San Francisco History

from £1250pp

Based on 6 days

Suitable for Secondary Schools


An exciting new long-haul destination for young historians!  Our San Francisco History tours go hand in hand with the GCSE History units: ‘The Making of America’, ‘The American West’, and ‘America, 1840–1895: Expansion and Consolidation’.

The Golden State is the epitome of the Wild West and the perfect place to get a feel for life on the American frontier.  From your base in San Francisco, you’ll enjoy a range of excursions including Sacramento and the site where gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill.

California is a huge and diverse state, from the seaside boom-town of San Francisco to the Gold Rush encampments in the mountains – and from Native American populations to colonists and immigrants from all over the world.  Our itineraries are designed to give a balanced insight into the experiences of these various cultures.

Our Suggested Itinerary

  1. Day 1

    Flight to San Francisco and coach transfer to your accommodation.

    Spend your first evening exploring the popular tourist neighbourhood of Fisherman’s Wharf.

  2. Day 2

    In the morning, take a walking tour of the city with a local guide and discover its history from the 1700s to today.

    Rest after your tour and take in breath-taking views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the beach at Crissy Field.

    Explore Fort Point, built at the height of the Gold Rush to defend the harbour from foreign attack. With seven-foot thick walls and space for 126 cannons, it’s clear to see how valuable the cargo was!

    Spend the afternoon at Presidio Officers’ Club, a museum housed in an officers’ mess built in 1776, learning about the settlement’s deep Spanish and Mexican roots.

    Enjoy an evening at Pier 39, with sea lions, waterfront dining, street performers, live music, shopping and more!

  3. Day 3

    Visit the California State Indian Museum in Sacramento, which presents the cultures and histories of the indigenous peoples of California and how they were forever changed by the arrival of foreigners.

    Go back in time to the mid-19th century in Old Sacramento Waterfront District, with restored shopfronts, wooden sidewalks, and horse-drawn carriages.

    Take a tour of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (Sutter’s Mill)!  Learn about the mania of the 49ers, life in the mining town of Coloma, and the diverse communities, including Mormons and Chinese immigrants, who came here in search of their fortune.

    Travel back to San Francisco by coach and spend the evening in Chinatown, the largest Chinatown outside of Asia!

  4. Day 4

    Morning visit to Alcatraz, the legendary island that has been a civil war fort, a military prison, and one of the most notorious federal prisons in US history.

    At lunchtime, admire the historic ships in Maritime National Historic Park.

    In the afternoon, visit the California Historical Society, which hosts a new exhibition every few months. Past exhibitions have included topics such as the Transcontinental Railroad, westward expansion, the Gold Rush, and the growth of cities.

    Enjoy some retail therapy in Union Square this evening!

  5. Day 5

    Stretch your legs in beautiful Golden Gate Park before taking an overnight flight.

  6. Day 6

    Arrive in the UK.

School Trip Accommodation


There is a good choice of accommodation in the States suitable for school groups and we always quote on a no bed-sharing basis.  Our schools normally stay at the Hostelling International San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Let us know if you have any particular favourites, otherwise we'll recommend the best option for you and your budget.

Want a quick quote?

San Francisco History

from £1250pp

Based on 6 days

If you'd like to make any changes to this sample itinerary, just click on Request a Quote and let us know.