san francisco - marriott walnut creek

Two Ways to Discover San Francisco

Salty sea air, rolling hills, cruising cable cars, stunning architectural landmarks, exquisite sunsets and drifting fog describe one city and one city only: San Francisco. When you stay at Walnut Creek Marriott, you’re only a short ride away from experiencing all the Golden City has to offer.

We’ve compiled two day-trip itineraries you can use to plan your San Francisco experience. Remember, Walnut Creek Marriott offers complimentary shuttle service to the Walnut Creek BART station, located a short half mile from the hotel doors.

When planning your excursion to San Francisco, don't forget about our Discover the Bay package, which includes breakfast for 2, 2 BART tickets, and a bottle of wine!

Discover the Bay Area Package

It’s time to choose your own adventure and get to know San Francisco up-close.

The Iconic Sights
San Francisco Day Trip

After a comfortable night’s rest in our newly renovated suites, wake up early and put on your walking shoes – you’ve got a lot of ground to cover today!

To fully experience this itinerary, you will want to leave the hotel by 8 am.

san francisco day trip - alcatraz island

First Stop: Alcatraz Island

After taking the BART from Walnut Creek Station to Embarcadero Station (1 hour ride), you will find yourself in San Francisco and steps away from the first iconic sight.

You will start your day at Pier 33, where you will climb aboard a Hornblower Cruises ferry shuttle to transport you to the island. Alcatraz, the notorious prison that housed criminals of the likes of Al Capone, is a must-see for every first-time visitor.

The ferry ride itself is worth the tour, since you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the bay on the short ride to the island.

The tour lasts almost three hours and by the time you “break out”, you’ll be ready for lunch. Take a seat on Pier 23 Café’s outdoor patio for some of the tastiest fresh oysters you’ve ever tried.

Details

  • Time: At least 2 to 3 hours to get to island, take tour, and return.
  • Cost: $37.25 for adults, $23.00 for children
  • Insider's Tip: Buy tour tickets several weeks in advance – they sell out fast.
san francisco day trip - coit tower

Second Stop: Coit Tower

After lunch, take a walk up through Levi's Plaza using the concrete steps at Filbert Street (10 minutes) to the art deco Coit Tower located in Pioneer Park on Telegraph Hill.

The walk up the steep inclines to get there are worth it. Here you are treated to a magnificent 360-degree view of the bay and the city.

Don't miss the opportunity to see the 27 murals from the 20's and 30's

The view from the top of the tower is a must share picture for your Instagram.

Details

  • Time: Plan to spend 1 to 2 hours here, depending upon lines.
  • Cost: Free, but there is a fee to use the elevator. $8 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors, $2 for children.
  • Insider's Tip: You can purchase the elevator tickets in advance and skip the lines.
  • Insider's Tip: Keep an eye out for the colorful and noisy parrots of Telegraph Hill.
san francisco day trip - golden gate bridge

Third Stop: Golden Gate Bridge

Now it’s time to get that postcard-worthy picture of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. To get from Coit Tower to the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point, you will need to hail a cab, or summon an Uber or Lyft. The drive (18 to 28 minutes) will take you across the 4,200 foot suspension bridge, once the longest in the world.

Enjoy the view of the world's most beautiful bridge and stroll around the Marin Headlands, to fully take in the bridge and the bay.

Details

  • Time: 1 to 2 hours including travel time to the park.
  • Cost: Free
  • Insider's Tip: Take the pedestrian path to walk across the bridge.
san francisco day trip - lands end

Fourth Stop: Lands End Park

If you didn't walk across the bridge to return to San Francisco, hail another cab or summon a driver with your favorite ride share app. Your day in San Francisco isn't done, yet.

In the waning afternoon hours, visit Lands End, a park at the northwestern corner of the city, part of the largest urban national park in the United States. You’ll walk amongst the ruins of the Sutro Baths and explore a mysterious, dark sea cave.

Finish your day with dinner at the Cliff House, an iconic restaurant with a rich, storied history.

Details

san francisco day trip - Marriott Walnut Creek Lobby

Return to Marriott Walnut Creek

Grab a cab or use your favorite ride share app to get to Powell St. Station for the BART.

Your legs are probably tired from all the walking, so sit back and let the BART whisk you back to Walnut Creek. The free hotel shuttle will pick you up at the Walnut Creek station and you can return to the hotel where your comfortable room and the bottle of wine you got as part of the Discover the Bay Area package awaits you.

