Like maps, tour guides possess a wealth of city-specific information, prevent tourists from getting lost, and easily fold up to fit in carry-on luggage. Unfurl guided fun with today's Groupon: for $49, you get a two-hour, narrated, GPS-guided tour for one or two from GoCar Tours (an $98 value). Rental locations are in Fisherman's Wharf West, Fisherman's Wharf East, and Union Square.
GoCars are little, sunshine-yellow storytelling cars, acting as magic transport eggs by safely cradling up to two passengers (aged 5 and older) through a narrated, GPS-guided tour of San Francisco’s hot spots. GoCars navigate the city’s hills and curves, describing the significance of historic sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point, a 150-year old military fort that witnessed the Civil War and World War II without firing a shot, and the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, whose intricate exterior boasts a swan-filled lake, a gorgeous rotunda, and etchings of Arnold Schwarzenegger in repose. Adventurers can choose from four different narrated tour routes: downtown San Francisco and Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge and Back, Golden Gate Park and More, and San Francisco Full Day. Though these tours vary in duration, this Groupon covers only two tours of driving time.
Multilingual GoCars are fluent in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German thanks to engineers devising a way to fit five translators into the vehicle's carburetor. These copilot cars invite tour-goers to make detours and food stops, giving riders the freedom to shape their own tour according to their camera wants, appetites, and traveling intuition. GoCars cannot climb some of San Francisco’s steepest streets, so GPS systems steer carts on routes that they can handle.
Even before you climb inside, the GoCar is clearly a car with a personality. The petite, three-wheeled two-seater has a hood that slightly resembles an eager-to-please smiley face, and an open top that seems custom-made for letting the breeze ruffle your hair. Then the real fun begins: built with the company's own software and a compassion for the voiceless robots of America, a talking GPS system guides two-seater GoCars through the city streets of San Francisco, San Diego, Miami, Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon with cheerful, info-rich narration. Second only to having a knowledgeable local jog alongside your minivan, tours zip along at drivers' own pace and accommodate as many pit stops as time allows.