Whether you're pressed for time or have a long wish list, bus tours are a terrific way to experience San Francisco. Here are our suggestions for any type of traveler.

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September 13, 2018

Find the Perfect Bus Tour in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of America's most interesting destinations, but it's also a city with a lot to experience in a limited time. If you're traveling to San Francisco and want to see as much of the city as possible, one of the best ways to do that is on a bus tour. Look through the bus tour options below to figure out the one that best suits your interests or fits your itinerary.

For the Busy Visitor Who Wants a Convenient Tour

If you don't have much time in the city, make sure you zero in on the things you really want to see. There are several companies that can help you get to all of the sights you want to explore.

Best Bay Area Tours
One of the most popular bus tours is Best Bay Area Tours. They provide small group tours through many areas of San Francisco. You can choose from a wide selection of tours throughout different neighborhoods of the city. You can also get in touch with the company to customize a tour.

Big Bus Tours
For something with real flexibility, consider Big Bus Tours. It is the largest and most convenient bus tour in San Francisco. Big Bus Tours are offered in 10 different languages, and they visit more than 20 stops across the city where you can get off to explore (and hop back on whenever you want).

City Sightseeing
For another convenient option, choose City Sightseeing. These tours travel in open-top vehicles, so you can enjoy the beautiful, temperate Bay Area weather. There are four different routes to take. You can hop on and hop off these tours, as well, allowing you to explore the sites you want to more deeply.

Gray Line of San Francisco
Gray Line Hop-on/Hop-off tours are offered frequently, and can accommodate up to 82 passengers on their double-decker buses that drive around the city. Other destination options include the wonders of Muir Woods and Sausalito, Monterey and Carmel, and Yosemite.


For the Visitor Who Wants a Customizable Tour

Some visitors are able to plan out their trip to the very last detail. These travelers might enjoy a customizable bus tour.

Divina Tours Inc.
Divina Tours Inc
. is also a company that you can hire to take your group on a private tour of the Bay Area. The company offers vans that can hold nine passengers, SUVs that can hold six passengers, and sedans for tours as well. Consider hiring Divina Tours for an excursion to Napa Valley, Sonoma, Monterey, Carmel and more.

Dylan's Tours
One of the best providers of customizable bus tours in San Francisco is Dylan's Tours. The company started out with just one guide giving tours in his minivan. Today, they have a fleet of small buses that can carry customized tour groups through the city.

Tower Tours
For a bus tour that you can truly customize down to the last detail, consider getting in touch with Tower Tours. This bus tour company offers all the perks, including transportation to and from the bus, attraction packages at your destinations and onboard services to passengers.

Blue Heron Custom Tours & Travel
If you're looking for a private, custom experience, look no further than Blue Heron. Their itineraries are intended for groups no larger than six travelers. Blue Heron covers all of the Bay Area's prized destinations, from Napa and Sonoma to the north to Monterey in the south. You can also spend your time exploring San Francisco proper.

For the Visitor Who Wants An Unusual Tour

Some visitors have specific interests or reasons for coming to San Francisco. Luckily, there are companies throughout the city that offer niche bus tours.

Classic Cable Car by Hornblower

Hop on a (motorized) cable car, some dating back all the way to the late 1800s, and see all of San Francisco. This is a one-of-a-kind premier city tour that lets you travel the streets of San Francisco and lets you can disembark at three key locations for up close and personal guided walking tours. If you come during the holidays, join them for our 80-minute Holiday Nights & Sights tour. Put on your complimentary Santa hat and hop aboard as a Classic Cable Car whisks you through Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Chinatown, Union Square, Financial District, The Embarcadero and PIER 39!

Extranomical Tours
If you want to go on a tour of places that most San Francisco visitors don't get to, then hire Extranomical Tours. This bus tour company has small tours that go to places far from the center of the city, including Sonoma, Monterey, Carmel, Muir Woods, Sausalito and even Yosemite. They are a great tour company to consider if you want to go beyond the city and see what the region has to offer.

Magic Bus Experience
Some people travel to San Francisco because they love the city's storied past. If you want to get an authentic taste of it, take the Magic Bus Experience. On this tour, you learn about San Francisco in the '60s, when the Summer of Love changed the world. Through theatrical techniques and visits to famous sights, you may just feel like you traveled in time.

Platypus Tours Limited
Coming to San Francisco with wine country on your mind? If so, Platypus Tours Limited might just be the bus tour for you. They take passengers to the wineries of Napa and Sonoma, where visitors can meet winemakers, learn the history of the vineyards, tour the barrel rooms and, of course, sample lots of wine!

Incredible Adventures
Incredible Adventures is based in San Francisco, but their tours take you well beyond the bridges. Hire them if you want a real rustic exploration of Muir Woods, the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, or Yosemite National Park. They even take visitors whitewater rafting on the American River! Some tour packages are multi-day excursions, so prepare to go wild (literally!).

SF Adventure Tours
Get a more intimate tour experience with SF Adventure Tours. This company offers a selection of small, in-depth tours that explore a certain area or aspect of San Francisco. Take the Beers & Bites tour to sample the city's best cuisines, or go on Morning in Marin, which takes you on a luxurious half-day tour of land, sea and air on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.


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