Friday, 30 June 2017

Walking Tours of San Francisco

I stayed in San Francisco as a guest of Railbookers.com and San Francisco Travel, and paid my own airfare to the USA.

When I visited San Francisco in 2015,  I joined some great (and quirky) tours, and researched several others. Here's a list for you to consider the next time you're heading to SF...


North Beach Underground. Covering the Kerouac trail in the neighbourhood most closely associated with the Beat Poets. The tour visits the Beat Museum but also expands to take in the district's rough-and tumble history, from the 19th century Sydney Ducks gang to the illicit pleasures of the Prohibition era. See walksftours.com. [Note: I wrote an article about this tour for The Age.]


Emperor Norton’s Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine. Fun tour of memorable and unusual moments in the city's history, led by a guide impersonating one of its greatest eccentrics. See emperornortontour.com.

Mural Tour. Learn about the murals of the Mission district covering six blocks from Balmy Alley, in the company of an experienced muralist. See precitaeyes.org.

Chinatown Alleyway Tour. Walk through the back streets of this vibrant neighbourhood, hearing about the trials and triumphs of the city’s Chinese community. See chinatownalleywaytours.org.

Haight-Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour. Set the controls for the 1960s in this tour of the hippie-era hub, epicentre of the Summer of Love. See haightashburytour.com.

Gold & Guns in Downtown SF. Take a journey back to the rough-and-tumble gold rush era, when San Francisco’s waterfront was dodgy and dangerous. Includes cocktails. See walksftours.com.

And finally, finish your tour day with the fun of Beach Blanket Babylon, the long-running satirical musical revue staged in North Beach. Here's my report on the big-hatted fun.