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The Real Downtown Tour

Shortest Flattest Trek, Most Historic.

DAYS: Monday-Friday
DURATION
: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
TREK: 3+ miles
DIFFICULTY
: Easy
AGE: 8+
PRICE
: $35 – $45

EXPLORE THE CORRIDORS

On this more traditional style historic tour we’ll discover the location of buried ships from the Gold Rush era, a hidden tunnel from the Prohibition era and the Painted Ladies, the most famous survivors of the 1906 Earthquake. We also get to see modern day SF with short walks through City Hall and the Hayes Valley neighborhood. If you want to see the city our way but aren’t sure about the longer walks or the hills, and you are interested in more detailed history, this is the tour for you.

Embarcadero / SOMA

Ferry Building

Cable Car Ride

Chinatown

Barbary Coast

Financial District

Pyramid Building

Civic Center

Painted Ladies

Yerba Buena Lane

Union Square

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WHERE TO MEET

CALIFORNIA STREET
CABLE CAR TERMINUS

This Tour meets at the intersection of Market and Drumm Streets look for the clock on the pole (see photo). This clock is between the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the intersection of Market and Drumm, near a marketing kiosk. The meeting place is approximately 20 feet from the terminus of the California Street Cable Car line. It is across the street from the Wells Fargo Bank. Please do not look for 50 Drumm Street.* Tours meet 10-15 minutes prior to the published departure time. There is no office, so if you arrive early please be patient. All tours depart at the published time.

GETTING THERE

We recommend using transit to get to the start of the tour. BART and MUNI both stop at the Embarcadero Station. When you exit the train look for signs that direct you towards the Ferry Bldg. and Drumm St. The historic F line streetcars stop at Market and Drumm if you are coming from the Fisherman’s Wharf direction, or at Market and Beale if you are coming from The Castro direction. Some bus lines service this intersection such as the 21 Hayes.

PARKING

Is very difficult and expensive and driving is not recommended particularly on weekdays. Meters are enforced 24/7 along the Embarcadero. On Saturday parking is available at the Maritime Building on Clay between Front and Davis for $7.00 or $3.00 with a validated Ferry Building stamp (available at the Bay Crossings shop.

*We must use the 50 Drumm Street address online in order for Google Maps and other mapping apps to point at the right location. This is actually the address of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The meeting place is between the south side of the Hotel and Market Street. Please make sure not to wait in front of the Hotel or in the Lobby. Please do not go to the Ferry Building Clock Tower.
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SEE MORE OF SAN FRANCISCO

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INFO TO GO

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WALKING

Even though this tour is primarily flat walking, it requires walking 3 miles. This tour does not include any stops for shopping or samples.

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TRANSIT PASSES

All necessary public transportation passes are included with the purchase of this tour.

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WEATHER

Be prepared for changing weather, you will most likely experience San Francisco’s famous micro climates.

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DRESS

Please only wear comfortable closed toe walking shoes. Dress in layers.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Water
  • Light Jacket
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Kleenex
  • Snacks

FOOD

Eat a good lunch before the tour. We do make a brief snack stop along the route (snack not included).

THE REAL DOWNTOWN ROUTE

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This 4 hour tour is made of  up 4 distinct loops exploring the corridors of San Francisco’s cosmopolitan downtown districts.
The first loop begins at the California St. Cable Car and proceeds, on foot initially, through the SoMa dist, stopping to look at historic murals that tell the story of S.F.’s origins. Then across The Embarcadero for stunning views of the Bay Bridge and through the Ferry Bldg.
The second loop boards the California St. Cable Car to Grant Ave in the heart of Chinatown. We take a brief walk through this historic district before continuing to the south corner of North Beach. The Barbary Coast neighborhood is next, often overlooked, yet rich with history and modern day culture. This tour then passes through a mini redwood forest right at the base of the Pyramid bldg. We explore incredible architecture and the view from the roof of a 15 story building. A short walks takes us back to Market Street
We next head right for the heart of the downtown SoMA District passing through Yerba Buena Lane home of the Jewish Heritage museum and one of the city’s oldest church’s, St. Patricks. We take in a great view of Yerba Buena Gardens and SF MoMA on the way.We then board the city’s underground system and head to the far west end of the city center.
The final loop begins back at the surface where we walk right through City Hall and the Civic Center area. Still on foot, we continue through the Hayes Valley Neighborhood, a unique and hip blend of traditional and pop up shops, some in shipping containers.  We then board a bus for a short ride to the famous Painted Ladies in the heart of the famous Alamo Square Park Historic District. Finally we make our way back to the intersection of Powell and Market near the heart of the Union Square Shopping District.

 

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