San Francisco is a city with heart and character. It takes time to get it right and to know where you want to spend your time and energy. There is so much for families travelling with kids of all ages to do there. You’ll fall in love with the city and its people and wish you could stay longer.
A great way to get your bearings, a feel for the real city and an incredible fun and joyful experience is to start with a tour. My choice without exception is The Urban Safari Company. These guys know and love their city and share this passion with you.
Even their zingy website and Facebook gets you excited about the half day you will spend with these great folk. Incredible zebra stripe mobile tour vehicles will collect you from your hotel.
Urban Safari is perfect for families. They know when kids are on board and ensure their involvement and interest all the way. You will discover the city's colourful history and your stops on the tour show you San Francisco from all the best vantage points. As owner Daniel Oppenheim says, the very core of the company is its 'safari style'. There's no itinerary just '...taking what the jungle gives'.
"Golden Gate Bridge, check, Palace of Fine Arts, check check. Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks when possible...stops for pictures, commentary outside, restrooms, stretching and a great place for lunch. That is all we know for sure...well, laughing, singing, pith helmets and animal-print blankets too. We research weeks before what is happening JUST that day, and make a point to go there. Then we stay aware to things happening AS WE TRAVEL, and take off after those spontaneous opportunities as well (we call it improvisational touring) and lastly, we ask the guest what they want to see, and if at all possible, incorporate that into the route. Hence, no itineraries."
We had the iconic driver Mfalme with his 5 foot 10 inch long dreadlocks. Check out the photo of the kids holding his hair.
One experience that grabbed my heart was the starting place for my Sunday tour, the Glide Memorial Church. This is where the film Pursuit of Happyness was filmed. A full gospel choir, pews full of worshipping folk giving back to the community. I almost didn’t go on the rest of the tour I wanted to stay for the whole serve not just the glimpse. This is where you start to feel the heart of the Urban Safari Company
Nowhere near your average tour The Urban Safari Company will welcome and include you as part of the family and this sensational city. Australians are learning about these guys and tours are soaring in popularity. Don’t make this a last minute decision. Let them share their passion with you. You won’t regret it.
I know I’ll be going back for more.
BTW they do have a New York tour as well. Looking forward to trying that sometime soon.