Short of running rampant through sewers and subterranean tunnels with half-historian/half-rat hybrids, walking tours are the best way to really get to know the ins and outs of a city. Learn the lay of the land without mutant interference with today's Groupon: for $17, you get an Embarcadero, Food, and Fortunes tour from San Francisco Urban Adventures (a $35 value). The tour lasts approximately 3.5 to 4 hours. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
The Embarcadero, Food, and Fortunes tour packs eclectic eats, regional history, and urban sights and sounds into a culture-filled half-day for city-curious touristas. Starting at the Ferry Building Marketplace, sample California-grown farmers' market fare and gaze out over the Bay while a guide lays bare the beams of the building's architecture and history. Then, the tour weaves its way through the Financial District's stately and shark-free skyscrapers and 19th-century buildings to the beat of talk about boom and bust cycles and the gold rush. In a nearby park, you'll have the chance to hug a rotund Redwood tree and try to mentally triangulate the Transamerica Pyramid before sipping some suds in a local pub. Next, you'll sit on a stagecoach and inspect gold nuggets at an interactive gold rush museum (the museum is closed on Saturdays and Sundays) and walk by SOMA's internationally renowned art museums. The tour concludes on the lush lawn of the Yerba Buena Gardens.
Whether you're visiting San Francisco during a break from your ego-wrestling career or you're a lifelong resident looking for a chance to try out your new hydraulic calf muscles, the Embarcadero, Food, and Fortunes tour is an ideal way to learn more about the city.
You must book your reservation at least 48 hours in advance.
The best way to see a city is to travel with a local. This is the idea behind Urban Adventures, a touring company with outposts in cities around the world, including Melbourne, Beijing, and Quito. At each location, a local tour guide introduces visitors to the cities they love on day tours that may take them kayaking in Copenhagen, biking through Amsterdam, or sipping beer in Boston.
As they learn about the burg's history and hidden gems, smart visitors also incorporate Urban Adventures' Responsible Travel Code of Conduct into their travels, including learning a little of the local language and customs. Urban Adventures also recommends using public transportation, buying artisan souvenirs instead of imported items, and having a conversation with the pigeons in the park.
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, California 94111Get Directions