Some say San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the world. We won’t argue.
It is the second most densely populated city in the US after New York, home to about 750,000 people in a square 7 miles by 7 miles. It also ranks in the top five vacation spots in the world. We never tire of flying our clients over this gorgeous place.
Whether you’re a visitor, interested in seeing as much as possible in a short time, or a local who wants a new perspective on our home town, touring by air is a wonderful way to see the City by the Bay.
One- to 1.5-hour tour: We’ll approach San Francisco from the south or the east, with a great view of the new PacBell Park, where both the Giants and the 49ers play. Off to the right, enjoy a view of the Oakland Bay Bridge, with a new bridge under construction beside it. Both the Golden Gate Bridge further west and the Oakland-Bay Bridge were WPA (Works Progress Administration) projects during the 1930s.
Just below you’ll see Alcatraz, the famous prison on “The Rock,” and past Alcatraz is Angel Island, now a state park, which was the west-coast entry for immigrants in the early 20th century, sometimes called the “Ellis Island of the Pacific.” Across the Bay to the north lies Sausalito, and towering above it is Mount Tamalpais.
You’ll spot the famous Transamerica Pyramid (opened in 1972) and the Bank of America tower, both in the heart of the City’s financial district. Behind them Coit Tower graces Telegraph Hill.
The flat landfill of the Marina rises several hundred feet into Pacific Heights, one of San Francisco’s toniest neighborhoods. The grassy area along the Marina, today part of the park system, was originally Chrissy Airfield from 1921-1974. The wooded areas to the west are part of San Francisco’s famous city parks, the largest and most famous being Golden Gate Park. At the entrance to the Presidio sits the Palace of Fine Arts, the only extant structure from the grand buildings of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in 1915.
In the center of the City, Sutro Tower sits atop Twin Peaks, which with Mount Davidson (look for the large white cross) are the two highest points in San Francisco.
The western side of the City, known as the Richmond (north of the Park) and the Sunset (south of the Park) slopes gently downhill to beautiful beaches. San Francisco State University, part of the California State University system, and the UCSF Hospital complex are very visible occupants of the Sunset. As you pass down Ocean Beach, you leave San Francisco for Pacifica and the Peninsula, and if the day is pleasant, we’ll show you a bit of the Coast on our return.
Have a favorite or “must see” site? Just let us know and we’ll be happy to customize our route to suit you.
Want to gift this great tour? You can do that online at any time. We offer two great options: this 1-hr tour for 2 (departing from Hayward only); or the same tour plus champagne and fruit or chocolate. Limitations: 60-290 lbs passenger weight, 520 lbs total; ages 21 or older for the champagne option. For other options including other pickup points, larger parties, or other tours, please email us or call for more information.
Viewing special events: San Francisco will be host to a number of historic and international events in 2012 and 2013. Please book ahead if you would like the best seats for these events — those seats in the air!
Seasonal and special activities best viewed from the air:
- Opening Day on the Bay, annually in early May
- Bay to Breakers, annually on the 3rd Sunday in May
- 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, May 26-27, 2012
- America’s Cup World Series Regattas, July-August 2012
- 34th America’s Cup, various races and events held July-September, 2013
San Francisco Travel Association