Walking tours show off San Francisco’s best assets, all in an environmentally friendly, good-for-you kind of way. There are plenty of ways to explore the City by the Bay. Cable car tours, boat tours, and traditional bus tours can take you to the highlights, but there’s something more rewarding about embarking on a walking tour. A good guide can keep the pace suited to your style, so you can see as much or as little as you want on a tour.
Of all the icons in San Francisco, none is larger or more recognizable than the Golden Gate Bridge. It carries traffic along Highway 1 on the way to Marin County, but it’s also one of the most popular places for walking tours in the entire city. Pedestrians and bikers have their own lane to cross the world-famous landmark, and plenty of local guides are available to lead this walk.
At the surrounding Golden Gate National Recreational Area, park rangers lead walking tours of the lovely land in the shadow of the bridge. The entire park hugs more than 60 miles of the California coast, so there are plenty of places on the explore on foot. Whether you’re interested in nature, history, or a mix of both, it’s not hard to find a tour that suits your style.
Another place where history meets nature, Angel Island provides a popular place for walking tours. Now a state park, Angel Island overlooks some spectacular scenery, the Marin Headlands and the Mount Tamalpais included. On a walking tour, a guide will tell you about the history and singular story of the island that played a pivotal role in the Civil War and was an immigration station and internment camp during World War II. Its current history is now more happy. It’s a popular place for tours by foot, bicycle or Segway.
Other walking tours will bring you through San Francisco’s top neighborhoods — The Haight, Balboa Park, and Chinatown, each with a story to tell. Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghiariadelli Square and PIER 39 also host walking tours among their shops and attractions.