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“How crazy guy makes good” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine

Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine
Union Square, under the statue, San Francisco, CA
(415) 644-8513
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Ranked #33 of 393 Activities in San Francisco
Type: Walking tours, Sightseeing Tours
Attraction details
Sacramento, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“How crazy guy makes good”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Emperor Norton was/is a crazy guy. In the 1860, he was quite a character and his spirit lives in this alter ego tour guy of 2013. Norton shares great city secrets (POPAS, underground tunnel in Hippodrome, indoor art) in a quick paced, entertaining walk. Thanks for a great day Norton.

Visited October 2013
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71 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Shanghai, China
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beyond expectations; Worthy tour in San Francisco”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Emperor Norton is very knowledgeable and open-mind to any question. He has enthusiasm of the city and the people. If you just look around the streets and building, you can't imagine the historical stories in behind. Emperor Norton's tour is definitely a must go choice for any tourists.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A Glimpse into San Francisco's Fascinating Past”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

Just spent a wonderful afternoon with His Excellency, Emperor Norton I, who transported us back to his time in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1800's, prior to the infamous 1906 earthquake. We were a group of 7 friends from Marin, San Jose and the East Bay, who rendez-vous'd in Union Square to celebrate two birthdays with this informative tour, which was followed by an early dinner in North Beach. What a unique and fun way to spend the day!!! Despite the fact that many of us have lived in the Bay Area for years, we all were fascinated by our guide dressed in character and steeped in knowledge of historical facts and trivia associated with various parts of the City. The walk was easy (no steep hills) and the experience very memorable. Great for tourists and locals!

Visited October 2013
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1 review
“Truly delightful and educational experience.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013 via mobile

A must do to experience eccentric and rich cultural heritage of one of the world's great cities. The Emperor was full of fun facts of madness, murder, disaster, and intrigue. One of the best tours I've been on.

Visited September 2013
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Santa Clarita, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A truly insightful few hours”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

I found this tour on Groupon, confirmed the quality on Yelp, and it did not disappoint. Emperor Norton is passionate about his city's history and is eager to share with visitors. We saw a number of notable architectural highlights, visited several landmarks, and learned some interesting facts about San Francisco's history along the way. My favorites were the St. Francis Hotel, Lotta's Fountain, and Chinatown. Interesting to learn that the real Emperor Norton was such a champion for marginalized populations. We even saw a local opera performer sing an aria along the streets of San Francisco. I also appreciated that we stopped several times along the way in shaded and indoor areas: we were enjoying sunny weather during our visit. My children, 8 and 6, also enjoyed the tour. I must note that the tour no longer visits the secret underground tunnel that I read so much about; that was a bit disappointing. But Emperor Norton really kept the tour interesting otherwise, and even with a ton of road work I caught *most* of what he said (our group was rather large and we often ended up at the back of it). If you plan on visiting San Francisco, I recommend getting the Groupon and taking the tour.

Visited June 2013
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