The Real SF Tour

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

DAYS: Monday-Saturday
DURATION:   Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Weekdays 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
TREK: 5+ miles
AGE: 12+
PRICE: $65.00


Weekdays Dec. 5, 2016 through May 1, 2017 the Real SF Tour  will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. Groups will still be limited to 10 people per tour guide.

All listed stops will still be included and we will be able to add: a second Cable Car ride, Hayes Valley, Haight Ashbury and a rooftop view. Lunch will be moved to North Beach at 12:30 p.m. The afternoon will still include extensive trekking to all the secret places, back alleys, gardens, and stairways.  

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, Fisherman’s Wharf 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. For a more traditional detailed history tour of SF, please check out our Real Metro + Downtown Tour.

Cable Car Ride

Financial District


Barbary Coast

North Beach

Macondray Lane

Lombard Street

SF Art Institute

Ghirardelli Square

Marina District

Pacific Heights

Painted Ladies


Castro District




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.


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.


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.




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.



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



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



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


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


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.




We start this amazing  tour with a ride on the Historic California St Cable Car as it rumbles through the modern and  dizzying urban canyons of  the Financial District. You’ll experience the hustle and bustle of  Chinatown as we explore back alley’s and stop for samples of tea and Fortune Cookies. A short detour takes us underground to a smugglers tunnel located in a fabled Barbary Coast burlesque.  Another short walk takes us to the heart of North Beach with its Italian charm, and sordid Beatnik past. 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 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. Down to Ghirardelli Square for a sample and a quick glimpse into the history of chocolate making as it was first automated in the 1800’s. Some great trekking follows along the waters edge at Aquatic Park and over a secret sidewalk to Fort Mason where we explore breathtaking views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts.  We head for a well deserved lunch break  catching the #22 bus in the  thriving Marina District , the site of the 1915 Worlds Fair.  Our longest bus ride is divided into to sections stopping for lunch and a short Victorian Walk in the grandeur of Pacific Heights before boarding the bus again dropping us down into the Fillmore District, the heart of the city’s live entertainment scene,  (As of May 2016 the Painted Ladies are largely unaccessible and will be unavailable for 9 months)

Why just see the city when you can live it? Experience The Real San Francisco Tour!