The greater San Francisco Bay region spans a surface water area of 1,600 square miles and is the fifth-largest metropolitan region in the area, home to the major cities of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland. The beautiful bay has been designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and offers stunning coastal beach areas and dramatic views of world-famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge. A vast number of public beach areas are offered throughout the region, including many under the supervision of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, one of the United States’ largest urban parks. For area visitors looking for a day out with their dogs, these 13 beaches offer dog-friendly shoreline areas, including off-leash areas and pet-owner swimming permissions.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
5.Buchanan Dog Beach
7.Fort Funston Doggie Beach
8.Lands End Beach Off Leash Dog Area
9.Beaches that allow dogs near me: Montara State Beach
10.Pacifica State Beach
11.Pillar Point Harbor
12.Beaches that allow dogs near me: Albany Bulb
12 Dog-Friendly Beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Stinson Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Crin - Fotolia.com
- Rodeo Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Yuval Helfman - Fotolia.com
- Baker Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Gottfried Reidler - Fotolia.com
- Bolinas Beach, Photo: Courtesy of pikappa51 - Fotolia.com
- Buchanan Dog Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Kisa_Markiza - Fotolia.com
- Esplanade Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Iliya Mitskavets - Fotolia.com
- Fort Funston Doggie Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Yuval Helfman - Fotolia.com
- Lands End Beach Off Leash Dog Area, Photo: Courtesy of Serghei - Fotolia.com
- Beaches that allow dogs near me: Montara State Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Wan - Fotolia.com
- Pacifica State Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Tatiana Morozova - Fotolia.com
- Pillar Point Harbor, Photo: Courtesy of IRC - Fotolia.com
- Beaches that allow dogs near me: Albany Bulb, Photo: Courtesy of Sanja - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Kenishirotie - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Alcatraz Cruises
Cruises can be enjoyed all around the United States of America, but they aren’t just limited to beach visits and island tours. Many unique cruises can also be enjoyed at unique locations around the country, giving visitors a chance to travel along iconic locations like the Mississippi River or the Potomac in Washington DC. Another major landmark you can visit via cruise is Alcatraz Island, home of one of the most famous historical prisons on the planet.
Situated just over a mile away from the shores of San Francisco, Alcatraz Island is one of the most iconic sites in the entire Bay Area. The island, which covers just 22 acres, is home to some of the most important and unique man-made structures in all of California, including the oldest working lighthouse on the entire West Coast and the famous Alcatraz Prison, which was used as a federal prison facility from 1934 until 1963.
Best Alcatraz Cruises
Alcatraz Cruises is the official, authorized concessioner for the National Park Service, so this is the company you need to be contacting for cruises to and around Alcatraz Island. There are some unauthorized and fraudulent ticket sellers out there, so it's important to stick to the official Alcatraz Cruises name. Alcatraz Cruises runs a range of different cruise tours to Alcatraz Island at all times of day.
Getting to Alcatraz Cruises
All of the Alcatraz Cruises leave from 'Alcatraz Landing', which is located on Pier 33 at the northern waterfront promenade of San Francisco. Pier 33 can be found just by the intersection of Bar St and Embarcadero, in the North Beach area of the city. It's a very easily accessible point, just a short walk or drive from the downtown districts and streets.
There are over a dozen commercial parking lots to be found in the local area, with on-street parking also available on less busy days in the Fisherman's Wharf area. If you're in need of accessible parking, this can be found at Pier 33, but there are a limited number of spaces, so it's important to arrive early.
Alcatraz Cruise Options
Alcatraz Cruises provides an impressive total of five different tour options for visitors to choose from. Tours run at all times of day, with each tour having its own unique features and advantages. Let's take a closer look at all of the Alcatraz Cruises options so that you can pick the best one.
Alcatraz Early Bird Tour
As the name suggests, the Early Bird Tour from Alcatraz Cruises is the earliest tour of the day. It's the first cruise to leave from Pier 33 and is also the least busy, so it's a great option for people who prefer a cozier, calmer, more peaceful setting to really enjoy the sights and sounds of the experience without being crowded out by noise and large numbers of tourists. This cruise also gives you a head start on exploring the island, letting you enjoy a full day there if desired. In general, visitors tend to spend around three hours on their Alcatraz cruise, which includes the boat ride to the island, the 'Cellhouse' audio tour, some general exploration, and the return trip to Pier 33.
