11 Epic Things to do in Santorini in the Summer (2022 Guide)

When you dream of the Greeks Islands, I bet it’s Santorini that you picture! It’s the epitome of beauty and luxury with its white-washed buildings, grand cave hotels and cobbled streets. And as you can imagine when the weather gets warmer the tourists descend upon this small island in the millions. In fact, would you believe that every year over 2 million tourists visit Santorini!

For one, there are so many summer activities on offer in Santorini like scuba diving, cliff jumping and horse riding. And secondly, it’s just so scenic here from May to September! Think brightly colored sunsets, sparkling blue coastal views (the sunlight makes the water here appear even ‘bluer’ in the summer) and unique black sand beaches.

In this blog post, I will share with you all the best summer activities in Santorini as well as the best restaurants and hotels. This guide is all you’ll need if you’re visiting Santorini in the summer months!

Tips for Visiting Santorini in the Summer

white church in greece
A typical white-washed church in Santorini!

It’s no surprise to me that Santorini is one of the most popular summer destinations in Europe, that’s because the weather here averages 28 Celsius (82 Fahrenheit). July and August are the hottest months with temperatures reaching 30 Celsius (86 Fahreneheit) and above. The nights here are hot too, typically only falling as low as 23 Celsius (73 Fahrenheit).

What I love most about summer in Santorini is the long daylight hours, meaning more time to pack your day with activities. The sun rises at 7 am in the summer and doesn’t set until 7.30 pm– which means you have about 12.5 hours of daylight!

As mentioned, Santorini is an incredibly popular summer vacation spot so it’s worth booking your accommodation and activities well in advance (at least 2 months before your visit is my advice). Some of my favourite summer activities in Santorini include relaxing at a black sand beach, watching the sunset from a hidden location (more on that below) and visiting the super-interesting Greek Pompeii!

I recommend spending at least a week in Santorini in the summer to truly get a feel for this stunning island, and that way you’re not rushing around trying to fit everything in. It also means that if your favorite restaurant or activity is booked out one day you can return and try another day instead of missing out!

In this blog, I’ve cherry-picked 11 of the best summer activities in Santorini as well as detailing 6 of the best cave hotels on the island) for every budget!

1. Hike between Fira and Oia (or Oia and Fira)

oia santorini
One of the viewpoints on the walk between Fira and Oia!

The Fira to Oia trail is 10.4 km (6.5 miles) and will take most people 3 hours to complete (one-way). Be sure to wear closed-toe, comfortable shoes for the walk – I wore flip-flops and it wasn’t my finest idea. It’s best to hike the trail at around 4 pm so that you avoid the intense heat during the day. That way, you’ll arrive in Oia in time for sunset, which is at 7.30 pm in the summer.

The walking trail is typically flat and easy, although there are a few uphill sections. It follows the rim of the caldera, so as you can imagine the views are stunning the whole way. It passes through the villages of Imerovigli, Firostefani and finally Oia. You can opt to take a small detour along the way to see Skaros Rock – a rocky headland that has epic ocean views. It was originally known as Epano Kastro and was destroyed in the 19th-century by an earthquake and today just the ruins remain. Skaros Rock is about halfway along the trail, near the town of Imerovigli.

2. Watch the sunset

santorini sunset, greece
Paul enjoying the sunset in Santorini

Of course, Oia is the most popular village to watch the sunset in Santorini, specifically in front of Oia castle. However, this spot is thronged in the summer – there are literally hundreds of tourists gathered in this small area vying for space and trying to get that iconic sunset photo.

I’ve visited Santorini a few times now and I must admit that my favorite place to watch the sunset in Santorini is Skaros Rock in Imerovigli. As mentioned above, it’s at the halfway point on the walk between Fira and Oia. At sunset, the castle ruins are illuminated by the red-pinkish light of the sunset, which makes for a great photo. Whilst you’re in the area why not visit the lovely little Chapel of Theoskepasti, which faces the Caldera.

Another way to enjoy the sunset and avoid the crowds is to book a sunset boat tour. Most tours leave from either the port of Ammoudi in Oia or the port of Athinios every day at 15:00. The tours are typically 5 hours in duration and include a tour of the island of Santorini from the ocean and maybe even a spot of swimming or snorkeling. The tour ends with you dropping anchor in a prime spot to watch the sunset near Oia.

