Get in the holiday spirit and take in the city’s sights the way people did back in the days of strawberry milkshakes and corncob pipes. For $15, today’s Groupon gets you a 1.5-hour holiday tour from Classic Cable Car Sightseeing (a $24 value; children's tickets are $14 online and ages four and under ride free with a paying adult). Driving around the block to take in the neighbors’ Christmas lights can be fun, so take things to the next level this year with a cable-car tour that features the city’s preeminent illuminated attractions.
Your means for getting profoundly festive will be provided before the car even starts moving; all passengers are treated to a complimentary Santa hat, candy canes, a blanket for the ride, and a personal staff of elves suitable for light housework or just to yell at. The 1.5-hour tours—which run every Wednesday through Sunday starting November 27 and daily between December 16 and January 3—depart at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. from both Union Square, on the corner of Geary and Powell, and Fisherman’s Wharf, at the corner of Jefferson and Taylor.
The cars (some of which are originals that date back to the late 1800s, and some of which come from the future and have yet to be built) wind through San Francisco and take in many attractions, including: the Union Street Fantasy of Lights, Macy’s Christmas tree and window displays, Pier 39 Christmas tree and holiday decorations, Ghirardelli Square Christmas tree and lights, Embarcadero Center holiday displays, the new Market Street lights, and several others. Once purchased, use your Groupon to book your tour in advance here or call the ticket booth. Kids four and under can ride for free, so bring them along.
- It sure beats any other form of transportation I have ever taken. You are in the open air and have the wind blowing on your face. – Suzie Q., Yelp
- If you're visiting SF and don't want to rent a car, but still want to see all the major sites that require a car, I highly recommend the Cable Car Tours. It's gotta be the best tour in the city! – Diana N., Yelp
Great Moments in Thanksgiving History
To celebrate this day of giving thanks, let’s take a moment to remember these great moments in Thanksgiving history:
1621, Plymouth Plantation: Unlike today’s traditional Thanksgiving turkey, the menu at the first Thanksgiving consisted of local affordables (mashed bees, pickled apples, and “water.”)
1891, Washington, DC: After the traditional pardoning of a Thanksgiving turkey, President Benjamin Harrison makes the turkey his Secretary of Commerce.
1998, Omaha, Nebraska: Thanksgiving is ruined for one Richie Harrington when his father’s slip of the tongue reveals that his current family is not dad’s first, or favorite.
2019: A brief respite from the howling winds and constant lightning allows the residents of a place once called America to reflect.
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Classic Cable Cars
Classic Cable Cars' fleet of road-ready cable cars takes visitors on tours of timeless San Francisco landmarks, and features actual historic vehicles once used by the California Street Cable Car Line. During the holiday season, the vehicles even don lights and garland for tour of the city's most festive seasonal decorations.