WHAT IS REAL SAN FRANCISCO TOURS?
Our guests are interested, curious people who want a real experience of San Francisco. That’s why we offer bicycle and walking tours and use the metro, it’s the best way to see and learn about the city, as well as being the most eco-friendly. Anyway, who doesn’t want to see SF by cable car, exploring cool neighborhoods with their own guide? We guarantee our San Francisco tours are an experience you’ll never forget. This is what we do:
SF in a Day Tour: We take you places that no one else does, traversing the city by cable car, rail and bus as we visit downtown, Nob Hill, City Hall, Hayes Valley, Castro, Haight-Ashbury, Painted Ladies, Lombard Street, North Beach and Chinatown. If you really want to get to know SF, this is the only way to do it (10am daily).
Half-Day SF City Highlights Tour: Explore some of the best parts of the city. Taking the cable car up to Nob Hill, then down to City Hall and Hayes Valley. Stroll through Castro, before ending the tour in Haight-Ashbury, a perfect spot for lunch (10am daily).
The Real San Francisco Bike Tour: See the historic parts of SF, visit City Hall & pass through beautiful neighborhoods, before getting some of he best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, all from the seat of your bike. Have lunch at Fisherman's Wharf (10am daily).
SF: Food + History + Art Tour: Learn all about how the city was founded, view some amazing public murals and street art and eat some of the best food in California (midday Sunday).
Icons of SF Tour: Visit the most famous places and picturesque neighborhoods in San Francisco after lunch. See Painted Ladies, Lombard St, North Beach, Chinatown & more (3.30pm daily).
Notorious SF: Ghost & Crime Tour: Go back in time to visit the sites of old Hollywood scandals, red-light districts, opium dens, gambling dives and Gold Rush era lynchings (6pm Saturday).
All of our experiences can be booked as private tours.
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I love travel. In the past there was nothing I enjoyed more than visiting a city and getting lost wandering its streets. However, during a trip to Europe in 2012, I discovered a guided walking tour and realized that it’s a much better experience. I got a quick history lesson, saw most of the best sights and was able to ask all the vital questions I had (like where to have lunch) from a local expert. It was the highlight of my trip and I began doing walking tours in every city I visited.
Returning home, to Los Angeles, I looked for a walking tour there, but all I found were bus tours of Beverly Hills, which isn’t where the “stars” live nowadays, and Rodeo Drive, where locals like me never go. So I decided to start a new company, The Real Los Angeles Tours, offering totally different tours - ones that would allow both visitors AND Angelenos to properly experience LA and learn its fascinating history. We opened in 2013 and we've been awarded multiple TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame awards, in recognition of hundreds of five-star reviews.
I'm often in the Bay Area and it seemed that there was an opening to create more authentic tours here too, that would delve more deeply into SF than the typical tour itinerary of Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge. So, in 2020, Real San Francisco Tours launched. Our mission is to give you an entertaining and authentic experience of San Francisco culture and history. Join us on a tour and we promise you'll really get to know this amazing city, whether you're a visitor or a local.
- Damien, founder of Real San Francisco Tours
I discovered early on that I love showing people around. For a long time I was a tour guide for historical and architectural societies as a hobby, but 15 years ago I decided to leave my corporate job and lead tours full time. It was the best decision of my life! Sharing the incredible beauty and history of San Francisco with visitors and locals is a privilege and pleasure! In fact, I gained so much experience that I recently published a “tour guide’s guide to San Francisco,” a training manual for SF guides that’s already become very popular.
At high school in Sacramento I read everything Californian John Steinbeck wrote. Then I pursued a nomadic Steinbeckian life for two years. After military service and university here and in Germany, I got into tour guiding. I’ve conducted tours in 48 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. I enjoy the “close to the ground” intimacy of walking tours. San Francisco offers so much to share; geology, topography, history, politics, prose, poetry, art, music and the stories of so many unique characters. It’s what I do and I love it!
I’ve been a working poet for forty years, which definitely feels like an achievement in and of itself. My latest full length collection is Roshi: San Francisco (published by Norfolk Press). Something to Be, which is on the subject of work, is out soon (from Pski Porch), and a historical novel is on the way. I live with my wife, the activist Joan Juster. In between writing I’ve been showing people around San Francisco for more than a decade. I really love surprising guests with a different side of the city than they expect.
I’m that rare breed – someone living in San Francisco who was born and raised here. I was a History Major at UC Berkeley and since leaving I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively. Ironically, one thing those vacations made me realize is that my hometown is a great place to visit too. San Francisco is a city of such distinct neighborhoods, each with its own charms, it’s unique. I’ve worked as a tour guide for many years and I love meeting fellow travelers from all over the world, sharing my passion for this amazing city.
I’m from the UK and I majored in History at the University of London. Travel is one of my main passions and I lived in Germany, Spain and Australia, before moving to California. Since then it’s become home and I love it. In 2013 I founded The Real Los Angeles Tours, bringing walking, bicycling and metro tours, focused on history, culture, architecture and food, to L.A. I’ve always loved San Francisco and I wanted to bring the same kinds of tours here too, so I’m very happy that I’ve been able to fulfill that dream.
Got Questions about San Francisco or California?
If you’re a visitor looking for specific information related to your trip here, such as fun things to do in San Francisco, cool places to go to in California or activities to do here with your kids, be sure to check S.F.Info. We also have general information about the U.S., including answering that most vital of all questions for foreign visitors: when and how much should I tip?
The San Francisco Scoop is designed by us to take you inside SF whether you’re visiting or you live here. From current-affairs inspired articles on California’s history (such as the Fatty Arbuckle Scandal), to our suggestions on the best events being held in San Francisco every month, via inside information on authentic and fun SF experiences, we give you the essential scoop on the city by the bay.
Whatever your questions about SF, we have the answers.