Is going solo in an unknown area the right way to go, or do you want a tour guide to show you the highlights? I think that you can combine the two ways in one trip and have the best of both worlds. One trip we recently took was to Washington D.C. The best purchase we made was for a bus tour that would take us around the capital and point out all the main sites. Then allow us the next day to travel by foot to the ones we especially wanted to see. We knew ahead of time which Smithsonian building we wanted to see, if the Washington Monument was open to visitors and if you needed to get an advance ticket to take a tour of the White House or visit the Capital Building. It allowed us to plan our three days in the city and see all that we wanted to see. Individual tours to such landmarks as Ford’s Theater and Arlington Cemetery were tours we were glad we bought. The tour guides for these locations knew tidbits and items of interest that we would never have found out on our own.
Let’s look at the San Francisco Bay Area which is another one of my favorite vacation spots and my family has many pleasant and happy memories of our visits to that area. Some areas are so familiar to tourists that it’s possible to view the attractions on your own. That allows you to take your time and go at your own pace. Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier39 are good examples. Just by walking a few blocks you can tour Aquarium of the Bay, take a cruise of San Francisco Bay, visit the world famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum and spend some down time at the Riptide Arcade on Pier 39. The antique carousel is a beautiful site and an attraction for all ages.
If you’re going solo on this trip, you could consider buying a San Francisco CityPass. This special buy will give you tickets to five attractions, unlimited rides on the Cable Cars and an option ticket to use at the Legion of Honor or Academy of Science & Steinhart Aquarium. You are allowed nine days from the date you first start using your CityPass to visit each attraction and seven days for unlimited Cable Car rides.
Some attractions are worth having …