Date(s) - 05/13/2023
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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On our Notorious SF: Scandal and Crime tour we visit the sites of old Hollywood scandals, red light districts, opium dens, gang violence, Gold Rush era lynchings and kidnappings – and enjoy cocktails in one or two historic bars.

We start with the Fatty Arbuckle affair at the St Francis, the original sex scandal that changed the public’s perception of celebrity forever (and lead to the ‘morality clause’ in contracts). Then we stroll down Maiden Lane, which is lined with designer boutiques now, but a hundred years ago was the city’s main red light district. After that we visit Chinatown, which was the site of opium dens and gambling hellholes in days gone by. Next you’ll learn about Gold Rush era SF, as things got so out of hand that public lynchings were held on Portsmouth Square. Then we dive down to Barbary Coast San Francisco, with its brothels and dance halls, often used to Shanghai unwary sailors (which is where the term originated). We end the tour at the oldest continuously operating bar in San Francisco, the Old Ship Saloon, which dates all the way back to the 1850’s. Join our Notorious SF: Scandal & Crime tour and be haunted by these ghastly ghosts from San Francisco’s past for weeks!

Our tours can sell out. If you can’t make a booking email [email protected], telling us when you want to go and how many guests are in your party. If we can squeeze you in we’ll let you know.


*Cost: $50 pp.

*Walking Distance: 2 miles.

*Tour starts 6 pm, Union Square, opposite St Francis Hotel (meeting point photo).

*Tour finishes 9 pm, Old Ship Saloon.

*We can go into two different bars for cocktails on this tour, each for about 15 minutes. You do have to be over 21 y.o. to order an alcoholic drink – but you don’t have to be over 21 y.o. to do this tour.

*We donate $1 for every guest to Climate Cents, a climate change organization.


This tour is in English. If your English isn’t fluent this may not be the best option for you. We do not offer this tour in any other language at this time.

This is a walking tour and we move at a reasonable pace. If you have mobility issues please book a private tour.

Drinks are not included.

This tour is not recommended for children under 15 y.o.

We never cancel tours in advance due to the weather conditions. Be sure to wear warm clothing, nights are usually cool in SF.

Aim to get to the meeting point 10-15 minutes early. If you’re late you may miss the tour.

Contactless payment for gratuities available, please allow 15-20%.

Full refund or exchange available up to 48 hours before tour start time.

You must book in advance.


After making a booking you’ll receive an automatic confirmation email (separate from the receipt). If you don’t see the email in your inbox please check your junk mailbox.


Bookings are closed. Please email us at [email protected] to enquire if we can fit you onto the tour.