YOUR FIRST DAY IN THE CITY BY THE BAY
Scenically set between the Pacific Ocean and Oakland Bay and home to some of the most iconic sights in the state, the nonconformist and instantly likeable city of SAN FRANCISCO is a great place to kick off your Californian adventure. Most flights from the UK land in the afternoon or early evening, so by the time you’ve got out of the airport and into the city, you probably won’t want to do much more than check in to your hotel and grab a bite to eat before calling it a night. BART trains will quickly and easily shuttle you into the heart of downtown, though you’ll have a more interesting introduction to San Francisco if you catch a cab, especially if you’re flying into Oakland – you’ll get your first sight of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz on the ride across Oakland Bay Bridge, which also offers great panoramas of the city’s skyline and the easily recognisable spiked tower of the Transamerica Pyramid.
TOP TIP Depending on the ages of your children, it might be worth getting a CITYPASS. The most useful pass gives you free entry to Alcatraz and the California Academy of Sciences amongst others, a day’s bike rental with Bay City Bike, and a 3-Day Muni Passport, which provides free rides on all of their cable cars, streetcars and buses, as well as the metro.
THE LIJOMA LOWDOWN
Delve deeper with our tips on what to read and watch before you go, foods and drinks your kids must try, and some key cultural advice
From beachfront hotels to Downtown B&Bs – our pick of the most memorable places for families to stay in California
NEED TO KNOW
A handy overview of California’s weather and climate throughout the year, with recommendations for the best time to visit
Pre-trip practicalities, including getting there, visas and passports, health and safety, and how to get around
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