gihradelli square

Hipmunk City Love: Best Places to Explore and Stay With Kids in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of those quintessential American cities. It is a major metropolis infused with global cultures, a unique history and beautiful landscape. From the city’s famous hills to the Golden Gate bridge, often covered in fog, San Francisco is a city every traveler should spend time in.

Whether you’re bringing the kids here to see all the sights or they’re tagging along for a few days with the family on a business trip, there are some classic sights you’ll want to see. Here are three places not to miss while visiting San Francisco with kids, along with a few excellent family friendly San Francisco hotels nearby.

Keep Everyone Entertained at Ghirardelli Square

Although the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory is no longer at Ghirardelli Square, there is a ton to see and do in this area. Start with the guided walking history tour that takes place several mornings each week, and then hit up the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. Kids love the Peekadoodle Kids Club, where they can play on a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge or in a quaint Victorian, child-sized cable car. Ask your hotel concierge about securing discounted day-passes here.

Consider booking a room at the Fairmont Heritage Place. Located right in Ghirardelli Square, this luxury hotel welcomes kids with open arms. Take advantage of their pre-arrival shopping service, and arrive to a kitchen fully stocked with all your family’s favorite foods. Plus, with a 24-hour butler and concierge on call, rest assured you and your family will be well taken care of.

Image by Meet You in the Morning via Trover.

Kids Love Exploring the Laurel Heights Neighborhood 

This relatively upscale San Francisco neighborhood is home to the University of San Francisco. Head here for amazing, 360-degree views of the city.

You will also find the Rigolo Café in Laurel Heights, the self-proclaimed most child-friendly restaurant in San Francisco. Kids will keep busy with the well-stocked toy area in the back of the restaurant.

Consider booking The Laurel Inn, a charming property including only 18 rooms, each with a fully equipped kitchenette. You’ll love the location in the heart of the city along with the peaceful, quiet atmosphere of this urban hotel.

Get a Feel for City Life at the Ferry Building Marketplace

The Ferry Building Marketplace, located along the Embacadero at the foot of Market Street, is a bustling transit hub. In addition to BART and ferryboats, the historic trolley cars also stop here.

Come hungry as there are a number of excellent dining options here. Also be sure to check out the San Francisco City Guides, a local, non-profit organization, for their regular walking tours of the Ferry Building. Tours are free and begin at noon on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

A great hotel near the Ferry Building is the Hotel Palomar, a Kimpton Hotel. While each of the 195 rooms are lovely, consider booking one of the hotel’s suites for more space to spread out. Suites are 625-square feet and feature a sitting area with sleeper sofa and larger bathrooms with a soaking tub and separate shower.