What to do in San Fran with 6 year olds in port-- which is walkable from ship

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#1
Seattle
1,464 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
We will be in San Fran the first week of May. We are sailing on NCL Jewel 5 day Pacific coastal. San Fran is a port stop. I would love to hear suggestions for possible walkable things we could do right off the pier. We thought about doing the Hop off Hop off bus, but we are not sure there will be enough on the route to keep our 6 year olds busy. Any suggestions
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#2
california
1,044 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Most likely you will dock at Pier 27. My best suggestion would be to spend time at the Exploratorium which is less than a mile from where you dock at pier 13. It is an easy walk along the Embarcadero. This is the new and improved iteration of one of America's first hands on science museums. It is a blast for kids of all ages and should occupy a good part of the day. Other options include my usual number one for adults, Alcatraz. Just not sure how the 6 year olds might do. There are always the old touristy standbys of Pier 39, which has an aquarium and fishermans wharf. Lastly they might enjoy a cable car ride but beware that lines can get long. Going further afield would add Golden Gate park as well as the bridge but would entail more issues with transportation.
#4
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
22,834 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
We like the touristy thing in SF. There's a small Aquarium a short walk away. Also the Mechanical Museum (name's in French, it's the one in the Princess Diaries), $5 goes a long way in there.
Check out Boudin's Sourdough flying overhead in their shop. Ghirardelli Square is very close byThere are now two ice cream shops, the sit down one upper level, and the lower take-out one facing the bay.
For something Californian, there's always In n Out. Check out their 'secret' menu online.


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#5
Seattle
1,464 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by SadieN
We like the touristy thing in SF. There's a small Aquarium a short walk away. Also the Mechanical Museum (name's in French, it's the one in the Princess Diaries), $5 goes a long way in there.
Check out Boudin's Sourdough flying overhead in their shop. Ghirardelli Square is very close byThere are now two ice cream shops, the sit down one upper level, and the lower take-out one facing the bay.
For something Californian, there's always In n Out. Check out their 'secret' menu online.


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Oh man, we love In and Out. So there is a in and out within walking distance! We live in Seattle, this would be such a treat since we don't have this burger chain in WA

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#6
Oak Park, CA
5,904 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I don't know if the times work but we are spending the weekend before our Sunday cruise and will be taking a catamaran that goes around Alcatraz. I figured the young ones wouldn't be that thrilled with looking at a prison.
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#8
30 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
The cruise ship pier is about a five minute walk to Pier 39. There they have lots to do: an aquarium, a beautiful carrousel, street performers with fun shows and music, an arcade, and a ton of shops.
#9
St Ives, England
2,204 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by MoyCoy
We will be in San Fran the first week of May. We are sailing on NCL Jewel 5 day Pacific coastal. San Fran is a port stop. I would love to hear suggestions for possible walkable things we could do right off the pier. We thought about doing the Hop off Hop off bus, but we are not sure there will be enough on the route to keep our 6 year olds busy. Any suggestions
Would they be old enough to appreciate looking round a submarine ? Good luck whatever you decide, Tony
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Personal cruise excursion videos :
CALIFORNIA COAST inc SAN FRANCISCO, YOSEMITE N.P., LAS VEGAS & DEATH VALLEY N.P. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...F2GS9rPCocVdFM ALASKA (Inside Passage)/CANADIAN ROCKIES/VANCOUVER https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...vRzf6DV3I3D54i
BERMUDA https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...3A28wOjkiFMnNc FRANCE inc Monaco https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...WgQDY2hb_of0TZ GREECE https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...Sce3udW0GwnDX3 ITALY https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5dAwo9lc2VdVk7 SPAIN/PORTUGAL/GIBRALTAR https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...0mZabjIjNmqXZM OTHER MEDITERRANEAN PORTS inc Istanbul https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...RkQWm30KQ4SiDh THE BALTICS inc Berlin & Bruges https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...EQxusSHjWztBzu KYOTO/TOKYO https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...nFWHQ-MNzJdSy4 ATLANTIC CANADA & NEW ENGLAND https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...lp6AQsFY5NV7mn PANAMA CANAL/CARIBBEAN https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...oWjfBZ6FHiA1TC AUSTRALIA/SOUTH AFRICA/HONG KONG https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrVUjbiYVZU7NA- GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ogdJNPM1BktP3h Email Tony : cortina26 at talktalk dot net
#10
359 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
I'm not sure what is considered walkable for a 6 year old, but just a little over a mile is a really neat Maritime Museum. There are several old ships including one of the old time ferries that used to cross the bay. Coming back from there are the Jeremiah O'Brien (a World War II era ship), Ghiradelli Square, the old Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. There is a wax museum, a Ripley's Believe it or Not and the Musee Mecanique, which is the French name of the museum someone mentioned earlier. A lot of this is pretty touristy, but a lot of fun, if you don't mind the crowds. Lot's of restaurants, lots of activities. Lots of street performers.