BOOK HERE | full list of sunset boat tours

3. Go wine tasting

santorini wine tour
The Wine Museum in Santorini!

You wouldn’t think that a small volcanic island would produce great wine but Santorini certainly hits the nail on the head with some great wines coming from the area. The mild Greek climate, combined with Santorini’s volcanic soil, enables a few unique grape varieties to grow. In fact, wine has been produced in Santorini for approximately 3,500 years!

Here’s a list of some of the best wine tours in Santorini.

The best known wine varieties in Santorini are Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani – all whites and Mandilaria, Mavrotragano and Voudomato – all reds. Santorini wines are high in alcohol content and have an intense flavor.

Why not try a slightly more unique wine tour and do a sunset tour – most tours include a stop at 3 wineries, ending in a winery with an epic view of the famous sunset. Worth noting is that some tours offer a full dinner, while most offer a cheese platter and nibbles. There are 5 different sunset wine tours to choose from.

4. Head to the beach

paleokatrista, corfu, greece
How blue is the water here!

One of the most unique things to do in Santorini in the summer is to head to Kamari or Perissa for a relaxing day on a beautiful black sand beach. Be sure to wear shoes at all times as the sand will BURN your feet! You can rent a sunbed and umbrella on these beaches for a fee. And to keep you nice and refreshed in the hot greek sun there are lots of restaurants lining the edge of these beaches.

To get to Kamari | from Fira (the main town) get a KTEL bus which takes 15 minutes and costs approximately €2. The bus times vary from every 20 minutes in busy times to every hour in the mornings/ evenings.

To get to Perissa | from Fira (the main town) get a KTEL bus which takes 20 minutes and costs approximately €2. The bus departs hourly.

5. Cooldown at the free swimming pool

lioyerma pool bar oia santorini
Lioyerma Pool Bar in Oia at sunset!

Lioyerma pool bar is located at Garbini Mills in Oia and it has a beautiful view overlooking the caldera. It’s one of the largest pools in Santorini and is a great spot to spend a few hours on a hot summers day, sunbathing and then cooling off in the pool. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunset!

There’s a small fee to rent a sunbed here (about 5) and you can purchase drinks and food from the bar. The food is freshly prepared and the salads especially are delicious.

6. Go cliff jumping at Ammoudi Bay

Not for the faint-hearted – cliff jumping off Ammoudi Bay is a very popular summer activity with locals.

To reach the cliff jumping spot you will need to walk through the restaurants on Ammoudi Bay until you reach several black rocks, climb over the rocks and you will see your dive point a small steep rocky outcrop in the water. It’s just a short swim to reach the outcrop, there’s a rope to help you climb to the top. There’s a small white-washed church at the top from where you’ll jump and it’s a 20-foot jump into the deep waters below. Be careful and make sure to jump out so you don’t hit any of the rocks on the way down (it’s unlikely your travel insurance will cover you!)

Fun fact – this cliff jumping spot is right next to the rock the girls in the movie ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II’ jumped from!

7. Go scuba diving

scuba diving santorini
Scuba diving here is such a cool experience!

Go Diving in one of the most unique diving locations in the world, here in Santorini. With clear blue waters and average visibility of up to 30 meters, plus, you can say you went diving in a volcano! You can even dive a shipwreck if you’re feeling brave.

This 4-hour tour begins from Ammoudi bay and takes you out past the caldera to see some smaller volcanic islands. Two different diving locations are included in the tour, where you dive depending on your group’s experience. Underwater Santorini is surprisingly magical – the water is so clear and you’re likely to see lava formations, shipwrecks and unique reefs on this particular tour.

8. Go on a boat cruise

boat cruise santorini
Look at the color of the water!

Go on a cruise to some small islands off Santorini and visit a hot spring too. This tour takes between 6 – 10 hours and includes so many sights for the price! The tour starts from Athinios Port and includes stops at Nea Kamani, where you can walk to the crater of an active volcano and Palea Kameni to swim in the unique hot springs here. You will also be taken to the charming small village of Thirassia and finally the steep village of Manolas, where you can ride a donkey from the boat to the top of the village.

9. Go horse riding

eros beach horse riding santorini
What a view!

Go horse-riding on Eros Beach – this is a 90 minute tour and takes you through sand dunes, along a golden beach with stunning canyon views all-round. Get ready to take loads of instagram-worthy photos!