Alcatraz Day Tour
The Day Tour from Alcatraz Cruises is the simplest and most popular option for people wishing to explore Alcatraz Island. This tour, just like the Early Bird Tour, features a ferry ride to the island and the Cellhouse audio tour, letting guests freely explore the various areas of the island and learn more about its fascinating past and stories. When you're ready to head back home, the ferry will be waiting and it only takes around 15 minutes for the crossing to be complete. The Day Tour, along with the Early Bird Tour, is the cheapest option for Alcatraz Cruises.
Alcatraz Night Tour
As the name suggests, the Night Tour from Alcatraz Cruises takes place in the evenings. This cruise is a little more expensive than the other options, but comes with some unique bonus features and activities only available in the evening. Not only that, but the Night Tour, which runs from Tuesday through to Saturday, also allows you to enjoy the sights of Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco skyline in the evening, offering a unique view on this iconic part of California. The Night Tour Alcatraz cruise comes with the Cellhouse audio tour, along with special on-board narration during the ferry crossing and even a guided tour of the various island sites. Only a few hundred guests each day get to enjoy the guided tour of the prison, so this is quite an exclusive activity.
Behind the Scenes Tour
This Alcatraz Cruise costs more than the previous three, but offers so much more in return. It comes with the typical features of any Alcatraz cruise like return ferry travel to the island itself and the Cellhouse audio tour, but also features additional 'behind the scenes' activities, including granting access to normally closed-off areas, giving the public a look at parts of the island they simply wouldn't be able to see on any of the other cruises or tours. This is also a more intimate Alcatraz cruise, limited to around 30 guests in total. The small group vibe adds a personal, authentic touch to the full experience, and it's only available to visitors aged 13 and above.
Alcatraz & Angel Island Tour
The Alcatraz & Angel Island Tour is the longest lasting Alcatraz Cruise and will take a full day to fully enjoy. It's not quite as expensive as the Behind The Scenes Tour but is pricier than the regular Day and Night cruises. This cruise offers a real outdoor adventure experience, involving a full trip to Alcatraz Island and an island hop experience over to Angel Island too. On Angel Island, guests will be ale to enjoy an hour-long narrated tram tour, learning all about the history of this island and also having the opportunity to partake in various optional activities.
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Attraction Spotlight: The Full House in San Francisco
You’ve probably heard of it and saw it on TV. The famous house where the Tanners live is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations in San Francisco. So don’t be surprised if you find out that you’re not the only one who loved the opening scenes of a famous 1980s TV show at even the 2016 Fuller House and wish to personally see the place for yourself - a LOT of thirty-somethings who grew up watching the show want to as well.
Before anything else, you’ll want to know that the Full House isn’t exactly what it seems. The truth is that the opening credits was actually created by filming two different spots, even when filmmakers intended it to look like it’s just one place.
In case you haven’t realized it yet, Tanner’s family address - 1882 Gerard - is fictitious too. Go ahead and try looking for it on Google Maps and you won’t find it there. You won’t find any map for Full House online as well.
So what do you have to do to be able to see the houses used to shoot that famous opening scene? Read on.
Where is the Full House found in San Francisco?
Family Picnic Scene: Part of the famous opening credits is a picnic scene which was shot in Alamo Park Square. It’s roughly two miles from San Francisco’s downtown area and just near the Fillmore and Hayes Valley Districts.
Row of Victorian-Style Houses: More popularly known as the Painted Ladies, the scene was shot between 710 and 722 Steiner Street. If you climb the hill behind them, you’ll find yourself admiring the breathtaking San Francisco skyline.
Tip: You might want to avoid taking a car to Alamo Square because parking can be a nightmare with all the people going there. Instead, it’s better to catch a bus from Union Square. Alternatively, you can take an Uber or Lyft to the destination. Just indicate Alamo Square Park as your destination on the app.
