Visiting Muir Woods with SF Adventure Tours

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Disclaimer: My SF Adventure Tour was provided free of charge in exchange for a review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Tackling the Touristy Side of San Francisco

My first few days in San Francisco saw me hitting both the well-known and the less-frequented tourist stops in the City by the Bay.

Accompanied by first Cherie from Flight of the Travel Bee, and then my old amigo, Hogg – we ate junk food at Pier 39, rode the cable car, took in the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge, and wandered open-mouthed through the Palace of Fine Arts.

palace of fine arts san francisco column
The Greek inspired architecture of the Palace of Fine Arts makes it a blast to photograph.

Getting off the beaten track, we ate burritos in Mission, looked at street art in Castro, and joined a bunch of San Francisco wrestling fans in Haight to watch Monday Night Raw.

The SF Adventure Tour Experience

Having covered so much ground already, it was a pleasant surprise when our guide at SF Adventure Tours called ahead of time to ask what we were looking for in a tour. Far from being a paint by numbers tour of San Francisco’s best known spots, SF Adventure Tours specializes in bespoke tours tailored to meet the guest’s desires.

With so much of the city already covered, our guide suggested we take a day trip out to Muir Woods to see its towering redwoods, take in Golden Gate Bridge from a few different angles, and finish up with the best burritos in America.

How’s that for a way to check a few items off your San Francisco Bucket List?

muir woods hiking
The peaceful trails of Muir Woods are a great escape from the city noise.

What is SF Adventure Tours

Born out of Urban Safaris, SF Adventure Tours continues the safari spirit with a twist.

Our guide explained it as a tour that takes you to where the action is on a given day, much as a safari on the plains of the Serengeti might. There is no set daily route – but instead an intimate knowledge of the city is employed to pick the best locations and activities to meet the needs of guests on a given day.

sf adventure tours
Photo courtesy of SF Adventure Tours.

The totally pimped out, wood-paneled safari truck speaks to that philosophy as well. It’s definitely a unique looking vehicle.

Muir Woods

Our first stop of the day would be a visit to Muir Woods to see the towering coastal redwoods that thrive on the thick fog that rolls in off the Bay.

True to form, it was a foggy morning that greeted us as we made our way across the Golden Gate Bridge and wound our way up through the hills.

muir beach california
The views on this side of the Bay were just spectacular.

While Muir Woods usually charges an admission fee, those who get there early enough can enjoy not only the peace and quiet – but also a free visit.

Rather than wax lyrical about the shady groves and sun-dappled clearings, I’ll let pictures do the talking.

muir woods bridge
One of several quaint bridges across the bubbling streams of Muir Woods.
muir woods redwoods
Looking up at the towering redwoods.
muir woods stream fallen tree
The gentle singing of the streams and the moss-draped trees made Muir Woods feel like an enchanted forest.

Suffice to say, it’s something special after you’ve spent a few days in San Francisco’s colourful urban sprawl.

The Golden Gate

No visit to San Francisco is complete without an obligatory shot of its iconic bridge, and we certainly weren’t going to say goodbye to the City by the Bay without a few of our own.

Rather than photographing it from the city side, we instead made our way up into the hills on the Sausalito side for some more panoramic shots of the bridge.

golden gate bridge sausalito
A different side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Best Burrito in the US

We returned to the urban sprawl with empty bellies and full SD cards (I literally had to stop and buy a new one), and Eric was quick to take us to his favourite spot in Mission – La Taqueria.

Voted best burrito in the US a few years ago, this little hole in the wall burrito joint well and truly lived up to its name.

I might have came.

Off to Alcatraz

The last stop of the day is a popular one with many visitors to San Francisco, and while Eric and the SF Adventure Tours team don’t accompany you to the island, they do pre-arrange your ticket and make sure you’re on the right ferry.

The Alcatraz option is totally optional, and it’s an experience I’ll write about on a later date, as it doesn’t really tie-in with the experience we had with Eric, his Dad jokes, and that recognisable truck of his.

alcatraz jail
Coming soon: my encounter with the ghosts of Alcatraz.

A Fun Day Out

Most of the time, I find tours to be… well, touristy. This definitely wasn’t the case with SF Adventure Tours.

Had I been fresh off the boat and wanting to see the well-known SF spots, I’m sure Eric would have been able to accommodate me – but the beauty of a personalised tour is that it takes into account the client’s tastes and experience and adapts accordingly.

Eric isn’t only the CEO and the tour guide, he’s also customizing every itinerary on the fly to ensure that it’s what the client is looking for.

You can learn more about how you can have a personalised tour of San Francisco by visiting their website.

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