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 with today's Groupon: for $15, you get a 1.5-hour holiday lights tour from Classic Cable Car Sightseeing (up to a $24 value; children's tickets are $14, and children age 3 and under ride free with a paying adult).
Take to the streets in a cable-car tour that features the city’s pre-eminent illuminated attractions. Your means for getting profoundly festive will be provided before the car even starts moving, as 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 for just yelling at. The 1.5-hour tours—which run throughout December and New Year's Day—depart at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. from both Union Square, at the corner of Geary and Powell Streets, and Fisherman’s Wharf, at the corner of Jefferson and Taylor Streets.
The cars (some of which are originals that date back to the 1950s 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.
- Our tour guide was informative and clearly enjoyed himself, singing along with the Christmas carols and pointing out such SF landmarks as the Mrs. Doubtfire house. I've lived here for five years now, and didn't know where that was! – Caitlin M., 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
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.