Go Car Tours in San Francisco

Tour San Francisco aboard a small car and an audio guide that will tell you all about the city. Are you up for it? Stay, I'll tell you.

Andressa García

Andressa García

11 min read

Go Car Tours in San Francisco

Go Car Tours | ©Smart Destinations

The GoCar tour of San Francisco is an essential activity when visiting the city. These small vehicles allow you to see a lot of places within the city, without having to walk or take public transportation.

The Go Cars, which at the time were catalogued as the best invention of the year, have become one of the best ways to visit many of the attractions to be seen in San Francisco, because it is a good way to visit the most emblematic places in the city.

The most complete option

San Francisco GoCar Tour

A guided Go Car tour of San Francisco

You will have a tour with audio guide and GPS included of the most interesting and fun places in San Francisco, in a small car that is very easy to drive.

This experience offers you to tour San Francisco aboard a vehicle that is guided by GPS. As a driver you will have to prepare yourself before getting into the vehicle, so the orientation will tell you how the car works and how to operate it safely on the road.

The tour is previously coordinated and you can listen to a recording that explains the details of each of the places you will pass through while you are behind the wheel. Each vehicle can accommodate up to two people.

Recommended if... You want to visit several places in one day without walking or cycling.

How to book a Go Car Tour

GoCar in San Francisco| ©Ewen Roberts
GoCar in San Francisco| ©Ewen Roberts

To book a Go Car Tour online, the first thing you have to do is read all the details of the offer and contact the company offering the service. Reservations can usually be made up to three hours before the tour begins, subject to availability.

Once you have made the purchase and confirmed the reservation, you will be ready to enjoy your Go Car tour. At the time of booking, you must leave a deposit as a guarantee that will be returned at the end of the tour.

On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that the weather must be good for the tour to take place. If it is raining, the tour will probably be cancelled, although you would have the option of a refund or a change of date to be able to live the experience.

The reservation includes the car, helmet and other necessary protective measures and gasoline.

Book a Go Car tour of San Francisco

Duration of the Go Car Tour

GoCar in San Francisco| ©Thank You
GoCar in San Francisco| ©Thank You

The Go Car tour usually lasts between two and five hours, depending on how many sites you want to visit in a day and the itinerary you have chosen to take. The time it will take will also depend on how long you stay at each stop and how fast you go in your Go Car.

My advice is to take it easy and go at your own pace so that the experience is totally enjoyable and at the end of the tour you can feel satisfied for having hired the service.

There are shorter tours that offer two hours of service, but I would recommend this type of tour if you have already been to San Francisco and want to visit specific sites in a Go Car.

Book a Go Car tour of San Francisco

Tips for a Go Car Tour a Go Car Tour

Go Car on Beach Street| ©Willis Lam
Go Car on Beach Street| ©Willis Lam
  • Beaware of the weather and dress in layers, San Francisco's weather is changeable and very unpredictable. Also, while driving you may feel quite cold, as the vehicles are completely uncovered.
  • Children can participate if they are 4 years old or older and only if their head fits into the helmets that the Go Car service offers.
  • I do not recommend you to deviate from the route established in the tour. Some of them include the most fun detours.
  • Don't expect to go at an impressively fast speed, as the small vehicle can only reach up to 35 mph.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge is a route that you can not do with a Go Car because it is not allowed to do so, but you can get to Fort Point, a place from where you can access the bridge on foot. If you want to cross the bridge in another way, I advise you to book a bike tour in San Francisco that includes it.
  • You have to take into consideration the maximum height and weight limits set for you to enjoy the ride. These are 1.9 meters high and 226.6 kg of weight between the two passengers.
  • This ride is not recommended for pregnant women and you will not be able to do it if you suffer from back problems.
  • One of the advantages of this ride is that it is accessible for people in wheelchairs and it is also possible to take assistance pets.
  • In case of accidents, the price does not include the cost of damages, so try to drive carefully, because if something happens to you or the car, you will have to pay an additional fee that can go from 19 euros or more.

Book a Go Car tour in San Francisco

How much does the Go Car cost in San Francisco?

Go Car| ©Marko Kudjerski
Go Car| ©Marko Kudjerski

The price of the Go Car is per car and not per person. Also included in the reservation is an audio guide that you can take with you on the tour.

Knowing this, the rental of this type of vehicle to make the tour can cost between 82 and 143 euros, and of course it is suitable for two people per vehicle only.

Also included in the service is a security deposit on your credit card that can range from 150 to 500 euros. Once the tour is over, this security deposit is refunded .

In the price of renting the vehicle and hiring the tour is also included the 8.75% environmental compensation fee, which is a fee paid for both the refueling of gasoline and the recycling of tires of the vehicle.

There are vehicles that run on gas instead of gasoline. In that case, the fuel is also provided when booking the tour and is included in the initial price.

Book a Go Car tour in San Francisco

What are the places I should not miss on a Go Car Tour?

Ghirardelli Square| ©Thank You
Ghirardelli Square| ©Thank You

During the tour you will be able to see the most emblematic monuments, sculptures and places of San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge.

You will also be able to see some important parks within the city, pass by the pier or visit Downtown or Chinatown.

Regardless of the tour you choose, some of the places you can't miss on your trip are described below. I would definitely include this activity among the best tours and excursions in San Francisco.

Ghirardelli Square

This is the old chocolate factory located very close to Fisherman's Wharf. Previously the factory was located on the three floors of the building, but nowadays it is a place full of stores and restaurants.

When you pass by this place you can listen to your audio guide to hear everything you need to know about the building's former operation. If you want, you can stop to tour the place and buy interesting things to take home as souvenirs.

Fort Mason Center

It is a venue for performing arts such as dance, theater, art installations, musical performances, and recreational and educational events for everyone in the Bay Area. It is also the home of different artistic organizations that offer locals and visitors multiple recreational activities and shows to admire.

