A walking tour acquaints you with the city around you, helping you avoid disaster during future scavenger hunts and upcoming bouts of amnesia. Today’s Groupon gets you two and a half hours of steps closer: for $25, you get a tour for two from Victorian Home Walk (a $50 value). For 15 years, Jay Gifford has been guiding visitors on walking tours of San Francisco's best architectural landmarks in an effort to educate the curious and the footed about these hard-to-access Victorian homes. Over the course of two and a half hours, tour groups will get to see more than 200 Victorian homes in the Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow neighborhoods, including famous manses such as the Mrs. Doubtfire house, which is actually a small shed that requires over 16 hours of make up and prosthetics to transform into a beautiful 3 story home. Tour-goers will learn to differentiate between Queen Anne, Italianate, and Stick-Style forms of architecture before the end-of-tour. Jay will also usher his weary-legged posse inside a local home to marvel at the ornate tapestries and posh interior of a Queen Anne–style home. Along the way, those with a camera can greedily capture moments in time as the group passes spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, home to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The tour begins at Union Square every day at 11am, rain or shine or haze, and municipal bus transportation will be provided roundtrip from Union Square / Pacific Heights.
- This was an excellent walk and worth every penny… We saw hundreds of houses and learned a bit about a good number of them, including a lot of SF history before and after the era covered on the tour. – cyraxote, TripAdvisor
- Tour guide was very knowledgeable, friendly, courteous. Tour was about 2 1/2 hours, nearly all flat walking, and worth every penny of the $25 charge. Highly recommended. – Larry E., Yelp
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.