This tour is suitable for all skill levels and if you’re feeling less-than-confident your experienced guide will take the time before you depart to show you the ropes (literally!). You will ride through the sand dunes at Caldera Beach and into the surrounding mountains, before coming to the black sand Eros Beach (which is breathtaking). The tour is 90 minutes in duration and is the perfect couples activity in Santorini!

10. Visit the Greek Pompeii

akrotiri santorini
The Akrotiri ruins in Santorini!

Akrotiri is one of the most important archaelogical sites in Greece. This is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Santorini! The town of Akrotiri was abandoned after a series of earthquakes, then covered by volcanic ash somewhere between 1620 and 1530 BC following a volcanic eruption. The ash has exceptionally preserved the settlement. Archaelogists have discovered Akrotiri had an elaborate drainage system, and was made up of many multi-storey buildings, each decorated with stunning wall-paintings. The luxurious quality of the furniture and ceramics found points to the town being very prosperous.

Today, Akrotiri is covered by a bioclimatic roof and its walkways are suspended above the site, this allows visitors to walk easily among the two and three-storey buildings.

GETTING TO AKROTIRI | there are regular buses from Fira to the car park at Akrotiri Red Beach – the journey will take approximately 20 minutes. Once you get off the bus, it’s a 250 metre walk to Akrotiri. The bus ticket costs around €2 for an adult. Alternatively, you can book one of these guided tours to Akrotiri.

11. Wander through one of the coolest book stores in the world

atlantis books oia santorini
The enchanting interior of Atlantis Books in Oia!

Atlantis Books in Oia – is one of the coolest bookshops in the world, think enchanting, charming & colorful. It is located on Nomikos Street in Oia and is actually housed within a historic Greek villa. Atlantis Books is owned and operated by several creatives who are very active in the local community, in fact, they set up a cool program called ‘the book donkey’ which brings books to the local schools.

For sale here are fiction and non-fiction books in most languages (Greek, French, Italian etc.) as well as rare antiquarian books and collectors’ first editions. Most tourists though come here to take photos of its quirky, mish-mashed interior.

Best restaurants in Santorini

  • Athenian House in Imerovigli – has some of the best caldera and sunset views on Santorini. Be sure to book this months in advance
  • Naoussa in Fira – traditional greek food on the northern end of Fira with a stunning view over the sea
  • Elinikon in Oia – specializing in share dishes and meze platters and one of the best views from any restaurant in Oia. Definitely book this in advance.
  • Panorama Balcony in Oia – only one table in the restaurant and one seating per night between 8 – 11pm. Book this years in advance!
  • Ammoudi Fish Taverna in Ammoudi Bay –  a slightly different view right by the water in Ammoudi Bay. The seafood is so fresh, mostly caught that very day. 

Where to stay on Santorini

imerovigli, santorini, greece
The view from our hotel in Imerovigli

There are so many accommodation options in Santorini that it can be intimidating to choose a place to stay. Most tourists to Santorini want to tick an item off their bucket list and stay at the famous cave hotels on the island. Below I’ve listed 6 of the most staggeringly beautiful cave hotels in Santorini, there’s one for every budget!

$$$

  • Perivolas in Oia – possibly the most famous hotel in Santorini, featured in numerous travel magazines and instagram accounts. Perfect for honeymooners, the view from your infinity pool is to-die-for. Save this one for a special occasion! ROOMS FROM | 1000 per night
  • Iconic Santorini in Imerovigli – a small hotel in the quieter town of Imerovigli with a shared pool and a stunning view over the Caldera. ROOMS FROM | 650 per night
  • Katikies Hotel in Oia – a larger hotel with 3 infinity pools all with excellent views of the caldera and the deep blue sea. ROOMS FROM | 1000 per night

$$

  • Afroessa in Imerovigli – brilliant value for money for what you get, each room has a private balcony with stunning views. ROOMS FROM | 350 per night
  • Carpe Diem Santorini in Pyrgos – no kids allowed in this adults-only resort. For the views alone and the stunning rooms it’s great value for money. ROOMS FROM | 200 per night

$

  • Chez Sophie Rooms & Suites in Kamari – family-run, excellent value for money and in a great location close to the beach. Sure, you don’t have the caldera views like you would in Oia or Fira but you have the beach. ROOMS FROM | 80 per night

Thanks for reading!

boat tour corfu greece
Thanks for reading!

