If you want to maximize your time in San Francisco and visit three iconic Northern California places in one day, consider the Alcatraz with Muir Woods and Sausalito tour Viator offers. On a recent trip to San Francisco, I took this tour and found it to be an excellent use of my limited time.
The adventure begins with a quick stop for photos at the Golden Gate Bridge, a marvel of engineering and a symbol of the city. From there, you’ll continue to Muir Woods National Monument to walk among some of the oldest and tallest redwood trees, experiencing the natural beauty of this protected forest.
Lunch is spent in Sausalito, a charming coastal town offering casual dining options. The tour concludes with an epic visit to Alcatraz Island, accessible by a short ferry ride from the city. The self-guided tours of this former prison offer a fascinating and immersive experience.
Now that I’ve shared the highlights, I’d like to share more about each activity on Viator’s tour.
San Francisco Bay Area Tour
The small group tour began around 8:15 a.m. when we checked in with our guide and van driver at the meeting point in the Union Square area in downtown San Francisco. Departure time was 8:30 a.m. sharp.
After quick introductions, we drove northwest to the Golden Gate Bridge. Our first stop was the Palace of Fine Arts for a photo. The Greco-Roman palace is visually attractive, and I’m glad we got out of the luxury tour van there, even if we didn’t have time to walk around it.
We continued across the fog-covered Golden Gate Bridge to the H. Dana Bowers Rest Area & Vista Point. A few years earlier, I visited San Francisco briefly before a vacation in Oahu and saw the bridge from the south side. This was my first time seeing it from the north.
It was about a 20-minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge to the parking lot at Muir Woods.
Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument, located about 12 miles north of San Francisco, is a stunning forest reserve home to towering coast redwood trees. President Theodore Roosevelt designated the area as a national monument on January 9, 1908.
The name pays homage to John Muir, a naturalist and environmental philosopher who was instrumental in establishing the National Parks system in the United States.
Walking among California’s redwoods has been high on my agenda for years. Seeing these grand, centuries-old trees increasingly…