House with the Red Door: If you can vividly recall the family’s home that has a red door, you’ll be able to remember that the entrance of the house is found on the right side. Interestingly enough, there’s only one house among all of the Painted Ladies that has an entrance on the right. Unfortunately, there’s no red door there. That bit of detail is found somewhere else entirely, specifically one mile away from Alamo Square.
1882 Gerard: If you want to see the house the Tanner family enters after their picnic, you’ll want to go to a place called Lower Pacific Heights, which is north of Geary Boulevard at the west side of town. As mentioned before, the address isn’t actually 1882 Gerard. The actual address is 1709 Broderick, and the filmmakers took exterior shots of the place for the show. The place is in fact quite huge, spanning and area of 3,125 feet. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jeff Franklin had purchased the property sometime in 2016, saying that he just couldn’t resist doing so.
One interesting fact about the house is that the roof line features a lot of San Francisco Victorians. This is a trick that’s used to make the house look a lot bigger than it actually is.
Tip: Want to take a great photo of the Full House set? Keep in mind that the house faces east. Try to go there sometime in the mid-morning when the sun is peeking just above the building right across the street. This guarantees that the house is well lighted. Otherwise, you might end up with a photo that’s largely gray and blue.
Note: Don’t expect the house to have a red door. The house itself has been repainted as well. It’s still a nice house to look at, though.
To get to the house with the red door, you’ll have to travel a mile from Alamo Square. Again, you take the 5 minute drive if you can bear the nightmare that is parking. Most people, however, either walk there for 25 minutes or take the public transit which is 25 minutes as well. You can also take a Lyft or Uber there.
When Visiting the House
And another thing: keep in mind that the actual house is still a residence. Just because you can see the house all over the internet doesn’t mean that you can just invade the property. Don’t go around doing whatever you want in front of the house unless you have the owner’s permission beforehand. In the eyes of the owner, you are still strangers taking pictures of the front porch - something that would make you uncomfortable if others did the same thing at your home.
More Information about the Full House in San Francisco
Where is the Red Door? Still can’t find it? The truth is that it’s been removed and sold to someone else. The location of the red door or address of its new owner is now unknown. Chances are, the door may not even be red anymore, assuming that it still exists.
The Fuller House House: The 2016 Netflix sequel now has a different scene for the opening credits. The show now features a drive along the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s also a family picnic scene but no more Painted Ladies. Of course, they all go through the iconic red door after.
Don’t forget to check out Alamo Park!
It’s nice that you’re visiting Alamo Square for the Full House in San Francisco, but don’t forget to check out the other sights while you’re there. The hilltop park features many breathtaking views of the city as well as various activities that you can enjoy. The place has tennis courts, walking trails, benches, a playground for children, and so much more! You can even bring your pets here. Alamo Square is a really nice recreational destination for locals and tourists alike, so try to make the most of your visit there.
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Hotel Spotlight: Hotel Spero
One of the most beautiful cities in all of California, San Francisco is quite simply a must-visit location for any travel enthusiast. A historic city with an intriguing past, a vibrant present, and a fascinating future, San Francisco offers absolutely everything one could crave from a contemporary urban area.
It's a prime spot for shopping and dining, with countless boutiques, bars, and restaurants all around. It's also a hub for art, culture, and entertainment, home to some of the best museums and galleries in America. It's a magical sightseeing location too, with its Golden Gate Bridge and historic streetcars drawing in visitors from around the world.
In short, San Francisco is a wonderful city for all. Whether you’re heading there on a family vacation, a romantic getaway, a business trip, an outing with your friends, or some other kind of trip altogether, you’re guaranteed a great time, but you need to choose the right hotel. One of the best hotels in San Francisco is the Hotel Spero.
Catering to everyone from families to couples, business travelers, solo adventurers, and friends, Hotel Spero is a historic location with a contemporary feel, having undergone extensive renovation in 2018. It’s one of the top rated hotels in San Francisco, offering fine dining, quality accommodation, and excellent amenities too.
- Location - Located at 405 Taylor Street, mere seconds away from one of the city's historic Union Square cultural hub, Hotel Spero is one of the best luxury hotels in San Francisco and can boast of one of the top locations in the city too. It's only a couple of blocks away from the galleries, museums, boutiques, and restaurants of Union Square, with the Golden Gate Bridge not too far away either. Key neighborhoods like North Beach, Presidio Heights, the Mission District, and SoMa are also right nearby, with lots of great places to eat, shop, dine, and have fun all around.
