Barbary coast

The Unique San Francisco Tour

What's in our tour?

The tiny territory through North Beach, Little Italy and the Barbary Coast is the nexus of what is so unique to San Francisco – romantic cityscapes, “left coast culture”, sexual liberation, and Californian cuisine.

On this walk you will meet SF legends of yesterday and today: Robin Williams, President Grant and General Sherman, ‘Silicon Sally,’ Carol Doda, Joe DiMaggio, the Lusty Ladies, Mark Twain and even a mortuary noted for its band (we are not making this stuff up!).


  • Portsmouth square – flying Old Glory for the first time
  • ‘Godfather territory’ – Francis Ford Coppola’s movie studio
  • Pre-earthquake buildings and the old San Francisco
  • Gold Street, the great Gold Rush and the very old San Francisco
  • The private tunnel for smuggling immigrants and opium
  • Transamerica Pyramid and the Coit Tower
  • Where Jack Kerouac and the CIA did drugs – together
  • Vesuvio and City Lights– the nexus of Beatnik culture

Where and when?

Tours starts by reservation and last a leisurely 90 minutes.
We meet at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid, at the end of Columbus Avenue (on the corner of Washington and Montgomery)
This tour ends near Washington Square Park.

Why take this tour?

With this tour with a real San Franciscan, gain a better insight into all – the good and the bad – that America has gotten from San Francisco.

On our tours you will feel the difference. Our native City Guides know what it’s like to live in San Francisco, are eager to take you around their favorite neighborhoods and glad to give you personal insights into life in our city – where to go out, shop, drink, dine and experience the city.

An hour with a Discover Walks guide is like strolling around with a new friend. Your native guide also uncovers secrets of the fashion world, and shares insider’s insights and tips for shopping, eating or playing around Paris.


In winter, our private tours are only $90 for groups, and only $70 for parties up to 4 persons!

Privatize this tour

Groups of friends, families, and school groups looking for an opportunity to share private time together often reserve a private guide.

This is where you come first – and we cater to your interests and to your group.

$90 – All inclusive, 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Other information

This tour is wheelchair accessible.


at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid
at the end of Columbus Avenue (Washington and Montgomery)


Private tour by reservation