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There are many ways to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. People walk it, bike it and drive it.  We chose to cross it in a 1950’s Mack Fire Engine.  I thought this would appeal to the kids and I love finding something unique to do when we travel.

The Golden Gate Bridge

Doing the tour in the fire engine ended up being the most popular activity we did in San Francisco.  The whole family loved it.  There is something very exhilarating about every member of the family having a good time.  We laughed and sang our way across the Golden Gate Bridge; not everyone who visits San Francisco can say that.

Riding in a fire engine while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge was a highlight of San Francisco

Our kids would be bored on a conventional tour but this experience worked well because it was so much fun.  How could riding around in a fire engine not be exciting?

The tour is not jam packed with facts and figures but you certainly do learn about the city and areas covered in the 75 minute drive. I do warn you though, this tour comes with mandatory singing!   Passengers are encouraged to join in songs which annoyingly get stuck in your head for the rest of the day.  It all adds to the fun and it is amazing to see grown ups doing as they are asked and joining in.

BJ was thrilled with the Fire Engine tour.

At the beginning of the trip everyone is issued with an original firemen’s jacket. BJ thought this was simply fantastic.

Riding across the Golden Gate Bridge in an open top is really something special and, as it turned out, quite social with people stopping to take photos and wave. There are lots of great kodak opportunities along the way and without windows the views are particularly spectacular.

The tour takes in the town of Sausalito but does not stop.  I highly recommend going back at some stage during your stay in San Francisco as this is a lovely coastal area with killer hamburgers from the imaginatively named shop called “Hamburgers”.  You won’t need directions to the store as you will see the queue out the door.

It can be windy on the Golden Gate Bridge.

I do warn that on a windy day you need to rug up and you will be grateful for those cumbersome fire fighter jackets.


This is a fun tour and you need to have a sense of humour to participate.

The tour is not wheelchair accessible.  We had to lift the wheelchair into the fire engine and they tied it down with occy straps. It is a big step up but BJ was so motivated he had no problem managing it . Take a look at the photos on the tour company’s  official website. The photos of the fire engine should give you a clear idea of whether you will be able to manage (we did this tour prior to having the website so I did not take my usual access photos.)  You can also check out our video on facebook

Our kids listed this as the highlight of San Francisco and we think it was a  great compromise between a serious tour and something fun for the whole family.

Take a look at the website and decide for yourself. Book ahead to avoid disappointment and make sure you advise them you have a wheelchair.

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