- The Rooms - Hotel Spero has a total of 236 spacious guest rooms, each one beautifully designed and flawlessly finished to offer the ideal 'home away from home' setting for each and every guest. After a long day adventuring around the city, the rooms of Hotel Spero will welcome you back with warmth and comfort. Each room is fitted with a 50 inch TV, plush bed linen, cozy bath robes, standard hotel amenities like a safe, a hairdryer, and an ironing board, colorful artwork, big windows, Spanish tile baths, and speedy Wi-Fi access too. In short, these rooms give you all you need to have a great stay.
- Amenities and Features of the Hotel Spero - Hotel Spero is one of the only pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco to offer so much luxury and comfort to its guests, allowing you to travel with a furry friend whenever you like. The hotel also features high-speed Wi-Fi access throughout, as well as a 24 hour fitness center with state of the art equipment, including a pair of Peloton bikes. It also comes with the Jarvis' Corner co-working space for busy creatives and professionals, as well as on-site dining, laundry and dry cleaning services, free newspapers, valet parking, and more.
- Events and Meetings - If you're planning some kind of social event or corporate meeting in San Francisco and need a great venue to bring it all to life, the Hotel Spero might be just what you need. This leading San Francisco hotel features no less than 3,000 square feet of chic, contemporary event space spread out across five meeting and banquet rooms. Hotel Spero can easily accommodate and cater to up to 140 guests for a reception or up to 80 for a seated dinner, with a dedicated team of event planning professionals all ready and eager to make your event a big success.
- Dining at Hotel Spero - Guests at the Hotel Spero can head out around the local streets to explore some of the city's best dining locations, or they can stay right on-site and dine at Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen. A casual, friendly destination with 12 flat-screen TVs showing all the latest sports action, Jasper's is a super bar and restaurant offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner menus featuring craft cocktails, burgers, sliders, delicious beers, and plenty of vegetarian options too. With a lively atmosphere and a gastropub feel, Jasper's is one of San Francisco's hottest dining spots and can be rented out for small or large scale events as well.
Venue Spotlight: The City Club of San Francisco
The City Club of San Francisco is a premier events venue that provides stunning modern facilities, professional event planning, exceptional cuisine, and a host of additional services for all needs. Embracing the city’s storied past and dynamic present, The City Club of San Francisco provides a stunning venue for networking, socializing and celebrating with beautifully appointed spaces decorated with beautiful art deco details and designed to accommodate both grand events and more intimate gatherings. The venue also provides a range of comprehensive amenities, award-winning cuisine and beverages, and gracious hospitality and service.
Amenities & Services
Amenities and services available with the rental of the City Club of San Francisco include a bridal suite for the bride and groom, award-winning catering and beverages, set-up and clean-up of the venue, event planning and management of the function, and complimentary wireless Internet access. Additional amenities include tables and chairs, barware, China, flatware, glassware, linens, a dance floor, and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment.
The City Club of San Francisco is located at 10, 155 Sansome Street in San Francisco, is wheelchair accessible, and offers private parking for guests. San Francisco offers a wealth of exciting things to see and do in and around the city, such as the famous Fisherman’s Wharf. San Francisco’s beating heart and the city’s number one tourist destination, Fisherman’s Wharf is abuzz with things to see and do. Visually stunning with beautiful views, the vibrant neighborhood features something for everyone, from bay tours and ferry cruises, cable car rides and several museums and art galleries to explore to a wealth of fantastic seafood restaurants, casual cafés, and buzzing bars. Rich maritime history comes alive at Pier 45 which has a chapel in memory of the "Lost Fishermen" of San Francisco, while the Hyde Street Pier is home to the decommissioned World War II-era submarine USS Pampanito.
Don’t miss a visit to the famous seal colony on Pier 39, who took up residence here in 1989 and haven’t moved since. For the freshest seafood around, head to Forbes Island, Fishermen's Grotto or Alioto’s or In-N-Out Burger for a cheap, Californian specialty.
10, 155 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104, Phone: 415-362-2480
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