If you have time you can take a ferry over to Alcatraz Island, an old military installation-turned-prison. Now abandoned. I've taken a few kids there and they always seem to love it. You would probably need to buy those tickets on-line in advance as it can sell out. I had a man who works on the island tell me that he as never seen any of the ferries be less than full, regardless of the weather.

I just realized this is an older thread and I'm too late to be helpful to this cruiser. When planning my cruises I often read old threads to get ideas. So, I hope this proves useful to someone.
#12
Seattle
1,464 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
I visited San Fran with the twins 3 weeks ago. We took a free shuttle to Fisherman's Wharf. We purchased speed boat rides from the shuttle , ate fish and chips, enjoyed the mirrored indoor play area for 5 bucks. We headed back to the ship (NCL ) before 3. We used the free shuttle. Easy Peasy. Thank you all for your [email protected]

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#13
Seattle
1,464 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
We will be parked closer to the pier on our next cruise on Royal. No need for a shuttle. I would do the Wharf again.

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#14
Seattle
1,464 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by Blondilu
I'm not sure what is considered walkable for a 6 year old, but just a little over a mile is a really neat Maritime Museum. There are several old ships including one of the old time ferries that used to cross the bay. Coming back from there are the Jeremiah O'Brien (a World War II era ship), Ghiradelli Square, the old Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. There is a wax museum, a Ripley's Believe it or Not and the Musee Mecanique, which is the French name of the museum someone mentioned earlier. A lot of this is pretty touristy, but a lot of fun, if you don't mind the crowds. Lot's of restaurants, lots of activities. Lots of street performers.

If you have time you can take a ferry over to Alcatraz Island, an old military installation-turned-prison. Now abandoned. I've taken a few kids there and they always seem to love it. You would probably need to buy those tickets on-line in advance as it can sell out. I had a man who works on the island tell me that he as never seen any of the ferries be less than full, regardless of the weather.

I just realized this is an older thread and I'm too late to be helpful to this cruiser. When planning my cruises I often read old threads to get ideas. So, I hope this proves useful to someone.
I am going to San Fran again next week for a overnight, so this is indeed helpful. I went back to the thread to be reminded of what I I could do with my kids, again

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#15
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,510 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by MoyCoy
I am going to San Fran again next week for a overnight, so this is indeed helpful. I went back to the thread to be reminded of what I I could do with my kids, again

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If you are going next week, unless you get incredibly lucky, you aren't going to get on Alcatraz. That books months in advance.
#16
Seattle
1,464 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by CruiserBruce
If you are going next week, unless you get incredibly lucky, you aren't going to get on Alcatraz. That books months in advance.
Yeah, we did not even try

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#17
4,367 Posts
Joined Dec 2014
Originally posted by CruiserBruce
If you are going next week, unless you get incredibly lucky, you aren't going to get on Alcatraz. That books months in advance.
I wonder if tour companies will have tickets? This happened to me when I went several years ago.
#18
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,510 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by xlxo
I wonder if tour companies will have tickets? This happened to me when I went several years ago.
There is only operator going to Alcatraz, IIRC. We managed to get tickets for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend about 6 weeks in advance.
#20
90,306 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
When we were recently there with our Grand Children we did a few things with them.

One is to go to Pier 39 and that included having them go on the merry go round.

We also went to a park. There are several in the city.

Keith