San Francisco & Silicon Valley

  • San Francisco school trip
    San Francisco is a fantastic starting point for a school trip to Silicon Valley.
  • San Francisco school trip
    A visit to Fisherman's Wharf is a popular addition to any San Francisco school trip itinerary.
  • Silicon Valley school trip
    A tour of Silicon Valley should naturally include a look at the Googleplex campus.
  • Silicon Valley school trip
    The Intel Museum is a must for students of computer science on a Silicon Valley school trip.
  • Silicon Valley school trip
    Another Silicon Valley itinerary essential is the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

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Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Mountains at the tip of the San Francisco peninsula, the city of San Francisco is a fantastic destination to discover, with a wealth of distinctive sights making it so well known. From the historical Golden Gate Bridge and the infamous island of Alcatraz to bustling Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, San Francisco has much to offer students of Art & Design, Performing Arts and Science, not to mention those seeking a general enrichment experience.

Head south down San Francisco Bay and the cultural vibrancy of the city makes way for the futuristic epicentre of digital technology and social media as you arrive in Silicon Valley. Indeed, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Symantec, Cisco, Oracle, Google, Apple inc, Facebook, LinkedIn, EBay, Yahoo, WhatsApp and Snapchat are just a few of the many global IT giants to have their headquarters situated here.

Whilst these corporations aren’t open to the public, just a tour around Palo Alto, Mountain View, Cupertino, Santa Clara and San Jose cannot fail to inspire the next generation of technological genii.

And with visits to the Intel Museum, Computer History Museum and Tech Museum of Information all situated in the area, this is the perfect place in which to capture the imagination of aspiring young minds.

Visits can be tailored to provide an unforgettable and enlightening experience for groups of all interests, why not contact us with your requirements?

Typical Accommodation

We work with a number of different hostels and hotels in and around this American city. Please let us know your requirements and we will be happy to recommend suitable accommodation to suit your San Francisco & Silicon Valley school trip itinerary and budget.

San Francisco & Silicon Valley School Trip – Subject Suitability

Each trip is tailor-made to suit individual requirements; however, here is a suggested itinerary for a San Francisco & Silicon Valley school trip:

Sample Itinerary – 7 Days by Air

Day 1 – Take a direct flight from the UK to San Francisco or San Jose. On arrival, you’ll transfer to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 2 – Today is devoted to exploring some of San Francisco’s most famous sites including Golden Gate Park and Bridge, Union Square, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. This afternoon is dedicated to one of San Francisco’s most iconic landmarks, Alcatraz Island, where you’ll tour the prison old cell blocks and have time to explore the island.

Day 3 – Another day to spend as you wish in San Francisco. You could opt to visit the Cable Car Museum or San Francisco Zoo. Alternatively, if your group has an interest in science, why not visit the Exploratorium or the California Academy of Sciences? For students of Art & Design meanwhile, a tour of the Museum of Modern Art, De Young Museum or Asian Art Museum all make excellent itinerary inclusions.

Day 4 – Head out of San Francisco today to discover the epicentre of Information Technology, Silicon Valley. Take a drive past some of the most influential computing companies and visit the Computer History Museum and NASA’s AMES Research Center.

Another option is to take a tour of prestigious Stanford University, whose famous alumni include the co-founders and CEOs of global internet giants, Google, Snapchat, Yahoo, Instagram and Hewlett-Packard.

Day 5 – Another day of IT discovery with visits to the Intel Museum, the Tech Museum of Information and time spent at the Apple Company Store. For a change of focus, why not also take a tour of the Levis Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers?

Day 6 – 7 – A day at leisure to spend as you wish before transferring back to the airport for your return flight back to the UK, arriving the following morning, UK time.

Travel Options

  • By air from London direct to San Francisco or San Jose (flight time approx. 11 hours).

