10 Things To Do In San Francisco With Teens

10 Things To Do In San Francisco With Teens

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Teenagers have a reputation for being apathetic, angst-ridden, and hard to please. Fortunately, San Francisco is filled with activities and fun things to do perfect for stimulating the teenage mind with things and interesting facts. Between its many shopping districts, hip hangouts, street performers, artistic attractions, famous cable cars and reliable public transportation, San Francisco offers a paradise to young adults and the whole family throughout the San Francisco bay area.

Visiting San Francisco with Teens: Top Things To Do

Many families like to vacation in San Francisco because of its one-of-a-kind architecture, fine dining, and its proximity to the water. Almost all visitors tour Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge and ride cable car lines. But, if you have a teenager at your party, you may want to include attractions that are off the typical tourist track to pique their interest and make your teen put down his phone.

Things To Do In San Francisco With Teens

Tour Alcatraz Island At Night Is One Of The Best Things For A Unique Experience

Almost all visitors to San Francisco make a stop at the world-renowned Alcatraz Island in the United States, once “home” to the notorious Al Capone and “Machine Gun” Kelly. For a tour that most people don’t get to see, treat your teenager to a trip at nighttime. The Alcatraz Night Tour is a one-of-a-kind program that only a few hundred visitors per evening get to enjoy. The Night Tour includes special programs and tours that are not offered during the day; the tour includes a round-trip ferry ride.

You can enjoy the sunset as you ride, but if your teen gives you attitude on the trip over, have the guard at Alcatraz lock them in “solitary confinement.” Your teen won’t know that it’s all a regular feature of the nighttime tour, as is the Cellhouse Audio Tour, in which you hear the eerie sound of the mass prison lock-up when the cell doors close. No minors under 18 are allowed to tour Alcatraz without an adult accompaniment.

Haight Street And Amoeba Records Is A Popular Destination

Teenagers enjoy the scene on Haight Street, plus its musical atmosphere appeals to their love of bands and rock n’ rock. They will love visiting the area known as the birthplace of the hippie counterculture during 1967’s “Summer of Love.”

Today, the hippy spirit lives on in the memories of the neighborhood residents, and you can wander down Haight Street to see old, young, and wanna-be hippies. To immerse your teen in hippy culture, take them on the 12-block Haight-Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour. While you’re in the Haight-Ashbury area, visit Amoeba Records, called the “Best Record Store in the Country” by the San Francisco Chronicle from 2001 to 2005. The store features thousands of music selections from all genres to suit any teen’s taste.

Fort Funston And Hang Gliding Is A Great Way To Spend The Day

If you have a rental car, take your teenager out to Fort Funston to watch the hang gliders. The area features rugged coastlines and dunes that are 200 feet high or higher. These huge dunes, along with the area’s year-round ocean winds, make Fort Funston one of the “best places on the planet to hang glide,” according to the Fort Feathers, a hang gliding club that runs and maintains the site.

Fort Funston is called a “Hang-3” or intermediate-level site, and it includes a wooden viewing deck on the hillside. Watch that your teens don’t wander down to the beach unsupervised, however, since the undertow here is extremely dangerous.

Things To Do In San Francisco With Teens - Haight Ashbury

Haight Ashbury Is One Of The Favourite Things Of Teenagers

Haight Ashbury is a godsend for teens into music and subculture. Whether hippies, indie rockers, or punks, there are plenty of fun shops in the area to entertain any counterculture interests. Amoeba Records is a world-famous record store with an unbeatable selection of CDs and records from obscure artists.

Cheap Thrills provides fun novelty items and cool clothes for kids into the punk, indie, and rockabilly scenes. When everyone’s had their fill of shopping, visit The Red Vic, a vintage movie theater specializing in screening indie films and classic flicks that are hard to catch on the big screen.

The Moma Lobby Is The Best Place For Artistic Teens

Teens who have artistic interests love the Museum of Modern Art. The galleries can be inspiring for amateur artists, and the museum has a very modern and adult atmosphere. It’s certain to keep young adults from feeling condescending to by their elders. Many famed artists have been on display at the museum, including Picasso, Ansel Adams, and Annie Lebowitz.

H&M In Sf Is A Great Place To Go Shopping

For more mainstream teens, Union Square offers a wide selection of shopping options for kids of all ages. There are too many destinations in Union Square to list all in one place, but a few highlights include H&M; Paul Frank, and Urban Outfitters. H&M; offers an inexpensive selection of some of the hippest styles imported from Europe, and even Madonna has designed clothing for the brand. Paul Frank offers cute clothing featuring cartoon animals, particularly his trademark monkey character. Urban Outfitters offers a very indie-rock-inspired collection of apparel for both men and women.

Things To Do In San Francisco With Teens

A Concert At The Fillmore Is Not For Younger Kids

A lot of teenagers revolve their lives around music. The problem is, a lot of music venues are only open to the 21 and up crowd. Fortunately, teens in San Francisco have the option of multiple music venues open to all age audiences. Slim’s is a SOMA area club largely featuring punk and hip-hop acts. The Great American Music Hall is a Tenderloin Area business owned by the same people as Slims. The Fillmore is a classic San Francisco club; it’s where many rock and roll greats–including Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane–got their start.

Golden Gate Bridge For Your Family Trip

A San Francisco icon, the Golden Gate Bridge is an attraction teen surely will recognize. Active individuals can walk or bicycle the 1.7-mile-long bridge. The southeast side provides scenic views, a gift shop, and a cafe. Parking is available at both the southeast and northeast sides of the bridge, though there are no amenities on the northeast side.

Lombard Street Should Be On Your List Of Things To See

Lombard Street is famous for being the “crookedest street street in the world,” according to Frommers.com. The residential street’s steep angle resulted in a road that curves back and forth to make it accessible by car. Older, licensed, teens will enjoy practicing their driving skills while winding down the street. Parking is available at the bottom, and teens and their families can climb the stairs available on either side to watch other drivers, enjoy the view and take photos at the famous spot.

Things To Do In San Francisco With Teens

Pier 39 Is The Perfect Place To Spend The Day

Pier 39 is home to many tourist attractions including Grey Line bus tours, boat tours, the Aquarium of the Bay, and a mirror maze, but the main attraction is the sea lions. Since 1990, herds of sea lions have been visiting the pier’s docks. On the weekends, the Marine Mammal Center provides volunteers at the pier’s K-Dock, who lead discussions and answer questions about the creatures. The Marine Mammal Center also provides an informative Interpretive Center on the pier’s second level.

Traveling with teens and young kids is often challenging, as there are usually not many attraction options and great things for them to enjoy. Teens and their families traveling to the great city of San Francisco will find that is not the case in the seaside city, as there are many famous sights and destinations from which to choose on a sunny day.

Image Credit: Depositphotos

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