Boat to Alcatraz: Alcatraz Island, home of the famous former prison, is a must-visit for teens for both its history and its mystery. Consider booking the night tour for special programs and unique views of the city. Tickets include the island tour of your choice and round-trip ferry ride — due to high demand, it’s strongly recommended that you buy online well in advance of your trip. Also, pack heavy jackets and lots of layers for the frigid weather on the water, even in summer.
Bike the Golden Gate Bridge: The Golden Gate Bridge belongs on every San Francisco traveler’s itinerary. But with teens, do more than just drive over it: Rent a bike from one of the many vendors in Fisherman’s Wharf and cross the bridge on two wheels instead. Pedal all the way to Sausalito (about 8 miles one way) and return via ferry.
Explore Chinatown: While San Francisco boasts many culturally diverse neighborhoods, Chinatown is perhaps the most iconic — it’s also the oldest Chinatown in the United States. Check out the architecture (including the Dragon Gate at Bush Street and Grant Avenue), spend some time shopping and sample the delicious dim sum at any of the shops along Stockton Street.
Stay here: Families with teens seeking a unique lodging experience will discover San Francisco offers incredible variety. Take in the city like a local by finding a vacation rental in a cool and eclectic residential neighborhood, such as the Mission District, or stay in Hotel Kabuki, a boutique establishment in the heart of Japantown.