacular two hour tour covers Fisherman’s Wharf, Presidio (offering awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill (a close up view of the magnificent Grace Cathedral), cross the grand Bay Bridge to Treasure Island (views of San Francisco’s skyline). I think I learn the skill of combating coldness on this bus.
I love the people working at The Big Bus, especially the guides. They were awesome in their guides and sharing the history of San Francisco. There is one guide which recognised me on my second day tour. He approached me and asked if I managed to take some great photos yesterday. I do not expect him to remember me as there were plenty visitors getting off and on every day.
|1 - San Francisco Visitor Center||On Mason Street at corner of Jefferson Street|
|2 - Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf||North side of North Point between Jones and Columbus|
|3 - Washington Square||On Columbus Street at corner of Union Street|
|4 - Embarcadero||On Clay Street at corner of Battery Street|
|5 - Union Square South||On Geary Street at corner of Powell Street, opposite Macy's|
|6 - Hilton Hotel||On Mason Street at corner of Ellis Street|
|R - Redemption Center||On Mason between Post and Geary at Blazing Saddles|
|7 - Civic Center||On Larkin Street outside Asian Art Museum|
|8 - San Francisco Jazz Centre||On Fell at Corner of Franklin Street|
|9 - Alamo Square||On Fell Street at corner of Pierce St.|
|10 - Haight Ashbury||On Haight Street at corner of Shrader Street, opposite Cha Cha Cha|
|11 - Golden Gate Park||Outside California Academy of Sciences|
|S - Golden Gate Park||Sunday and Holiday Only. On 9th Avenue at Lincoln Way.|
|12 - Golden Gate Bridge North||Vista Point North, Main Parking|
|13 - Palace of Fine Arts||On Richardson Avenue at corner of Fransisco Street|
|14 - Marina/Cow Hollow||On Lombard Street at corner of Fillmore Street|
|15 - Lombard Street||On Lombard Street at corner of Gough Street, Buena Vista Hotel|
|16 - Union Suqare North||On Post Street at the corner of Powell Street, outside the Westin St Francis Hotel|
|17 - Chinatown||On Grant Street at corner of Bush Street, outside the Triton Hotel|
|18 - Steuart Street||On Steuart Street between Mission and Howard, opposite of the Harbor Court Hotel|
|19 - Pier 35||The Embarcadero, outside of the entrance to Pier 35|
|C - Cruise Terminal||Pier 27. Cruise ship arrival/departure days only|
|20 - Pier 39||The Embarcadero, outside of entrance to Pier 39|