My son (15 yrs old) wants to go to San Francisco with a friend (16 yrs old)? Would it be safe for them to go alone? Are there areas they should avoid? Should they not be out after dark?
When I was 15 I reckon I could've put myself in danger being left alone in my own room, never mind a different city! But I'll leave it to you to decide if you think he's mature enough to handle it. Teenagers are amazingly resilient and street smart.
The one area of SF that has a (deserved) reputation for being on the seedy side is The Tenderloin district which lies between Union Square, the Theatre district, Nob Hill and 'Little Saigon'. However, the prostitutes, drug dealers and homeless people give it a certain edginess that makes it a popular entertainment district. Not that 15 and 16 year olds will be going to sample the bars, clubs and restaurants.
Golden gate Park which is a safe place during the day is the complete opposite after dark - don't go there.
The same with The Mission District, not good after dark.... but there's nothing open at that time anyway except a few clubs.
Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf are busy with visitors day and night, so tend to be pretty safe at night.
make sure they are city smart
Phil from the safety hub about 6 years ago