As you have read, there are heaps of awesome things to do in Santorini in summer, and I bet after reading this blog post you are just itching to visit this summer. I hope I’ve given you loads of inspiration for your vacation to Santorini!

If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also enjoy my other blog posts about Greece. Some of my favorites include:

The Ultimate 5 Week Itinerary for Greece

7 Amazing Things to do in Meteora Greece

The Very Best Things to do on Syros Island Greece

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Santorini in Summer Guide

15 Best Things to do in San Francisco with Kids

When you think of San Francisco you may not think of it as being a family vacation destination, but, did you know that there are actually heaps of awesome family-friendly activities available in the golden city. For one, there’s the Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco Zoo and the Exploratorium all within a short distance of downtown. And not forgetting that no visit to San Francisco is complete without exploring Alcatraz or cycling across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge! Two activities which kids seem to love!

In this blog post, I will share with you all the best family-friendly activities in San Francisco as well as the best hotels in the city. This guide is all you’ll need if you’re visiting San Francisco as a family at any time of year!

1. Muir Woods

muir woods san francisco

Just 45 minutes from downtown San Francisco is Muir Woods National Monument which is very popular with families especially, in fact, it attracts thousands of tourists daily. A visit to Muir Woods offers the opportunity to see giant redwood trees – one of the few areas to see these trees in the Bay Area. There’s a range of hiking trails at Muir Woods all varying in difficulty and length. Worth noting is reservations are required for all vehicles and tourists to the Woods – you can catch the Route 66 Shuttle from Sausalito, Marin City, or Mill Valley if you don’t fancy driving here. Entrance to Muir Woods can work out pretty costly, current rates are as follows:

  • $8.50 per vehicle
  • $3.25 per person for a space on the Route 66 shuttle
  • $15.00 per person entrance fee to gain entry to Muir Woods

2, Cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge

golden gate bridge san francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world!

A great way to get some exercise in as a family is to cycle across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge! It is easily one of the most famous sights in San Francisco if not all of California! I highly recommend cycling or walking the bridge, instead of driving it as traffic can be a nightmare at certain times of the day and parking on both sides of the bridge – the San Francisco side and the Sausalito side is very limited. 

The Golden Gate Bridge is 2.1 miles in length and it will take approximately 25 minutes to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. Some avid cyclists can complete the one-way journey in 10 minutes, it all depends on how fit you are and how often you stop. You can either cycle both ways or return by ferry from Sausalito and drop your bike back off at the rental store when you come off your ferry. The Western footpath of the bridge is for cyclists only, but beware it is two-ways so cyclists will be coming towards you too. 

You can rent a bike from Golden Gate Bridge Bike Rentals on  2157 Lombard St, for as little as $29! They also rent electric bikes available for rent if you’re not keen on a workout.

3. Visit Alcatraz

alcatraz prison san francisco
A very moody looking Alcatraz Prison on a cloudy day!

A must-do in San Francisco for families is to visit one of the most famous prisons in recent history,. It may not sound very family-friendly but believe me, it’s such an interesting tour and kids are sure to love walking around the former prison as well as the boat ride to get there.

Did you know – Alcatraz was once home to infamous gangster Al Capone. Alcatraz closed in the 1970s and started welcoming visitors not long after in 1973. It’s no surprise then that one of the most popular things to do in San Francisco is a guided cruise tour of Alcatraz!

The tour of Alcatraz prison itself is via a self-guided audio tour which is really informative. It’s so interesting to see the prison cells and hear the stories of former inmates. Included in your ticket, you can visit the historical gardens of Alcatraz which has stunning views of San Francisco Bay and explore any exhibitions being hosted in the Industries Building. Allow 2.5 hours on Alcatraz.

4. Aquarium of the Bay

aquarium of the bay san francisco
The Under the Bay exhibit at the Aquarium of the Bay!

Suitable for the whole family, this huge aquarium is located at Pier 39. Here, there is over 20,000 marine life like octopus, huge jellyfish, sharks and much more!

The ‘Under the Bay’ exhibit is the most popular here, it features two tunnels totalling a length of 300 meters and it houses over 200 different species. It’s also a really cool spot for a family photo! Interestingly, many of the sea animals found here can be found in San Francisco Bay like wolf eels, swell sharks and the unique orange garibaldi fish!

