Family-friendly cities: San Francisco from bay to breakers - United Hub

Family friendly cities: San Francisco from bay to breakers

By Bob Cooper, January 25, 2018

Bordered on three sides by water, San Francisco is a city where most of the best places for families to visit are on the bay or the ocean—whether on a beach, in a boat or at a waterfront attraction.

Entrance view of AT&T Park

Play on the bay

The entire six-mile-long waterfront on San Francisco Bay is a succession of family-friendly attractions—from AT&T Park where Giants players smash “splash hits" (home runs) into the bay to historic Fort Point beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Thousands flock to Fisherman's Wharf and adjacent Pier 39, where the Aquarium of the Bay and the Maritime National Historical Park's floating ships are the highlights. A few piers to the south is the Exploratorium, a hands-on museum of science, art and human perception geared to curious kids. And just a bit longer walk to the north brings you to kite-flying fields, a windsurfing beach and the House of Air—an indoor “adrenaline park" with trampolines and climbing walls for ages as young as 3 to 6.

Aeiral view of the San Francisco Bay

Cruise in the bay

The waterfront is also where you can depart on any of several boat trips. These include leisurely bay cruises that take you out to the Golden Gate and past Alcatraz, plus one high-speed option (May to October) that kids adore: the RocketBoat, which literally finishes with a splash. The most popular boat ride, however, is the short trip to the notorious prison island, Alcatraz, where tour choices include a self-guided day trip, a guided behind-the-scenes tour, a guided night tour and a combo tour that also stops at Angel Island—where you can hike or take a tram around that large island's perimeter.

View of one end of the Golden Gate Bridge

Cross the Gate

The best way to cross the world's most photogenic bridge is not in a car. It's on the pedestrian sidewalk on a bike or on foot. Walking across the Golden Gate is easy. Start at the Welcome Center, take some selfies, then begin the walk. Biking the bridge on your own or with a guided group is nearly as popular, with most rental locations clustered around Fisherman's Wharf (Blazing Saddles alone has six). You start out with three miles of mostly easy pedaling along the bay, then climb to the iconic span, cross it, and continue on down to picturesque Sausalito where you can take a ferry back to the city. The views are constant.

View of the beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance

Hit the beach

Ocean Beach is 3.5 miles long and up to two football fields wide, so it's never crowded, and Baker Beach is blessed with a Golden Gate Bridge view. Both are superb for sandcastle building and big-wave watching, though rip currents make swimming perilous. Between these beaches lies the Coastal Trail, a magical three-mile roundtrip hike that follows a bluff high above crashing waves and the open sea below. Start hiking at the Lands End Lookout Visitors Center—and check out the Sutro Baths ruins just below. The 100-acre San Francisco Zoo is also an option.

Golden Gate Park over looking the water and the Golden Gate Bridge

Explore the park

Golden Gate Park stretches four miles from the two restored windmills at Ocean Beach to the middle of the city, but most of its family-friendly delights are walking distance apart. The most impressive of these is the California Academy of Sciences—an aquarium, planetarium and natural-history museum rolled into one. Tickets are $26-$36 per ticket (free for children under 4), but purchasing a CityPASS or GO Card that also includes admission to other top attractions will save you a bundle. Close by are rowboat rentals at Stow Lake, a 1914 carousel and America's oldest public playground.

If you go

United Airlines offers flights to San Francisco International Airport from numerous cities throughout the U.S. and abroad, and MileagePlus® Rewardscan help pay for your car rental and hotel room once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your family getaway.

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United's regional presidents join respective Governor's COVID-19 task force

By Ryan Wilks, May 21, 2020

As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, May 20, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment throughout your travel experience.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
    • Limiting middle seat selection
    • Moving customers seated closely together
    • De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
  • 9
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles

Cleveland Clinic We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.

A message from Scott Kirby, United’s new CEO

By The Hub team, May 20, 2020


Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.

While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.

First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.

As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.

Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.

We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.

But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.

Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.

Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.

While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.

Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.

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