Hit the Streets "Everyone is a kid in San Francisco," says Robert Reid, former U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet guidebooks. One of the coolest places for families: The Exploratorium. Its new digs on Pier 15 transformed it from a great science center into one that's truly in a league of its own. Everything is meant to be tinkered with -- from teddy bears for dissection to a fog machine to a high-end microscope ($25 for adults, $19 for kids ages 6 to 17, free for younger kids). On nearby Fisherman's Wharf, check out the river otters on Pier 39, grab a sourdough roll at Boudin Bakery, or hop the ferry over to Angel Island for terrific views of the Golden Gate Bridge -- or take a cable-car ride. When you're ready to relax, jump on a subway or a bus to Glen Canyon Park, in the Diamond Heights section of the city. "Tall eucalyptus trees provide wonderful shade for a picnic," says resident Naomi Laguana. "Pick up food at the market a few blocks away; my boys, who are 5 and 8, usually choose the pecan-crusted chicken fingers."
Hit the Sheets Consider the newly renovated Radisson Fisherman's Wharf, which has an outdoor heated pool. (Rooms with two double beds start at $249 per night. Get a 20 percent discount on stays of three nights or more with the promo code PARMAG.) For a funkier pick in Union
Sfluare, look into a Kids' Suite at Hotel Diva; your little travelers will have their own room with bunk beds, toys, a desk, and a chalkboard while you sink into your king-size bed. (These suites start at $299 per night. Mention Parents at check-in for a free goody bag for the kids and treat for you; hoteldiva.com.)