Madame Tussauds San Francisco 145 Jefferson St./Taylor St., Fisherman’s Wharf, (855) 753-9999. Daily 10am-8pm. $26, 4-12 $20.
You can hang out front with Johnnie Depp or the Royal Family for free, but this will likely entice you to pay the entry so you can do more. I was surprised to be told that it was ok to touch and get up close and personal with the iconic celebrity figures inside. Though I had my companion take pictures of me with almost every figure, I did find it creepy to actually touch them. And the only way I could tell for sure they weren’t real was to check that they didn’t blink. One factoid is that hair is inserted by hand—strand by strand—and it can take up to five weeks just for one figure. Celebs are broken into categories, so Janis is in the Spirit of San Francisco section, Elvis is in the music section, Marilyn is in the film section, and George is in the A-List Party section (you can cozy up to him on a couch). A few tips: make sure your camera battery is charged; and dress nicely so that your friends might actually believe you were hanging with the stars. Many discounted coupons available.
The San Francisco Dungeon Adjacent. From 10am. $19-$26. Recommended for age 10+.
The first such attraction in North America, this subterranean walking tour takes you through San Francisco’s sordid past. Actors bring stories to life with the help of atmospheric sets, special effects, and a boat “ride.” The journey keeps you moving, and though surprises evoke a few screams and squeals, they also elicits smiles, and you might even become part of the show.
More things to do in San Francisco
Way more things to do in San Francisco.
More ideas for exploring Northern California.
images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers and Gene Meyers