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“Yes it is touristy, but you are a tourist!”

Barbary Coast Trail
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San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Ticket and Alcatraz Tour
Ranked #168 of 284 Tours in San Francisco
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Barbary Coast Trail is a walking path connecting 20 of San Francisco's most important historic sites. It is marked with a series of bronze medallions and arrows set in the sidewalk. We offer three ways to walk the Barbary Coast Trail: 1) printed guides available at the Visitor Information Center or can be ordered from our website 2) audio guides can be downloaded from our website 3) guided tours by appointment.
Dover, New Jersey
Level Contributor
69 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Yes it is touristy, but you are a tourist!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2013

This is the standard walking tour. You can get a map from a number of sources (do your own web search) and you can also follow street markers. Start at the SF Mint. (Please pay for parking). Oh, plan to eat in North Beach (Italian area).

Visited September 2013
Thank mghtmck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
114 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“One of the Best Tours in SF”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2013

Wow! Just....Wow!

Every day I am more I more amazed by our great city & its incredible history. If you want to learn wonderful tidbits about places you pass every day, this is the tour for you! Or if you ARE a tourist who is looking for a somewhat non-touristy thing to do, this is the event for you!

"From the days of the Gold Rush and the Barbary Coast, to the 1906 earthquake and the Beat renaissance, San Francisco's history is rich with dynamic events and storied characters" And it's so true!!!

Start it at the US Mint, right beside Powell Street Station.....wind your way around the Cable Car Stop, through Chinatown, the Financial District & North Beach on down to Fisherman's Wharf

The tour can take as long as you want - in the 3.8 miles total, you can stop in the various buildings, shops, & churches to look at even more history or just breeze on by after the description is complete

Discover plaques on the buildings I never noticed before that commemorate the great people & feats accomplished to build our great city.....and to ensure you stay on the "trail", there are bronze "compasses" embedded along the sidewalks to guide you on your way

Best part about this tour?? You can download it to your iPod & listen at your leisure.....they also include map pdfs to print at home.....it's a complete kit for only $25!! No time limits & no "tipping" the presenter at the end.....BRILLIANT!

Rainy or cold? No problem - you can pick up the tour at another day

Wanna go again? No problem as you have the details saved to remember them fondly over & over

Visited July 2013
1 Thank wanderlust s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta Ga
Level Contributor
66 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“different perspective on the city”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

We did this walk on a vist to SF and thoroughly enjoyed it. The city is extremely walkable, but this tour provided information and history. It linked diferent spots together to create a wonderful view of this city. We will wallk it again on another visit. The guide booklet is a good souvener, plus helps you keep on track. Not recommended for young children or anyone not used to walking.

Visited March 2011
Thank jal9556
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
154 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Interesting walk, a glimse of San Francisco's roots”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2011

The Barbary Coast trail follows largely along an area once famous for being a red-light district with prostitution, gambling and crime during the 1840's-50's (the Gold Rush era). I've lived in San Francisco for six years and have never walked the trail. You can find a map to download for free or purchase a guide book which has more history of the attractions along the trail at www.sfhistory.org. You start at the Old Mint building which survived the fires after the 1906 earthquake and end up at Fisherman's Wharf. You can hop on a cable car that takes you back to Union Square close to where you started. I love walking and sightseeing so this was a favorite for me.

Visited October 2011
2 Thank LarryGentry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Amazing Walk around the City”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2010

My boyfriend and I spent almost a whole day doing a walking tour of San Francisco. We bought the "Official Guilde to the Barbary Coast Trail" at the Visitors Center at Hallidie Plaza (near the Powell St. BART/MUNI station). The book has a lot of very interesting information of all types. We went into several buildings that we never would have paid attention to and saw and learned amazing things.
Our tour started at the Old US Mint and followed the bronze medalion trail to Ghiradelli Square. We then intended to take the Cable Car back to the Union Square area, but the line to get on had almost an hour wait. We mapped it out and discovered it was only a 30 minute walk back to Union Square, so we opted to walk back, getting even more of a tour of SF. We took the side trip up to Coit tower, only to find out the elevator to the top is closed for a few months for renovations, but it was still worth the stairs and extra walk. Just past Coit Tower off of Grant between Chestnut and Fransciso is a very small park called Jack Early Park. I recommend the detour up the stairs. The view from the landing is amazing and you should have the area to yourself. While in that area, listen for the parrots. We encountered a whole flock of green parrots on our way down the stairs. From what I read, they have been living in the area for years.
There are plenty of great places to stop along the way to shop, eat, take photos, or just rest and people watch. This walking trip was one of the highlights of our trip and all it cost was $9 for the book. Oh, and I think we walked a total of about 6 miles that day, some flat, some hilly.

13 Thank Vacationgirl_0707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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