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In the Women’s Web ‘Travel The World With Kids’ series, we talk to mums from all over the globe who are interested in exploring their backyard attractions with their tiny tots! We hope you find them useful, if someday you choose to visit their part of the world. Presented in Q&A format, this one is with Vidya from San Francisco (SFO). You can find her on Twitter.
San Francisco has the distinction of being one of the most visited cities in the world. Well-known for its cultural diversity, Vidya tells us more about its child-friendliness.
Hi Vidya! Please tell us about yourself.
I am a mom of twin toddler boys, enjoying the roller-coaster ride of parenthood, and trying to integrate work and family fun.
What are some of your suggestions for parents visiting with young kids to do in SFO?
The SFO Bay Area is a very diverse place and offers something for everyone – the usual tourist attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Crooked Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cable Car Rides, Sausalito, Ghirardelli Square, a boat cruise to the Alcatraz Island etc are sure to be fun for all. Besides that, there are a few kid-friendly museums. The California Academy of Sciences is a great place to visit with kids – it’s the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof.
The Children’s Discovery Museum is one of the largest hands-on museums in the nation; it is sure to keep everyone from toddlers to older kids engaged!
What have been some of your favourite outings in SFO with your kids?
We love going on picnics to the Golden Gate Park. The park has a wide open play area – The Koret Children’s Quarter, with a carousel ride which is a must-do!
On a bright sunny day, we also enjoy going to the beach. My kids can play with their sand toys on the beach for hours, while we relax on the warm sand, gazing out into the blue Pacific Ocean.
For tourists visiting SFO for the first time, do you have any particular tips?
I would suggest planning for atleast a week in the area. There is a lot to do, and it works better to space the activities out, especially the little kids. Also, dress in layers – as Mark Twain once asserted “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
Are there any particular restaurants in SFO that you think kids will enjoy?
The SFO Bay Area is such a melting pot of cuisines from around the world; it’s a great place to introduce your little ones to new tastes and textures. It’s really hard to pick one or even a few restaurants, given the multitude of options but here goes – the Pier 39 area has several dining options with outdoor seating that works great with kids. The Ferry building, which is another great place for tourists to hang out also has some unique dining options that are fun to check out with kids . The Ghirardelli square is a do-not-miss for both kids and those of us who are kids-at-heart – you can make a meal out of their world-famous desserts.
Are there any particular shopping areas in SFO that you think kids will enjoy?
The Union Square area is a vibrant shopping destination with a wide variety of options for all budgets. You can select from luxury brands, local boutiques or nation-wide department stores. You can also enjoy a stroll along the charming Maiden Lane– a pedestrian only walkway. The Union Square Park, located at the heart of the shopping district, is a great place to picnic with the kids between shopping activities. Check out their summer events calendar for live music and other fun activities.
Any kid-friendly day trips out from SFO?
Monterey – Carmel area is a two hour drive away. Along with Monterey Bay Aquarium and Point Lobos, the Carmel area hosts several kid-friendly activities, check this out for more information.
*Photo credit: Vidya
Previous Interviews In The ‘Travel With Kids’ Series:
Diana from Toronto
Brooke from Hong Kong
Ellen Schmidt from New York
Anusha from Seattle
Neera from Chicago
Jo-Lynne from Philadelphia
Tiffany from Frankfurt
Subha from Zurich
Shalini from Norway
Nora from Morocco
Laylah from Riyadh
Lisa from Dubai
Sarah from New Zealand
Toni from Manila
Maid In Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur
Uma from Chennai
The Mad Momma from Delhi
Lakshmi from Hyderabad
Sunayana from Kolkata
Sunita from Pune
Anuradha from Mumbai
Artnavy from Bengaluru
Leonny from Singapore
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Travel The World With Kids: London
Travel The World With Kids: Zurich
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Travel The World With Kids: New York
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