This place is part of the Golden Gate National Park area, one of the national parks near San Francisco with the highest number of visitors each year.

The Fort Mason Center is a must stop if you go in your Go Car. You can stop here to take all the pictures you want, especially of the Golden Gate.

Fort Point National Historic Site

This fort welcomes the Golden Gate on its south side, so it is a good place to stop and take amazing pictures before continuing the tour in the Go Car. This place is located just below the bridge and in its golden age was part of the defenses of the San Francisco Bay.

If you want to stop here, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you will find inside. A large collection of uniforms, weapons and other elements of the American Civil War that have been preserved intact to this day.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge| ©Oscar Gil Fernández
Golden Gate Bridge| ©Oscar Gil Fernández

The Golden Gate Bridge needs no further introduction. It is one of the most iconic places and one that you will surely want to visit with more excitement when you are on your Go Car, but I have to tell you that you cannot try to cross it at any time. These vehicles are not allowed to cross the bridge.

If you want to admire the Golden Gate Bridge you can do it from below, or you can stop the car and walk up to take some good pictures. It is the icon of the bay and the whole city, so you need to take the time to see it and appreciate it.

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

An ideal place to take dreamy postcards, this place with history will impress you with its attention to detail. The Palace of Fine Arts was built around 1915 and its main purpose is to show works of art of universal exhibition.

Around 1965 the monument underwent some reconstructions to improve the design and reinforce its infrastructure. In 2009 it was reinforced with anti-seismic reinforcement, to make this fortress even more unbreakable.

Fisherman's Wharf

The famous wharf has more than just history. Fisherman's Wharf is a section of the entire wharf where most of the wharf's attractions are located, one of the most famous being Pier 39.

Previously, during the Gold Rush and early 20th century, the site was part of what is known as the Barbary's Coast, an incredibly dangerous red light district at the time.

Today little or nothing remains of that dark history. The place offers some of the best views of San Francisco.

Ocean Beach

Next to Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach is one of the most fun attractions in the city. In fact, visiting this beach is one of the favorite activities of the locals among their best summer destinations.

If you stop at this place you will be able to get great pictures of the bay and, above all, appreciate the immensity of the Pacific Ocean. Don't hesitate to stop here for as long as you want and, depending on the weather and your courage, take the opportunity to dip your feet in the shore.

Presidio of San Francisco

The Presidio of San Francisco is one of the most emblematic places of the city, it is a large structure that for a long time served as military barracks.

It also includes a national cemetery where countless soldiers who gave their lives in the wars of all times were buried.

The Presidio is also home to the Walt Disney Museum, oneof the best museums in San Francisco.

Although I do not recommend using your Go Car tour to visit the museum, it is a highly recommended visit for when you have a little more time. For now, you can take pictures and spend a few minutes.

Crissy Field

Crissy Field| ©Golden Gate National
Crissy Field| ©Golden Gate National

This is one of the most emblematic and fun parks in San Francisco. Due to its height, it offers beautiful panoramic views of the entire city, as well as a fantastic perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I recommend stopping for a few minutes at Crissy Field to rest and also to take all the pictures you want from all possible angles. It is also very close to the Presidio.

Legion of Honor

This is a museum dedicated to the more than 3,000 lives of California soldiers who were lost during World War I. The memorial to honor these soldiers is located in the Presidio.

The monument to honor these victims is built as a replica of the Palace of the Legion of Honor in Paris. Inside you can see a large number of works of art from all over the world.

Lombard Street

The tour you are sure to enjoy the most is the Lombard Street tour. At the last stop of your trip, you can drive down this winding street from the top to the bottom. It is an adrenaline experience that you will definitely want to repeat.

When you take this ride, try to drive very carefully and understand that this is a regular traffic road, so be aware of the other vehicles coming down the hill.

Book a Go Car tour in San Francisco

Why is it advisable to take a Go Car Tour?

Go Car| ©Ed Dunens
Go Car| ©Ed Dunens

I recommend you to take a Go Car Tour in San Francisco because in addition to seeing new places, you can have a lot of fun driving this little car.

In addition, the experience gives you the opportunity to do things that you might not be able to do walking, driving or biking around San Francisco.

One of the experiences that you will enjoy the most aboard this stroller is to ride down Lombard Street. This experience is definitely not the same whether you do the tour on foot, by bike or by private car. Besides, it is a good experience if you go alone or with a partner.

This option allows you to have a select and private tour if you go in the company of another person, because in most traditional tours you need at least 4 people to book a private tour. But the Go Car only admits two people, so it is ideal for those cases.

On the other hand, it is an experience that you can live at any time of the year, although I would recommend you to include it among the things to see and do in San Francisco in summer, since the warm weather can help you enjoy the scenery better.

Book a Go Car tour in San Francisco

What are the advantages of taking a guided Go Car tour vs. self-guided Go Car tour?

Go Car, San Francisco| ©Matthew Dillon
Go Car, San Francisco| ©Matthew Dillon

The good thing about this type of Go Cars is that you can take a guided or self-guided tour without there being much difference between one and the other, because in the end it will just be you and your mini car rolling around San Francisco.

The difference is that there are Go Cars that offer a voice-guided tour that will explain the route you should take as well as the details of each place you visit. This innovative service makes you feel as if you were with a tour guide who is showing you San Francisco little by little.

Of course you can also just rent a Go Car and take the tour you want without an audio guide, but I recommend this type of tour if you have already visited San Francisco and feel familiar with the city, but want to learn new things.

Whatever the case may be, Go Car is an experience that I would recommend whenever you go to San Francisco, because there is definitely no more fun and adrenaline-pumping way to tour the city aboard these little cars.