Victorian architecture is renowned for its stately turrets, intricate moldings, and arches held in place by repurposed corsets. Take a peek at wasp-waisted estates with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a walking tour for two from Victorian Home Walk. Tours depart at 11 a.m. daily from the corner of Powell Street and Post Street.
For more than 15 years, guide Jay Gifford has led architecture admirers through the picturesque Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow neighborhoods to admire more than 200 restored Victorian homes. Tour groups meander through ornate gardens in Pacific Heights, hanging on to Gifford’s every word as he expertly expounds upon the differences between Queen Anne, Italianate, Stick-style, and toothpick architecture. Eyes reluctantly wander from the parade of homes to take in majestic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. After negotiating the steep stairway of a lavishly decorated Queen Anne, tour members should keep watch for the star-studded cast of specters that still lurk the hallways long after the filming of Mrs. Doubtfire and Party of Five. Transportation to the Victorian neighborhoods from Union Square is included, and tours carry on rain or shine.
Victorian Home Walk
Victorian Home Walk's Jay Gifford is personally invested in the architecture he shows on his tours—after all, he's lived in a San Francisco Victorian since 1988. During his leisurely tours through the gorgeous (and mostly hill-free) neighborhood of Pacific Heights, he helps walkers soak in the elegance of more than 200 restored Victorian buildings on a street too narrow for bus tours. Besides the Golden Gate Bridge, these rows of colorful, stately Victorian homes are the most recognizable representations of San Francisco. As guests stroll through the quiet streets, they peek in at filming locations for movies such as Mrs. Doubtfire and The Princess Diaries, and gaze at homes owned by celebrities such as Francis Ford Coppola and Bill Cosby. During each 2- to 2.5-hour jaunt, Jay leads groups past verdant gardens and stunning views, while elucidating the finer points of Queen Anne, Italianate, and Stick-Style Victorian architecture.
384 Post St.
San Francisco, California 94108Get Directions