Photo by Jeffrey Davis/age fotostock
San Francisco City Guides
Even if you live here, exploring San Francisco's eclectic neighborhoods makes a fun day out, and with City Guides, it's also free. Founded in 1978, the nonprofit organization has more than 200 trained volunteers who lead history and architectural walking tours to a combination of tried-and-true and off-the-beaten-path locales. Interested in Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco? There's a tour for that. Art deco in the marina? Glass in architecture? Chinatown's temples and tongs? City Guides has you covered. The online schedule is chockablock with fun and informative tours. No need to make a reservation. Just turn up on time at the place designated online. Tours last one- to one-and-a-half hours. City Guides is sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library and is a San Francisco Parks Alliance partner. Though tours are free, donations are appreciated.
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See San Francisco with a Local
San Francisco is a top city to explore on foot. But doing so on your own can mean missing out on the rich history and lore it's famous for. That’s where San Francisco City Guides comes in. This nonprofit organizes a variety of free daily walking tours led by local volunteers. Each centers on a neighborhood or a theme, such as “Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco” or “Ghost Walk at City Hall.” Guides recount stories, relay historical facts, and point out architectural details to bring the city’s diverse districts to life. Some tours are offered year-round and others are seasonal, so check the group’s website for availability. Reservations aren’t required; just show up at the time and place shown on the schedule.
By Lara Takenaga, AFAR Contributor
San Francisco, CA, USA