Go with a Guide
By jack.flynn on Sep 16, 2008
San Francisco Walking Tours
Today we welcome Daniel Bacon of Barbary Coast Trail. Many agree that San Francisco is best experienced on foot; and guided walking tours are a great way to explore the many layers of history that make up the fabric of our city. Thanks Daniel for your guided tour of guided tours.
When my eyes need a break from that LCD screen and my lungs need to breathe in some fresh air, and I want to stretch my legs and see a bit of the town, I go for a walk. San Francisco was just voted the best walking city in America and there are numerous ways to biped along the streets and alleys to get a flavor of this old Gold Rush town. Of course, you can just follow your nose and wander like a gypsy. Thoroughfares such as Valencia Street in the Mission, Grant Avenue in North Beach, and Haight Street in the Haight offer endless fascinations for the intrepid wanderer.
But if you're up for a journey that combines walking with a running commentary, a walking tour is just the ticket. The advantage is that instead of looking at a building and thinking "that's a cool Edwardian," you might also discover that it was once a "French" brothel where young blades were introduced to lovemaking in the European style—or at least that's what the Madame claimed. Or you might be taken to a pastry shop that makes Italian cannoli every bit as good as in Florence. Or an Asian temple that was the very first one in North America.
Walking tours come in multiple flavors these days. There are guided tours with a group. Printed guides for those who prefer to go it alone or with a friend. And audio tours downloaded from the Web. Here is a small sample:
Barbary Coast Trail
Guided tours by appointment.
Printed guides available from the Web and at various SF bookstores.
Audio tours are available.
Guided tours of Chinatown focusing on culinary delights.
San Francisco City Guides
Guided tours of numerous SF neighborhoods.
Victorian Home Walk
Guide tours of the city's architectural gems.