The full 3.7-mile trail is divided into four approximately equal segments, as follows:
Part 1: Silver Strikes, Earthquakes and Lion Dancers - Market Street, Union Square, and Chinatown
From devastation to dynamic rebirth, this tour showcases San Francisco’s “rising” after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. You will learn about Union Square, which evolved from a remote sand dune to the commercial center of San Francisco; stroll down Maiden Lane; and explore the narrow streets and alleyways of the oldest Chinatown in the United States.
Part 2: Gold Rushers, Shanghaiiers and Jazz Dancers - Portsmouth Square, Jackson Square, and the Barbary Coast
From the birthplace of the Gold Rush and the village of Yerba Buena, walk Commercial Street to the original shoreline, the Pony Express headquarters site, the grave of a Gold Rush–era ship, and the Jackson Square historic district where Gold Rush and Barbary Coast–era buildings remain. Finally, visit the notorious Barbary Coast, home to shanghaiers, vigilantes, and “Terrific” Street.
Part 3: Hipsters, Paesani and Semaphore Hill - North Beach, Washington Square, and Telegraph Hill
Explore the artistic and cultural traditions of North Beach, from Italian immigrants to free-spirited Beats. Visit Washington Square in the heart of North Beach and Coit Tower, where historic Depression-era murals picture San Francisco’s tumultuous past.
Note: This portion of the tour includes steep hills and stairways. Attendees who have difficulty with hills or stairs will end their tour at Washington Square.
Part 4: Stevedores, Feluccas and Windjammers - Northern Waterfront, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Aquatic Park
Explore San Francisco’s past as a port city and cover the waterfront from the days of sail to the era of the longshoreman. Follow the Great Seawall, San Francisco’s largest public works project, to Fisherman’s Wharf, past two WWII vessels and the Hyde Street Pier, boasting the largest collection of historic ships in the United States. The tour ends at the Streamline Moderne Aquatic Park bathhouse, home to the San Francisco Maritime Museum.