Insider's Tip: On Friday and Saturday nights, you are in luck, because Marriott Walnut Creek offers live music on these days which is a fun way to end a day hiking through San Francisco.

City Explorer
San Francisco Day Trip

Start your morning with a cup of Starbucks coffee in our lobby. Fill up at our breakfast buffet, then take our shuttle to the BART station – it’s time to get going!

To fully experience this itinerary, you will want to leave the hotel by 9 am.

san francisco day trip - fisherman's wharf

First Stop: Fisherman's Wharf

Take the BART from Walnut Creek Station to Embarcadero Station (1 hour ride). If the weather is nice, we recommend you follow The Embarcadero along the bay and all the piers to Fisherman's Wharf. This is a 40 minute (almost 2 miles) walk from the BART station. Along the way, you will pass several spots you may want to stop and check out, like the Exploratorium, Pier 39, Madame Tussauds San Francisco, and the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum.

You can tour an original WWII submarine or visit Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39, home to many of the local aquatic animals in the bay area.

Details

  • Time: Plan to spend 3 to 4 hours exploring.
  • Cost: Aquarium of the Bay - Adult: $24.95 Child: $14.95 (Family Rates available)
  • Cost: Tour the submarine USS Pampanito - General: $20 Junior: $10
  • Cost: Musée Mécanique - Free
  • Insider's Tip: The Aquarium of the Bay sometimes has Groupons for discounted tickets.
  • Insider's Tip: Bring a pocketful of quarters for the vintage arcade machines at Musée Mécanique.
san francisco day trip - ghiradelli square

Second Stop: Ghirardelli Square

After you feel like you have had your fill of Fisherman's Wharf, take a quick jaunt over to Ghirardelli Square (8 minute walk).

Once a chocolate factory but now a city landmark, you will love winding your way through the boutiques.

This is a great spot to eat lunch. We suggest The Pub for some barbecue style comfort food.

Details

  • Time: 1 hour plus time for lunch
  • Cost: Free
  • Insider's Tip: The beans at The Pub are amazing.
san francisco day trip - victorian houses

Third Stop: Painted Ladies

For those interested in walking off the calories they just ate, this next stop on the journey is a 1 hour walk away. Those who prefer to save their energy for something a bit more fun, can grab a cab or summon a ride using their favorite ride sharing app. The next destination is Alamo Square!

If you’re a fan of Victorian architecture (or simply a fan of the sitcom “Full House”), you will definitely want to see the “Painted Ladies,” a famous multi-colored row of Victorian houses on Steiner Street. These beautiful homes are often used as the backdrops in movies and television shows. You can get your own picture of these famous houses

Details

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Cost: Free
  • Insider's Tip: Wander through Alamo Square park, maybe catch a nap on a grassy hill.
san francisco day trip - lombard street

Fourth Stop: Cable Car Ride and Lombard Street

Time to take a walk up Grove Street, pass San Francisco City Hall and the Civic Center Plaza to Market Street. Then along Market Street to the cable car turntable.

Hop on a cable car at the Powell/Market turntable and enjoy the breeze while you cruise up and down steep city hills.

Make sure you get on the Powell/Hyde line because the car pauses briefly at Lombard Street, the “crookedest street in the world.” Get off the cable car here to explore this famous bit of road or continue the ride down to the San Francisco Maritime Museum.

Take the cable car back in the other direction.

Details

  • Time: Up to 30 minutes to get on the cable car and 30 minutes for the ride
  • Cost: $7 for single ride
  • Insider's Tip: Wear a jacket, even in the summer, the ride can be chilly.
san francisco day trip - explore the bay area

Return to Marriott Walnut Creek

Your legs are probably tired from all the walking, so sit back and let the BART whisk you back to Walnut Creek from the Powell St. Station. Don't forget to contact the hotel so the free shuttle can bring you back to your comfortable room and the bottle of wine you got as part of the Discover the Bay Area package awaits you.

Have dinner at Atrio and reflect on your exciting excursion into the city as you enjoy baby lamb chops with black berry sauce or seared sea scallops with cilantro mayonnaise.

Insider's Tip: Relax in our Lobby Bar Lounge with a glass of wine from our extensive wine list and catch free live music events every Friday and Saturday evening.

Book the Discover the Bay Area Package Now

Plan your weekend getaway right now and get free BART tickets to simplify your day trip into San Francisco.

Discover the Bay Area Package

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