Walking Tours

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Our most recommended North Beach, San Francisco Walking Tours

North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

1. North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

Take a behind the scenes food tour of North Beach and Little Italy. Enjoy tasting great local foods, see how these culinary delights are made and meet the local artisans who make them on your guided walking tour. North Beach and Little Italy will awaken your senses. From the cafés and restaurants, to the smell of fresh-baked bread in the air. Just when you think you can't feel any more romantic you will discover quaint shops filled with incredible crafts and ceramics that will fill you with awe. Explore the life of North Beach, as we join family bakers kneading love into every loaf of bread. And just when you think that you can't be any closer to food heaven, we visit real coffee shops that fresh roast the coffee beans daily. And if that was not enough, we uncover authentic Italian cathedrals where hundreds of couples have felt their heartstrings tug. As you taste everything from cappuccinos, chocolates, breads, pastries, olive oils, specialty meats, and more, your senses and your taste buds will come alive. Every time we find another artisan crafting food handed down through generations or weaving life into handmade crafts, you'll know that you've experienced one of the places that makes San Francisco a series of ever expanding adventures. All food and drinks are included on this tour that was voted "Best City Tour" two years in a row on Citysearch. Tasting portions guarantee that you will not walk away hungry on this leisurely walking tour that strolls 7-8 flat blocks.

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San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

2. San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

Following pickup, enjoy a 30-minute tour of San Francisco's waterfront where you will see notable landmarks such as Embarcadero, Levi’s Plaza, and Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy a brief coffee break at the Ferry Building. Next, make your way to Pier 33 where you’ll board the ferry to start your Alcatraz Island tour. Listen to an audio presentation featuring recordings of inmates and guards that worked and inhabited the island.  Enjoy 2-3 hours on "The Rock" where you will have time for a guided tour and some free time to explore.  Take one of the late-morning ferries to San Francisco so you can join for the afternoon portion of your day tour. Cruise along San Francisco’s waterfront and the Marina District, and then visit the Palace of Fine Arts. Explore the culturally rich neighborhoods of San Francisco. Learn about what made the Haight-Ashbury, Mission, and Castro districts what they are today and why they’re important to so many. After a slow drive through Nob Hill and Chinatown, visit the charming Italian neighborhood of North Beach. Finally, enjoy a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and pause along the cliffs to admire the beautiful views of the “city by the bay”. Take in the spectacular beauty of Golden Gate Park before finishing your tour.

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San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

3. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

Start your tour near the Ferry Building with a view of what was once one of the busiest ports in the world. Then catch an iconic San Francisco cable car from a favorite stop and learn what makes this very unique public transport so special. Disembark atop Nob Hill and learn about the industrial tycoons who built the city as you wander through Huntington Park. Visit the beautiful gothic interior of Grace Cathedral. Enter the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia and the oldest Chinatown in North America. Taste fresh fortune cookies and see hidden landmarks like the Tin How Buddhist Temple as you learn how the neighborhood went from being a seedy red-light district to one of the most vibrant enclaves in the city. For a little treat, pop into the legendary Golden Gate Factory for an insight into the art (and logistics) of fortune cookie making. Receive a special custom-made cookie to take home. That’s not the end of the delicious snacks either - you'll also get advice on where to eat if you want to come back to try the world-famous dim sum. Then, visit Lombard Street, called the "most crooked street in the world", Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. See Fisherman’s Wharf, explore the old docks, and smell the fresh bread in the famous Boudin Bakery. Your tour will also pause at Ghirardelli Square for a sample of famous chocolate. After this, continue on to your final highlight of the day - a gorgeous bay cruise of the historic waterfront. Admire beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline in every direction and sail past the famous Pier 39 sea lions, right under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island (the closest you can get without booking a ticket). A perfect end to a San Francisco day. Effective August 20, 2021, proof of Covid-19 vaccination (over the age of 12) is required to enter sites on this tour (currently, Alcatraz does not require proof of vaccination). Everyone (over the age of 2) is required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status while indoors. For full requirements, please the San Francisco Government website.

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San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

4. San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

Explore San Francisco’s historic waterfront from the back of a self-balancing, eco-friendly Segway on this 2.5-hour tour, including a 45-50 minute training session on how to safely operate your vehicle. Your fully narrated route features spectacular views of San Francisco Bay, including Fish Alley, Fisherman's Chapel, the World War II Liberty Ship, and Submarine Pampanito. Go behind the scenes to see where the fishing industry, fleet and seafood processing are located, and catch the scent of the Dungeness crab stands in Fisherman's Wharf. Time permitting, you can take a loop through North Beach and San Francisco's Little Italy. On alternate days, a different route is taken, traveling from the Wharf area towards the Golden Gate Bridge. This loop glides through the Marina District, past the yacht harbors, and along Marina Green to the Palace of Fine Arts. Note: Please bring an extra layer of warm, resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

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Night Walking Tour of Chinatown and North Beach

