The Real SF Tour

This is our signature tour; the one that started it all.

DAYS: Monday-Saturday
DURATION:   M-F 8:30 a.m.-4:15, Sat 9:30 a.m.-5:15
TREK: 5+ miles
DIFFICULTY: Moderate
AGE: 15-65. No strollers. No infants.
PRICE: $69.00

THE WALKING TOUR THAT SAYS IT ALL

10 People per tour guide max.

The Real SF Tour is a California style, all day trek that takes you through 11 of the city’s coolest neighborhoods on Cable Cars, Buses, Muni Metro, and Bart. This incredible tour combines stops at secret spots, enchanted gardens and back alleys with unique views of Alcatraz, The Waterfront, and the Golden Gate Bridge. This is the tour everybody is raving about on Trip Advisor. This tour is offered as an overview of the culture, neighborhoods and history of SF. If you are only interested in the transit portion of the tour please see The Metro Sightseeing Tour, which is only the first portion of the day on transit.

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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.

INFO TO GO

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WALKING

You must be able to walk 4 separate uphill 1.5 block sections. There are also a total of 6 uphill and 15 downhill flights of stairs throughout the day. This tour will meet or exceed your doctor’s recommendation to walk every day. The day encompasses over 5 miles of walking including short uphill sections and hidden stairways that most people find extremely enjoyable.

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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
  • Lunch Money
  • Snacks

FOOD

Eat a good breakfast. We make a snack stop around 11:00 (not included). Lunch (not included) is around 2:00 p.m. Food and drink are not allowed on the Cable Car.

 

THE REAL SF ROUTE

This tour utilizes the city’s Metro Transit System and trekking for a whole day of unbelievable sightseeing, exploring and discovery. We begin with a ride on the California Cable Car that takes us through the Financial District and Chinatown up to the top of Nob Hill. We take a very brief photo stop of Grace Cathedral and the only remaining pre earthquake mansion, and the recently unveiled statue of Tony Bennet. We take a brief walk past the Fairmont Hotel as we make our way down the hill to Union Square on the second Cable Car ride of the tour. We see many  popular icons along the way. When we reach Market st. its a quick switch to the F-Line streetcar where pass through the mysterious and often challenging Tenderloin Dist. We continue to the Civic Center for views of City Hall and the Opera Plaza, which includes a brand new Veterans Memorial. We stroll past Davies Symphony Hall on the way to our morning break in Hayes Valley, an upscale neighborhood known for its amazing food, fashion and art. From there its underground we go, on the Muni Metro to the famous Castro District where the colors of the rainbow abound. from the Castro we will continue on surface streets, using one of the city’s most scenic bus lines to arrive at the Haight Ashbury then after a short stroll it’s on to the World Famous Painted Ladies at Alamo Square, and the Nopa district (one of the city’s emerging neighborhoods). As we make our way through Presidio Heights on the way to Pacific Heights you will be amazed at the sheer number of Victorians we view. By the time we get off the Bus in Billionaires Row you will understand why the locals tell you that the most amazing victorians are not in Alamo Square. The short walk through “The Row” to Mrs Doubtfire’s house can only be described as breathtaking. After a quick photo-op, we will find an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge (partial), then its back on the bus to the heart of the Cow Hollow/Marina district where we can grab lunch. We get nearest to the water, at Ghirardelli Square, as we stop briefly, on the way to  Washington Square in North Beach where the tour turns to trekking. A short bus ride up Russian Hill reveals Victorian charm and spectacular views from the enchanted terraces and hidden gardens famous as the setting of the Tales of the City series. We will  also explore breathtaking views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts from this amazing neighborhood.  We explain the reasons for the curves as we wind down Lombard Street on foot, on the way to see the only publicly accessible Diego Rivera Mural in the city and a spectacular rooftop view. The day ends as we make our way through the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, explore back alley’s, and stop for samples of Fortune Cookies. A short detour takes us through the fabled Barbary Coast, now renovated,  it can truly be described as San Francisco’s SOHO. The city gives up a few more secrets as we make our way through often overlooked corridors of the financial district.
 Why just see the city when you can live it? Experience The Real San Francisco Tour!

Click on a marker for highlight details

Map Data
Map data ©2017 Google
Map DataMap data ©2017 Google
Map data ©2017 Google
List of highlights

Tour Start
Nob Hill
Union Square
Civic Center
Hayes Valley

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