“Sole-searching” for the right walking tour?
San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau has ideas
A walking tour of San Francisco is a unique way to explore the City’s neighborhoods on a personal level, enjoying the freedom of going pedestrian and the healthy effects of fresh air and exercise. The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) offers a plethora of opportunities to enjoy the sites and sounds of the City on foot. History buffs, food connoisseurs and architectural lovers can explore these aspects of the City while learning about the rich and eclectic character of San Francisco.
San Francisco, named one the 10 Best Walking Cities in America in 2008 by Prevention magazine and the American Podiatric Medical Association, is known for its cultural diversity and distinctive neighborhoods. Delving into a neighborhood on foot and exploring its personality makes for a memorable experience.
The San Francisco Public Library sponsors City Guides, a free, comprehensive walking tour program that offers a mix of walking tours. The tours get up close and personal, exploring San Francisco’s local history, architecture and culture. Visitors are able to prowl Gold Rush streets and alleyways or visit City Hall, rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake. The program, celebrating its 30th anniversary, has more than 40 different tours year round with trained volunteer guides that share San Francisco’s vibrant history.
With its narrow streets and alleys, Chinatown is is best explored on foot, beginning at the iconic dragon-crested gate. A tour through Chinatown, the second largest in the nation, can include stops at herbal pharmacies, fortune cookie factories, and authentic Buddhist temples. Chinatown tours give visitors an intimate introduction into the mystery and integrity of the Chinese culture.
A tour of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood brings back the "summer of love," showcasing the stomping ground of artistic minds like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The beacon for hippy culture provides a canvas for a creative and animated tour. Highlights include the Psychedelic History Museum showcasing ’60s culture, period posters and photos. Nearby Golden Gate Park still pulses with drumming circles on weekends.
San Francisco is consistently regarded as one of the nation’s best food cities. With more than 5,000 restaurants, one would have to dine in a different restaurant every day for 14 consecutive years and still miss a few on the ever-growing list. San Francisco’s many foodie tours are a way to sample some of the City’s finest cuisine. From dim sum in Chinatown to fresh baked bread in North Beach, there is tour to satisfy all cravings.
Those driven by a sweet tooth can sample chocolate from well-known chocolate shops, including a stop in the City’s famed Ferry Building, as they indulge in a tour of the City’s finest chocolate boutiques.
For a jolt, take a tour that highlights the City’s best coffee stops and indulge in a cup of local "Joe." Peet’s Coffee & Tea opened it doors in Berkeley in 1966, inspiring a coffee revolution in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Learn the history of the City’s coffee roots and visit some of the cherished coffeehouses in San Francisco.
San Francisco is home to breathtaking and historic architecture, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Victorian inspired homes lining the City’s neighborhoods. Modern architecture thrives in San Francisco. The Museum of Modern Art and the new California Academy of Sciences, one of the greenest museums in the world, embody contemporary design. On the other end of the spectrum, Victorian architecture is synonymous with San Francisco. Enjoy the "painted ladies" on a tour of the of the City.
History enthusiasts can interact with the City on a number of tours that share San Francisco’s prolific past. The Barbary Coast Trail resonates with history and provides an extensive look into the City’s historical sites including the birthplace of the Gold Rush and the West Coast home of the Pony Express. Take a trip through time and become immersed in the fashionable ballrooms, mansions and cathedrals of Nob Hill.
San Francisco’s walking tour menu is diverse and distinctive. Each tour targets a specific area of the City and allows visitors to indulge in their interests. For a complete list of San Francisco walking tours, visit the SFCVB’s Web site.
For general information on hotel packages and reservations; events; activities and transportation in San Francisco, visit www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com. For lodging reservations, call 800-637-5196 within North America or 415-391-2000 elsewhere.
The San Francisco Visitors Planning Guide is available at the Visitor Information Center, 900 Market St., at the corner of Powell and Market streets, lower level, Hallidie Plaza. To receive a copy by mail, order the free visitors kit online at www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com, call 415-391-2000, write to the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, 900 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102, or send an email to email@example.com. International shipping charges will apply for requests from outside the United States. ###
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