Another firm favorite area with the little ones is the ‘Touch the Bay’ exhibit where children and adults can touch bat rays, skate and sharks.

Tickets for the Aquarium of the Bay cost from $30 USD and can be purchased here!

5. Visit Mrs Doubtfires House

Mrs doubtfire house san francisco
Me posing outside Mrs Doubtfires House!

One of my favorite places to visit in San Francisco is the ‘Mrs Doubtfire House’, I’m a huge fan of the 1993 movie and Robin Williams. The house is located at 2640 Steiner Street, near Pacific Heights. It looks a little different to the movie, what you’d expect after almost 30 years but it’s still a must-see for any movie fans. In fact, the house was recently sold for $4.5 million.

Older kids will especially love this stop, and if your little ones have yet to watch this iconic movie I highly recommend having a Mrs Doubtfire movie night pronto!

6. Golden Gate Park

japanese garden golden gate park
The beautiful Japanese Gardens at Golden Gate Park!

Would you believe this is the 3rd most-visited Park in the U.S (behind Central Park in NY and National Memorial Park in Washington D.C). Golden Gate Park is a whopping 1,017 acres and is home to Bison Paddock where you can spot a herd of bison grazing, unusual for this part of the country. Kids especially love the bisons! Be sure too to check out the Conservatory of Flowers which is the oldest building in the Park. Here, there are over 1,700 species of plants, many of them rare.

The Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest such garden in the country and was constructed in 1894. The Garden is 3.5 acres and filled with Japanese maple, cherry trees and more. Cherry blossom season is an especially popular time here, this is from March to April.

Most of the roads in Golden Gate Park are now car-free and it’s very popular with locals exercising and families playing and picnicking in one of the many green areas.

Right in the heart of Golden Gate Park, is the gorgeous Stow Lake where you can rent rowboats, electric boats, as well as pedal boats. It’s also a great spot to see different birds and even turtles. There’s a boathouse here which houses an awesome Cafe.

7. Exploratorium

exploratorium san francisco
Great for kids who love science!

Characterized as “a mad scientist’s penny arcade, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental laboratory all rolled into one. The Exploratorium is more than a museum—it’s a gateway to exploring science, art, and human perception. Let your curiosity roam free through hundreds of exhibits across 6 galleries.

The Exploratorium is located at Pier 15, entrance fee costs from $29.95 per adult. It’s closed on Monday and Tuesday.

8. Cable Car Museum

cable car san francisco
A cable car in San Francisco (photo via Get Your Guide)

San Francisco is notorious for its historic cable cars, which would you believe have been in operation since 1873! So besides riding these unique cars a visit to the Cable Car Museum on Nob Hill should be added to everyone’s San Francisco itinerary! Here, you will learn all about the history of the cable car as well as check out the numerous ancient cable cars housed here. Kids can get an up-close look at the mechanical workings of the cable car, which will be a thrill for the machine-obsessed little ones!

Entry to the Cable Car Museum is free! It is located at 1201 Mason Street.

9. San Francisco Zoo

polar bear san francisco zoo
A polar bear at San Francisco Zoo (photo via Get Your Guide)

San Francisco Zoo is located on the Southern end of Ocean beach. It’s a fun place to visit for kids of all ages. Here you can see a variety of animals from polar bears to gorillas. In fact, there are over 2000 endangered and rescued animals housed here – what’s great about this zoo is that it’s nice and spacious for the animals, it’s situated on over 100 acres.

Not only will the little ones love seeing the animals close up, but they can also hop on a historic steam train around the zoo, have fun on the carousel and even burn off some energy at the themed play zone.

10. Urban Putt

This unique and quirky indoor miniature golf course is located on South Van Ness Avenue. It is the first indoor miniature golf course in the city and is incredibly popular. There are 14 themed holes here, all designed on some of the best spots in San Francisco. There’s also a bar and restaurants upstairs should the adults wish to enjoy a drink and food while the kids play.

Urban Putt is closed Mondays, open from 4pm Tuesday to Friday and from 12 pm on weekends. It’s important to note that after 8 pm Urban Putt is only open to those over 21 years of age!

Prices are as follows: $13 for those aged 13 years and above, $10 for those aged between 6 – 12 and kids under 5 are free.

11. Day trip to Santa Cruz

Colorful Santa Cruz, a 90 minute drive from San Francisco!

