Monday, May 19, 2014

Walking Tour in San Francisco

Union Square
It's quite funny that despite this blog theme being San Francisco Bay Area, I have not posted anything about San Francisco! Time to change that now. Last week, I decided to explore some of the popular neighborhoods in SF through a walking tour. Similar to the one I took in Seattle, this one was very informative, fun and gave me an insight into the history and culture of San Francisco.

The tour was called 'The Whole Shebang tour' and was conducted by Foot! I discovered it through an offer on which helped me save money. The tour started at Huntington Park in Nob Hill at 11.15am. My friend Anu and I took the Caltrain from Santa Clara station at 8.45am and reached SF station at 10am. Right outside the station, there is a bus stop for Bus 30 which dropped us two blocks away from our destination.

Kurt, our tour guide was very funny, knowledgeable and friendly. He told us about the important personalities that shaped and influenced the city, cable cars, rail roads, Gold rush, the devastating earthquakes and ensuing fires in 1906, eccentric characters like Emperor Norton, buildings that survived the fires and those that were rebuilt. We also saw some spots where scenes of the movie 'Vertigo' were shot. He took us through the Fairmont Hotel and The Westin St Francis Hotel to see the architecture and relayed some interesting stories.

From Nob hill, we walked to Chinatown and saw the main entrance of Chinatown, old temples, Fortune cookie factory and also got to taste some yummy dimsums in one of the local restaurants. From there, we continued towards Union Square followed by a walk through North beach-the Italian neighborhood.

In front of Chinatown entrance

The tour ended at Washington park after 3 hours and walking 30 blocks. Apart from all the information, the tour also had trivia quizzes with prizes which added to the fun. Overall it was time well spent! I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to get a taste of SF's uniqueness and rich culture.

Church near Washington Park