Quirky Experiences in San Francisco

The San Francisco Love Tour takes in locations associated with the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix
The San Francisco Love Tour takes in locations associated with the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix | © Gonzalo Martinez Azumendi / Alamy Stock Photo
Clayton Mory Schuster

If you’re seeking a unique and entertaining way to explore the vibrant city of San Francisco, look no further. This diverse and culturally rich destination offers a range of quirky experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories. From offbeat tours to immersive activities, we’ve curated a fresh list of eccentric and fun-filled experiences that showcase the captivating essence of San Francisco. Join us as we dive into these unconventional adventures that offer a fresh perspective on the city by the bay.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

San Francisco Movie Sights City Tour

Fisherman’s Wharf is home to a number of attractions

This tour takes visitors to the real-life locations of 70 scenes from 55 Hollywood blockbusters. Destinations cover virtually the entire city, including Fisherman’s Wharf, Alamo Square and Haight-Ashbury. The best part is that a TV screen plays scenes filmed at whatever location you’re driving by – with commentary from the tour guide, a professional actor/comedian. Your cinematic itinerary includes classics like Dirty Harry (1971), Mrs Doubtfire (1993) and even Full House (1987-1995).

The California Academy of Sciences has its own aquarium and rooftop garden

The California Academy of Sciences is one of the most entertaining (and family-friendly) venues in San Francisco. Visitors rave about spending time with Claude the albino alligator, as well as ambling around the world-class aquarium and gazing across the city from the rooftop garden. This tour, however, allows guests to see what’s going on behind closed doors, far away from the general public’s gaze, with the institution’s scientists on hand to answer any questions you may have about their work. After the tour, guests are given free rein to roam the Academy and take in everything the exhibits have to offer.

The Immersive Gregangelo Museum Tour

See where this night of curiosity takes you

The Gregangelo Museum, otherwise known as San Francisco’s weirdest house, offers guests the chance to explore a series of different ‘realms’ to stimulate the senses and tap into your creative side. Wander through the rooms – which are all living works of art – and see, hear and touch all that’s around you while engaging in conversations about a range of fascinating topics. Follow your experienced guide, who is also an impressive magician, and see where this night of curiosity takes you…

GoCar Tour: Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Loop

Explore San Francisco via GoCar

GoCars are ubiquitous around San Francisco. It can seem like there are more people driving these cars around the waterfront than personal or ride-share vehicles. Whenever you look at the drivers and passengers in these zippy, golden racers, it always seems like they’re having a blast. Being so low to the ground makes you feel like a racing driver, even though you’re going at totally safe speeds. This tour puts riders in a GPS-guided car that narrates fascinating anecdotes about whatever you happen to be driving past. If you want to see the Golden Gate Bridge but don’t want to spend hours doing the walk or take the trouble to rent a regular car, this is the way to go. Please note that the meeting point depends on which package you book.

Urban Adventure Quest Scavenger Hunt in San Francisco

Embark on a scavenger hunt in San Francisco

Those who choose this adventure will inject a little competition into their experience and upgrade from tour to tournament. Up to five guests follow clues on their smartphones on a quest that takes them two miles across the city, from Yerba Buena Gardens through Chinatown, on picturesque cable cars, and to Hyde Street Pier just beyond Ghirardelli Square. Contestants are encouraged to go at their own pace. If you want to turn this into The Amazing Race, then go for it. If you want to make a pit stop for dim sum in Chinatown and laze outside Ghirardelli with an ice-cream cone, then that’s your prerogative. Just make sure to take in the sights and have fun.

San Francisco: City Bus Tour and Dungeon Experience

A bus tour is a great way to see everything a city has to offer

After taking in unparalleled views of San Francisco from the city’s storied hilltops, this tour heads over to Fisherman’s Wharf. From here, guests are escorted to the San Francisco Dungeon where they discover tales from the city’s sordid past. Immersive, 360-degree sets and a full cast of actors weave stories of Gold Rush greed and Barbary Coast lust, breathlessly covering huge swathes of the city’s history in a narrative that’s funny, thrilling and enthralling.

Silicon Valley Tech Tour

The Computer History Museum is a tech enthusiast’s dream

Just south of San Francisco lies Silicon Valley, where tech giants work on their world-changing ideas. This tour takes visitors from San Francisco to the Google and Facebook campuses on a biofuel minibus. The tour makes a stop at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View so that guests can gain an insight into how Silicon Valley developed and hear about the technical aspects behind some of the products being engineered today. Please note that for this experience you are collected from your hotel.

San Francisco Love Tour

The San Francisco Love Tour bus pays homage to the city’s counterculture legends

Listen to classic rock while rolling around the city in a far-out VW van painted with groovy iconography that celebrates San Francisco counterculture. The van is decked out with technicolor seats and a shag carpet. The stereo blasts anthems by Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead while the tour guide points out where these legends of rock’n’roll lived and honed their craft during the Summer of Love and beyond. Only six people fit in the bus, so the atmosphere is intimate and the interactions with the entertaining guide can be perfectly personalized.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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