Santa Cruz, a 1.5 hour drive from San Francisco, is one of the best towns in California for families. It is famous for its long boardwalk, the longest of its kind in the U.S. In fact, the boardwalk which is also home to many rides like the Loggers Revenge and Giant Dipper rollercoasters is often labelled as the “Coney Island of the West”. Of course, the many rides, arcade games and candy stands here at the boardwalk are popular with children and every day in the Summer (and weekends in other seasons) it is rammed with tourists. 

To escape the crowds, head into Santa Cruz town which is under-rated and great for boutique stores. The town is also where the best restaurants are, like the kid-friendly and vegan Cafe Gratitude on Lincoln Street and the casual Veg on the Edge in the Cooperhouse Shopping Center. After food, why not treat the kids (and yourself) to an ice cream from the Penny Ice Creamery on Cedar Street, famous because all of their delicious flavors are organic and made from scratch!

The Mystery Spot, just outside of town in the Redwood Forest is a unique family-friendly activity that allows you to defy gravity. There is no real explanation as to why this trail defies the law of gravity, some people say a spaceship is the cause others say it is because of a hole in the Ozone layer, either way, it’s a great way to challenge your thinking.

12. USS Pampanito

A truly unique family activity in San Francisco is to visit the USS Pampanito, a real submarine that is docked at Pier 45. This submarine was used during World War II, so it has a fascinating history and it has recently been turned into a museum. Once inside you will get a true insight into what underwater life was like for its inhabitants – be sure to check out the main console which is what controls the submarine plus you can also see the living quarters of the submarine including the bedrooms and dining areas.

13. Walt Disney Museum

The Walt Disney Museum on 104 Montgomery Street in the Presidio district offers a fascinating insight into the life of the famed Walt Disney (creator of Mickey Mouse!) It tells you how Disney came to be, and you will also be able to check out some of his early drawing of Mickey Mouse and other characters.

Top tip – every weekday besides Tuesdays you can watch a Disney movie in the onsite theater. The movie ticket is included with your admission to the museum.

14. Seward Slides

The Seward Slides are pretty cool!

An awesome free activity for families visiting San Francisco is to check out the Seward Street Slides at 70 Corwin Street. These cement slides (there are two of them) were built back in the 1960s and were actually designed by a local teenager. Because these slides aren’t your typical slides and are made of cement, you will need a piece of cardboard to get down them. There is sometimes some cardboard left here, but it’s safest to bring your own.

There’s no fee to use the slides and they typically open at 10 am and close at 5 pm. The slides are closed on Mondays.

15. Lincoln Park Steps 

lincoln park steps san francisco
Lincoln Park Steps, San Francisco

One of the most recent art projects in the city, the Lincoln Park Steps are located very close to Lincoln Park Golf Course on 34th Avenue. The Lincoln Park Steps have 52 steps in total, each step is covered in beautiful colorful mosaic tiles. It’s typically quiet here, especially if you visit in the morning like we did. In fact, try to visit when it’s daylight and ideally a bright day – as this is when the colors of the steps really pop!

It’s a great spot to grab a cute family photo, you can also let the kids burn off some steam by letting them run up and down the 52 steps!

Where to stay in San Francisco

westin st francis san francisco
At the Westin St Francis!

The Westin St Francis – conveniently located at Union Square, all rooms have great city views and there’s a number of on-site dining options as well as a fitness center.

Fairmont San Francisco – a 5-star hotel located at the top of Nob Hill, the Fairmont is renowned with luxury and many of the hotels rooms offer views of Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge. The on-site restaurant is famous, the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar serves Polynesian food and has live entertainment nightly.

Hotel Zephyr – is located just 300 meters from Fishermans Wharf plus the rooms are all nautically themed! There’s an on-site mini-mart as well as a shared lounge and a games room.

Phoenix Hotel – this 1950s motor lodge has had a stylish makeover recently. This is one of the only affordable, indie boutique hotels in San Francisco!

Thanks for reading!

golden gate bridge
Thanks for reading!

As you can see, there are so many family activities in San Francisco and I bet after reading this blog post you can see why it’s one of the best cities in the U.S to visit as a family. I hope I’ve given you loads of inspiration for your upcoming vacation to San Francisco!

