San Francisco Activities

“The City by the Bay” is a beautiful mix of cultures, flavors, and styles. CISL SF students have many opportunities to explore the neighborhoods and experience the activities that encapsulate the unique sophisticated and cultured vibe of San Francisco.

San Franciscans thrive on outdoor activity, and CISL students have plenty of opportunities to participate in the fun! Stroll through a new neighborhood like Chinatown, picnic in Golden Gate Park, or participate in a local volleyball or soccer game. If you feel like staying inside, one of the city’s famous coffee shops, bookstores, or museums will entertain you for hours.

San Francisco’s prime location makes day trips to some of California’s most beautiful areas easy. Escape to nature with a trip to stunning Yosemite, taste world-renowned wines in breathtaking Napa and Sonoma Valleys, or explore charming towns like Carmel during your weekends.

CISL students are encouraged to participate in optional afternoon activities scheduled Monday through Friday. Sample activities include:

  • neighborhood walks: North Beach, Marina, The Mission
  • hiking: Muir Woods, Angel Island, and Lands End
  • indoor rock climbing
  • bicycling across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • bowling
  • beer and wine tastings
  • tours of local universities like Stanford and UC Berkeley
  • San Francisco Zoo
  • discovering Chinatown
  • beach volleyball
  • soccer
  • visits to museums like California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


CISL also offers additional weekend excursions, which provide a great opportunity to practice English with classmates and locals, to places such as:

  • Yosemite
  • Napa Valley
  • Sonoma County
  • Sausalito
  • Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur

A week in the life of a CISL SF student

What is life really like if you attend CISL San Francisco? We took a look at a typical week for a CISL SF student, complete with afterschool activities. The result? A week of culture, fun, and great food!

  • Monday

    The city is alive early as professionals make their way to work, and you are heading out with them as you go to class. You stop off at your favorite cafe for a delicious coffee and pastry before beginning your week: maybe a delicious Iced Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz or a gluten-free treat from charming Jane’s Cafe.

    English classes are of course productive and fun: you hear all about your classmates’ weekends and share the fun times you had as well. After several hours of improving your English skills inside the CISL classroom, you are ready for lunch. You and your classmates grab lunch from your favorite food truck and then head to a local park to enjoy. After lunch, you attend the indoor rock climbing activity organized by CISL. So many opportunities to take great photos! Because you have a busy week ahead, you decide to call it an early night so you’re not too tired for the upcoming fun.

  • Tuesday

    It’s baseball time! You and your friends purchase tickets to a Giants game through the CISL front desk, and the seats are great! You skip lunch because you want to fill yourself up with park food, which is actually quite impressive: it’s definitely not just hot dogs at AT&T Park! You enjoy a tasty Grilled Crab Sandwich from the Crazy Crab Wharf at the park and watch the game. Go Giants!

  • Wednesday

    It’s time to explore the city! You signed up for a free walking tour with CISL, and after school, you and many other CISL students explore the city’s vibrant Mission District. You learn all about the area’s culture and history, and then you grab some delicious Mexican food. It’s a crime to visit the Mission District without trying the Mission burrito, considering that it’s the birthplace of this delicious staple! After a tasty meal, you and the other CISL students relax in Dolores Park. You can’t wait to go on the next city tour: will it be Nob Hill? Castro? Chinatown? There are so many places to explore in this city!

  • Thursday

    Today is the day that the Farmer’s Market is held near your home, so you make sure to visit your favorite vendors and buy some fresh and local fruits, vegetables, and meats for the weekend. (Click here for a helpful guide to San Francisco’s Farmer’s Markets.) Afterwards, you and some classmates attend the CISL-organized wine tasting at the Wine Jar. You learn all about California’s incredible wines and varied wine regions . . . and meet a lot of new people in the process! Once you have sampled some of the region’s best wines, you see some live jazz music at Le Colonial.

  • Friday

    You spend the afternoon exploring the California Academy of Sciences: what an incredible place! You can’t decide which of the exhibits is more impressive: the Rainforests of the World, with a four-story rain forest you can walk through, or the Steinhart Aquarium, with over 38,000 live animals. Perhaps it is the building itself, with its green spaces and environmentally friendly “living roof,” that is the most impressive.

  • Saturday and Sunday

    You had a fun week of eating and drinking, so you dedicate the weekend to some outdoor activities. On Saturday, you spend the day exploring the Muir Woods trail. (Click here for an overview of the many hiking trails in SF!) On Sunday, you wake up early and do something you’ve always wanted to do: see a live gospel choir at Glide Church. They’re incredible! Later that morning, you take a free rooftop yoga class and then rent a bike to travel across the Golden Gate Bridge and over to Sausalito, a charming town. You did so much during this crazy week, but there is still so much more to do in San Francisco: more neighborhoods to explore, more foods to try, more museums to visit, and more experiences to have.

San Francisco Average Monthly Climate