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Reviews are never edited or deleted unless the content does not comply with EF and Bazaarvoice's™ terms and conditions, which prohibit the use of such things as personal information and inappropriate language. On 8/6/2013, our name changed from EF Smithsonian Student Travel to EF Explore America, thus any mention of our previous name can be considered EF Explore America.
Average Rating: (4 out of 5)
16 reviewed STEM Discovery: San Francisco
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  1. Superb STEM

    Two weeks ago I took twenty-one 10 year old students to San Francisco for the STEM Challenge Tour. It was amazing and the most fun I've had as a Tour Leader. San Francisco is beautiful in the summer and a nice change from the heat in Texas. I was apprehensive that the tour would not be appropriate for ten year olds, but they were fully engaged in every activity from the Handstand Scavenger Hunt to the Exploratorium, 3-D Imaging and Printing and learning about pitching ideas for Start-up Incubators at Plug and Play. Muir Woods was serene and breathtaking. At times we pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones by walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and driving up and down the mountains and canyons, but it is an experience we all will never forget. I can't wait to take another group back to San Francisco and do it all over again!!!
    Bronco2Raptor / Group leader
    Laredo, TX / Posted on August 13, 2018
  2. Ok, but nothing special

    Our tour group was a combination of groups from multiple states. The travel planning for all groups was poorly planned. My group was scheduled to arrive in San Francisco at 7:30am, and the last group wasn't scheduled to arrive until nearly noon. As it was we had to wait for over 4 hours at the airport between the time we arrived and the time the last group arrived. It would have been longer had our own flight not been delayed for an hour and a half... Due to this and travel times between the hotel and the first tour spot, it was so late we barely had time to visit the Golden Gate Bridge before it was dark outside, and this was one of the most anticipated parts of the trip. Also, the hotel was so far out of town there was an hour commute every morning and evening between the hotel and San Francisco. The tour of the startup incubator company was so rushed there really wasn't much time to learn anything other than how many different companies they have invested in over the years. One definite positive addition to the tour was the visit to the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens. The scavenger hunt was ok but more time was spent rushing around trying to find places rather than having a relaxed tour of the area. Overall, the tour was ok but for the significant cost I feel the trip was lackluster and disappointing.
    Venompyre / Adult traveler
    Leander, TX / Posted on July 02, 2019
  3. Amazing Trip!

    The tour guide was magnificent! All of the landmarks were amazing to see! The amount of STEM that was placed in the trip was perfect!
    Tigers / Group leader
    Whitwell, TN / Posted on June 10, 2019
  4. Travel flop

    Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this travel company. The STEM activities that were advertised were nonexistent. The travel to and from our destination was awful and ruined the entire experience. It was obvious this company is more interested in making money than providing learning experiences for students. Very disappointing!
    Schoolpsych / Adult traveler
    Hillsboro, IL / Posted on June 07, 2019
  5. San Francisco Experience

    This was a great trip for our students. The Tour Guide was top notch and very informative. I even learned things I didn't know and I lived there in the past!
    MadScientist / Adult traveler
    Springfield, IL / Posted on June 05, 2019
  6. Awesome Trip

    This is the best trip for me so far! Lots of learning and awesome sights!
    Dammy / Student traveler
    Illinois / Posted on April 01, 2019
  7. Great fun in San Fran!

    Attended the STEM trip to San Fran and had a great time. Fav parts were the Fisherman's Wharf area for shopping & eating; touring the city; Exploratorium; Muir Woods; SFMOMA; and Academy of Sciences Tour. Disliked not having more time at some of the landmark areas during the city tour; food options for dinner where not always the best and dining was pricey (was expected, though).
    1sponsor / Group leader
    Independence, MO / Posted on July 24, 2018
  8. A good time but not without some flaws

    We visited wonderful sites and enjoyed our time in San Francisco. The tour guides and driver were friendly and informative. The time schedules were kept well. Our group was given plenty of time in some sites, such as Pier 39 and the Aquarium, but not enough in other places, such as the Exploratorium and the Museum of Art. All in all, our experience was very nice.
    imr901 / Adult traveler
    Collierville, TN / Posted on July 19, 2018
  9. Challenges were Overcome by Incredible Sights

    Our trip to San Francisco included all of the major sites a person should see in San Francisco. I was impressed that we were able to get to see so much! Unfortunately, our first day/night of the trip we found out that changes to our schedule meant we wouldn't be able to do some things. We also had some confusion with what we would be able to do. Then, when we got to the hotel, rooms were not prepared properly, and keys for our rooms were given to other guests. I appreciated that this was the fault of the hotel, not our guide. Our guide was very quick to help us find another hotel that provided more trust. I appreciated his attentiveness and his making sure he contacted the home office. Still, I was concerned that the rooms had not been checked on properly before our trip by the home office personnel. The home office did not call our lead chaperone back for several days, even while things were confusing. We were given compensation for the trouble, but it was ice cream, not a real refund or contact from the home office in a timely fashion. Even with all of that happening in the first day - we were able to have some amazing experiences and the children were not negatively impacted by the hotel situation. Our visits to each site had multiple children saying that was their favorite. I felt that the trip to Autodesk was really a once in a lifetime experience, especially for the young artist or scientist. I was amazed at the quality of the places we sight saw at. I would not take a single item off the list as far as that goes. The dining and accommodation options could improve.

    I wouldn't want to miss Autodesk, Alcatraz - with the most incredible guided tour ever, or the Exploratorium. There was so much there. I just wish it could have been presented well the first couple of days. The kids didn't need to be worried they couldn't see something, or about any of what was happening that was uncertain. The tour guides can talk with the chaperones more privately about that.
    Annk / Adult traveler
    Michigan / Posted on June 29, 2018
  10. Wonderful Trip!

    My daughter and I had an amazing time in San Francisco. Our tour guide was fantastic. Our bus driver was wonderful too. Our schedule was jam packed with activities that were truly enjoyable. It was the most stress free vacation I have ever been on. I would recommend EF tours to anyone!
    JeBo / Adult traveler
    Idaho / Posted on June 28, 2018

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