While you’re here why not check out my other North America blog posts, some of my favourites include:

5 Day San Francisco Itinerary

10 of the cutest towns near San Francisco

Best things to do in Seattle

5 Tips For Taking Great Photos On Your Travels

When you’re on vacation, you don’t want to spend the whole time snapping photos, but you do want to take some great shots so that you and the people you were with can have some great memories, and the people left at home can see what you did while you were away. So if you’re going to take fewer photos, you’ll need to also take better photos – here are some tips on how to do it. 

Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels

1. Tell The Story 

Rather than a lot of photos that don’t really have any context, it’s a good idea to take pictures that tell the story of your vacation instead. So take ‘establishing shots’ of the places you go and where you are staying. You really only need one image of the front of your hotel, perhaps a shot of each room if you are staying in an Ocean Florida villa, one of the pool, and just one of the beach or the city where you are spending a lot of time. Once you have those shots, you can concentrate on filling in the gaps by taking photos of the people you’re with and the things you’re doing. Try to stick to just one photo of each activity or restaurant and so on; that should be enough. 

2. Start Early 

In order to really set the scene, you should start taking your photos before you arrive at your destination. Get images of people packing or the trip to the airport (or the journey in the car if you’re not going on a plane). If you are on a plane, get a photo of the view out of the window or the crew member who serves you drinks (just make sure you get permission to do so – this is the same for every person you take a photo of). This is really the start of your vacation, so it makes sense to include these moments in your memories too. The same is true at the end of the vacation. Take a great final photo of everyone when they arrive back home, having had a wonderful time away, and it will be one of the photos you remember the most. 

3. Know Your Camera

Arthurs Point, Queenstown
Taking a photo of the view in Queenstown!

When it comes to travel photography advice, it is important to familiarize yourself with your camera’s settings and features. Take the time to read the manual, play about with all the buttons and camera settings, and spend hours with the camera in your hands so that it becomes a part of you. Prepare yourself by learning how to use the menu so that you don’t waste time scrolling through it when you need to make quick adjustments to the camera in the field.

Also, be sure to familiarise yourself with the limits of your camera. The camera’s performance in low-light conditions is critical. Wide open, is it crisp, or do you need to stop down for the greatest detail? Is there any kind of built-in stabilization? With your camera in hand, you want to be confident and know precisely what you’re doing. Then you’ll be able to take better photos more quickly and easily.

4. Don’t Rush

Of course, there will be occasions when a quick photo is necessary (a wave crashing over the beach, or a seagull stealing an ice cream, or anything spontaneous), but a lot of the time, you will have the chance to really think about your shot and compose it well. That could mean thinking about the shadows and the angles, where you’re standing to snap the photo, and who is in the shot (if anyone). Making sure these photographs are just right will reassure you that you only need to take one, as long as you do it right. 

5. Backup

Finally, no matter where you have been, what you have done, or how many photos you took in the end, you’ll need to back them up. Imagine the disappointment if you found that you no longer had these wonderful images because of a corrupted file or lost USB. You can back these images up onto an external hard drive, or onto a cloud-based system – both have their pros and cons so you should read up on each and ensure that you are happy with your choice. 

Ultimately, you want to spend most of your time doing, rather than spectating through a camera lens when you’re traveling (unless you happen to be a travel photographer, of course), so the more you understand how to get the best shots, the better; you’ll be quick, and you can get on with the rest of your trip with some amazing photos to enjoy as memories when you get home.

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5 Great Reasons you need a Holiday!

We’ve gone through a pandemic and now with the world going to pot with gas and energy prices and war issues, it’s a wonder we’re not all trying to escape! A holiday is a must if you need to relax, and there are plenty of places that you can go and holiday types that you can enjoy. We all need something to look forward to every now and then, right?

From cycling holidays to beach holidays, ski breaks to city visits, there are plenty of places in the world that you can visit even if you go for a couple of days. Taking a break from the busy life you are living is something you need and with the right advice, you can make it the holiday of a lifetime. Still, trying to persuade yourself to book one? Here’s why you should just go for it and do it.

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You just need to let go.

Of the stress, of the office, of the rat race: you need to let go of stress for a while and unclench. A holiday takes you physically away from the things that stress you out, and you need to be able to let off steam and have fun.

You just need time with the family.

Holidays allow you the chance to have time away together. You can relax, unwind, play games, build sandcastles and just enjoy time together when you go on holiday and it’s different from just spending time together at home. You need to take time to have space and be together every now and then and that means letting go of the technology and screen time you’d usually have, too.