Popular Visits & Excursions

San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge – Spanning the 1.7-mile gap between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, this distinctive red-orange suspension bridge connects the city with Marin County to the north and is perhaps San Francisco’s most recognisable landmark.
Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39 – A popular tourist destination on the waterfront, you’ll find a number of attractions here including shops and restaurants, the USS Pampanito, the sea lions at Pier 39 and the Aquarium of the Bay.
Alcatraz – Set offshore in the Bay and known also as ‘The Rock’, Alcatraz Island was the site of the USA’s toughest maximum-security prison from 1934 until 1963. ‘Home’ to Al Capone for a time, it’s now a popular tourist attraction and well worth a visit.
Exploratorium – Situated at Pier 15, this interactive museum brings together science, art and human perception.
California Academy of Sciences – Beautifully positioned in Golden Gate Park, this is one of the world’s largest museums of natural history, with over 26 million different specimens. There’s also an aquarium and planetarium.
Aquarium of the Bay – Home to some 20,000 animals and marine life who originate from the Bay and waters beyond including sevengill and leopard sharks, giant pacific octopus, moon jellies, sea nettles, sea stars and angel sharks.
Cable Car Museum – Home to a collection of historic cable cars, for which the city is so famous.
de Young Museum – Also situated in Golden Gate Park, the museum’s collections showcase American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, textile arts, and art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – Highlights of this museum’s collection include American 20th-century sculpture, painting, photography and multimedia installations, with works by the likes of Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock Georgia O’Keeffe on display.
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – Boasting the largest and most comprehensive collection of Asian works outside the continent, this museum offers a 6,000-year history of Asian art.
San Francisco Zoo – Home to over 1,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species.
San Francisco Movie Tour – See San Francisco locations brought to life on the silver screen, from films like Mrs Doubtfire, Princess Diaries and The Rock.
American Conservatory Theatre – Take in a student matinee performance or participate in a workshop at this famous theatre. Actors Annette Bening, Brie Larson, Denzel Washington and Elizabeth Banks all studied and performed here.

San Francisco & Silicon Valley school trip images courtesy of the San Francisco Travel Association, Keith Bellvay, Tony Webster.


Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley tour – Take a drive around Palo Alto and Mountain View, taking in the offices and headquarters of the world’s leading digital and computing corporations. You’ll see the buildings playing host to Google, Apple Inc, Hewlett Packard, LinkedIn, Snapchat and many more.
Intel Museum – Located at Intel’s HQ, this museum presents an overview of Intel’s history and products.
Computer History Museum – Situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, this museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and artefacts relating to the information age, as well as exploring the computing revolution and its impact on society.
Tech Museum of Innovation – Located in San Jose, this museum celebrates all things innovative and technological, with a collection divided into four principal sections: Communication, Exploration, Innovation and Life Tech.
Googleplex – Google HQ. Whilst entrance to the buildings is not permitted, the campus exterior can be explored. See up close the life-size T-Rex skeleton, the giant android statues and volleyball court and visit the Google merchandise store. An excellent photo opportunity!
Apple Campus – Situated in Cupertino, Apple inc’s HQ is closed to the public, however visitors can get their fix at the company store, which sells Apple equipment and souvenirs.
Stanford University tour – Take a tour of this famous university, whose famous alumni include key players in the IT and social media era including, amongst others, Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, William Hewlett and David Packard (Hewlett-Packard), Evan Speigel (Snapchat), Jawed Karim (YouTube), Kevin Systrom (Instagram) and Jerry Chih-Yuan Yang and Marissa Meyer (Yahoo).
NASA Ames Research Center – A key NASA facility, a tour of the visitor centre introduces you to some of NASA’s missions and projects.
Levis Stadium – Home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, take a tour of this stadium and the 49ers Museum.
California’s Great America – Boasting the most children’s and water rides in Northern California, this is the only theme park across the state to offer a complete water park. Planet Snoopy is pretty popular, too with the chance to see Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and other Peanuts characters.


Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – Located north of San Francisco this amusement park offers a wide variety of thrilling rollercoaster rides and animal experiences.
Old Faithful Geyser – 90 minutes north of San Francisco, this cone geyser is located in Yellowstone National Park and is one of the most predictable geothermal features on the planet.

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