San Francisco Through the Eyes of a Five Year Old: A Day on the Double Decker Bus

If you follow my INSTAGRAM, you may know that I think San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I love posting scenic pictures to prove it.  What I don’t post are some of the less scenic parts of San Francisco (think homelessness, construction, traffic, etc.).  Going through pictures to put together our photo album from last year, I came across our day on the double decker bus last summer.  Big D had been dying to go on the double decker bus, so last summer we finally did it.  I handed over the camera to him and sat back and relaxed to see what would end up on our camera roll.  Check out what San Francisco really looks like through the eyes of a five year old (and my top tips for riding the double decker bus)…

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus- Golden Gate Bridge

Bring Layers

If you are a San Franciscan, you know it is cold in the city in August.  If you are riding around on an open air bus it is really cold.  Bring your warm jackets, hats; we even brought blankets and used them for most the ride.

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus - Chinatown

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus - Chinatown

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus - Chinatown

Shop Around for Tickets

The double decker bus is surprisingly expensive.  There are a ton of different route options (just the bridge and back, full city tour, etc.)  Shop around for the tour that fits your schedule and budget.  We ended up finding a groupon deal which was 1/3 the price.  [You might notice we are on a cable car, not a bus, the downside of our deal was that the company I got the groupon from was not running a double decker bus that day, so we did the open sided cable car instead.]  Check the Yelp Reviews of the different companies to get a sense for service level and experience.

San Francisco Through the Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus Asian Art Museum  SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus- City Hall

Plan to Get On/Off

The double decker bus drives by most of the key San Franciso sights, but not actually right next to them.  If you want to see all the sights (Chinatown Gate, Painted Ladies, etc.), plan to get off and on at the various stops.  It is a great way to see the sights, but then you also have to wait until the next bus comes along, which depending on the bus company you choose, may be a while.

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus - Union Square

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus- Mid Market

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus- Mid Market

Bring Snacks and Sunscreen

To do the full San Francisco bus tour can take the better part of a day.  Bring snacks to keep everyone going and keep away the hangry.  Don’t forget the sunscreen either, even in the fog.

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus - Construction

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus- California Academy of Sciences

Facilities are Few and Far Between

There are no restrooms on the buses, which with kids can be a challenge, so make sure to plan ahead.  The buses will stop on the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge and gives passengers 15 minutes to take pictures.  There are bathrooms there if needed.

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus- Golden Gate Bridge

And that’s our day on the double decker bus.  The boys LOVED riding the double decker bus; they love buses in general, so it was not a surprise that they loved it.  What did surprise me were some of the pictures that came back;  it was fascinating for me to peruse his pictures and see the things he notices.

Resources:

Groupon Deals for Bus Tours

Yelp Reviews for Bus Tours

SF Through The Eyes of a Child - A Day on the Double Decker Bus

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