It’s something to have on the calendar.

A holiday is something you can mark on your calendar and countdown to and it gives you something to look forward to. You can get excited day by day and be happy for the holiday ahead for the whole family. 

They’re good for your mind and body.

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There is a lot of research out there to show you that holidays are good for your health. You’ll feel more relaxed while away, which is excellent for your mental health, and you will be able to cycle more, swim with leisure and go for long walks when you are in nature again.

You can find some inspiration.

You might find that while you’re away, new ideas and inspiration come to you. You might even find that you appreciate life a little more than you did before. You need new experiences, and you need to sample different foods and appreciate life in a whole new way. Holidays give you a brand new perspective that you should take on and enjoy for a change. You can bet that you will feel better in yourself with some sunshine on your face, too!

Book your new holiday today and have something new to look forward to.

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The World Is Your Oyster: Tips To Plan Your Next Trip

There may still be restrictions in place, but it’s getting much easier to travel again. The world is your oyster, so where will you go next? If you’re looking forward to getting away in 2022, here are some top tips to help you plan your next trip. 

Research destinations

Some people celebrated the start of a brand new year knowing exactly where they want to go in the months ahead, but for many people, there’s a host of options still on the table. If you haven’t decided where to visit next, the first step in the planning process is to research destinations. When putting together a list of contenders, think about how far you want to travel, what you want to do while you’re on holiday, how much you want to spend and how long you’re going to be away. If you want to jump on a plane and arrive at your destination in a couple of hours, for example, or you’re only going away for a long weekend, you may wish to eliminate far-flung destinations. Read blogs and travel magazines, ask friends and family for recommendations and use the Internet to get ideas. Once you have a list of locations that are of interest, you can find out more and start getting prices and finding options for your itinerary. 

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Find inspiration based on your interests and preferences

Travelling covers a wide range of different types of trips. One person’s idea of a dream holiday may be another’s nightmare. The beauty of planning trips in advance is that you can narrow down options and find inspiration based on your individual interests, requirements and preferences. Use social media to get ideas and find the best trip planning site to create a moodboard or a list of destinations that reflect your travel goals and budget. You can filter results according to the type of break you want to book, the distance from home, the cost and the kinds of activities or excursions you want to enjoy. 

Take advantage of online booking and comparison sites

Booking online is more convenient than going into a travel agency and it can also provide access to preferential rates and savings. When you have decided where you want to go, or you have a shortlist, use comparison sites and visit tour operator websites to compare prices, get quotes and find out more. From flights, travel insurance, attraction tickets and accommodation to car hire, excursions, transfers, parking and package holidays, there are opportunities to save at the click of a button. It is worth noting that you can usually save a substantial amount of money by being flexible when choosing your travel dates. 

Package holidays usually offer better value for money if you plan to take luggage, you’ll need a transfer, you’re travelling to popular tourist destinations or you are visiting a single destination. If you are moving around, it’s worth comparing prices on hotels, flights and bus, coach and train tickets and looking at round-the-world, multi-stop flights if you’re backpacking or you want to visit several different countries. These tickets are often significantly cheaper than buying single tickets between destinations and many offer flexibility. 

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Read reviews

More than 90% of us now read reviews before buying products or contacting businesses. When you’re planning a holiday, a weekend away or a globetrotting adventure, it’s a fantastic idea to read reviews. Reviews can help you find and choose accommodation options, gather suggestions for trips and activities, locate great restaurants and get information that will make planning your trip easier. Always use reputable websites and look for verified reviews. 

Check requirements

Restrictions are easing, but there are still requirements and measures in place that affect travel. Before you choose a destination or start looking at flights or booking hotels, check the entry requirements. You may need to make sure that you have a certain period of time left on your passport or ID document, you may need to apply for a visa and you may need to satisfy requirements related to Covid-19. It’s always wise to check in advance. You will also need to make sure that you have the relevant insurance cover for your trip. 

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Travel is back on, and many of us are counting down the days until we can jet off and enjoy a holiday. If you plan to get away, and you’re hoping to take the stress out of planning your next trip, take these tips on board. Research destinations, get ideas and inspiration based on your personal preferences and interests, take advantage of online booking and apps and websites that make planning easy, read reviews and check requirements before you book.

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