5. Night Walking Tour of Chinatown and North Beach

On their own, Chinatown and North Beach stir your senses. Together, they awaken you to new flavors, new cultures, and to parts of your heart. Explore both on this unique combination walking tour. Start by exploring Chinatown by twilight, including tasting Dim Sum from one of the oldest bakeries in this vibrant neighborhood. You will delve into Chinese mysticism and culture, as you explore local sculpture and architecture and see close up how fortune cookies are made by hand. Tea is to Chinatown as North Beach is to coffee and you will sample both. You will also get the opportunity to search out authentic Chinese and Italian crafts and pottery. We will help you uncover the hidden secrets only intrepid locals know. And you'll be astonished by new finds in secret alcoves. We'll explore the "Beat Generation" of North Beach as we visit the very place where Francis Ford Coppola wrote "The Godfather" screenplay and the location where Bill Cosby and Steve Allen got their start, which has not changed at all since they performed there. Of course,you must try pizza and wine in North Beach, don't worry, we've got you covered! From wine to Dim Sum, fortune cookies, and teas, to cappuccinos in the very places where the Beat Generation started and Barbary Coast history that made San Francisco what it is began. You will feel like you've really experienced Chinatown and North Beach on this fascinating San Francisco walking tour.

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San Francisco: North Beach Food and History Walking Tour

6. San Francisco: North Beach Food and History Walking Tour

Begin your San Francisco North Beach food and history walking tour at the Columbus Tower (Sentinel Building), home to Francis Ford Coppola's and George Lucas' Zoetrope Film Studio. Meet your tour guide just right outside of Zoetrope Café. Learn about the historical and current events that helped shape San Francisco's North Beach District. Experience the exquisite murals executed by the Italian fin-de-siècle painter and illustrator Luigi Brusatori at the Saint Francis of Assisi Church. Walk along Columbus Avenue and pass all the restaurants and cafes. Arrive at Stella Pastry where you will be treated to a delicious house-made biscotti or cookie of the day with coffee or espresso. Walk to Washington Square for further exploration of San Francisco's Little Italy. Your guide will take a moment to go over the pizza options and beverage choices for the next food portion of the tour. In addition, hear stories about the Saints Peter and Paul Church. After, head towards City Lights Book Publishing Company and Jack Kerouac Alley. Admire the murals that adorn the walls of this one block alleyway that connects the tail end of Chinatown with North Beach. Before the end of the tour, spend time at one of the numerous watering holes in the area for a beer or cocktail. Take time to savor your drink while your guide summarizes the days' activities and answer any questions you may have.

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San Francisco: City Highlights Walking Tour

7. San Francisco: City Highlights Walking Tour

Get an insider’s view of San Francisco’s most vibrant downtown neighborhoods on a small-group walking tour of Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Chinatown, and Union Square. Begin your urban walking adventure by meeting your guide at the northern end of Fisherman’s Wharf. Take in views of the bay, the stunning Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz.  Find yourself at the famous former chocolate factory in Ghirardelli Square and then stroll along the waterfront as you drool over numerous stalls selling Dungeness crab and the famous clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. Make your way to Pier 39 to meet the colony of sea lions and head towards San Francisco’s Little Italy neighborhood. Soak in all the aromas from the numerous bakeries and restaurants that line the streets of North Beach.  Turn the corner and take a few steps down to a very different neighborhood, Chinatown. Marvel at the colorful facades, temples, and dragon gate and find yourself at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company where you can make your own fortune cookie. Next, enjoy a short walk through the financial district and to the Ferry Building Marketplace for a nice, leisurely lunch break. Give your feet a break as your guide takes you on the subway for a brief ride to Civic Center Plaza.  Gaze at the stunning City Hall and opulent performing arts complex. Then head to Union Square, the city’s main shopping district, and enjoy the sights and sounds of this bustling neighborhood.

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North Beach: Curated 4-Course Food Tour

8. North Beach: Curated 4-Course Food Tour

Your fully guided 3-hour tour takes you through the heart of North Beach and not only features great food but exposes you to the bawdy history of this neighborhood that was known as the Barbary Coast during the Gold Rush. On this 4-course progressive prix-fixe dining experience, you will visit 4 restaurants for two appetizers, one entree, and one dessert, with a sprinkling of culinary history and stories in between.  Enjoy authentic Italian wood-fired pizza from the oldest pizza oven on the West Coast, voted the third best pizza in the USA by People Magazine’s Pizza Search. Following this, enjoy contemporary kale chips and vegan sampler in former Amelio’s, a historic North Beach restaurant and speakeasy, host of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe’s wedding dinner. Then, taste sweet and savory local artisan agave caramel and caramel popcorn at a neighborhood gourmet food boutique. Finally, watch an Italian expert cannoli maker fill your delicate cannoli at a historic Italian bookshop turned cafe. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in North Beach, San Francisco

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What people are saying about North Beach, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 513 reviews

Great tour of Little Italy, with lots of history about the area, knowledge about the best restaurants, cafes, and delis in the area, and lots of food.

I was soo full by the end of this tour! I had Brian who was very knowledgeable and very helpful! Highly recommend taking this delicious adventure!

Isabella knows a lot about this old town Andis familiar with the Italian delicacies at the best restaurants

Lauren was very relaxed and gave us lots of interesting facts and good food

Food, food, glorious food. Interesting local insights. Good value.