Wild Wes Wild Wes

Wild SF Walking Tours

We’re Wild SF. Our San Francisco walking tours are alternative tours of SF’s most iconic neighborhoods, led by passionate local artist-guides.

We want to deliver the most entertaining history lesson ever, sharing the stories of the inspiring heroes, epic buildings and radical social history that define San Francisco, as seen through the locals’ eyes.


Tours Embedded Schedule

Please note: We limit to parties of 6 or less. For groups of 7+, book a private tour.

For other questions,
Email us at info@wildsftours.com or call 415-580-1849

Also, gift cards are available here:

Wild SF Walking Tours


schedules

The Classic SF Route

$36 $30 Downtown + Chinatown
Tours Embedded Schedule to see location & calendar.
Lasts 10:30am-3pm.

The Classic SF shows off the best of San Francisco’s origins and rise as the Gold Rush metropolis, home to the crazed, the wealthy and the inspirational. Hear how this overnight city began, and what it’s become today. In Chinatown, hear tales of revolutionary leaders, the Great Earthquake of 1906, bizarre architecture and fortune cookies in a vibrant community often visited by tourists, yet rarely understood.

What we see:

  • Transamerica Pyramid, SF’s tallest structure
  • Fortune Cookie factory
  • Union Square and the St. Francis Hotel
  • Maiden Lane, the Red Light District
  • Chinatown Dragon Gate
  • Portsmouth Square, Chinatown’s “living room”
  • Photogenic alleys (from Indiana Jones & Pursuit of Happyness)
  • Tin How Temple, first Chinese temple in America
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral, oldest on West Coast
  • Site of first Cable Car line
  • Painted balconies of Waverly Place
  • Golden Dragon Massacre location in Chinatown
  • Former home of eccentric Emperor Norton
  • Site of buried Gold Rush ships
  • Plus a few cool surprises!

Or book tours individually...

$18 Part I of Classic SF Combo (90 minutes)
Tours Embedded Scheduleto see location & calendar.

Downtown is our introduction to SF, and explores its origins and rise as a world-class city. With riveting tales of the heroes and villains who defined a Gold Rush town, trace their old steps from Union Square, and visit where the cable car ran, and the Transamerica Pyramid stands.

$18 Part II of Classic SF Combo (90 minutes)
Tours Embedded Schedule to see location & calendar.

Our most popular tour: a people’s history of Chinatown. Venture through back alleys and beyond the tourist trap, and learn how the oldest Chinese community in America overcame Gold Rush discrimination to prevail as a tenacious and extraordinary neighborhood.

Also check out...

$18 (120 minutes)
Tours Embedded Schedule to see location & calendar.


Armed with a mini-guitar, your witty troubadour and historian-guide shares tales of Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Hell’s Angels, the Diggers, Ken Kesey’s Acid Tests, the Summer of Love, and the psychedelic substances that rocked a conservative America into a technicolor wonderland. (Note: if raining, no guitar/music.)

What we see:

  • The Grateful Dead’s hallowed psychedelic home
  • Rock goddess Janis Joplin’s pink apartment
  • Panhandle Park, hippie haven and concert grounds
  • Famed Haight and Ashbury intersection
  • Tie-dyed street art of 1960’s Summer of Love
  • Soup kitchen for activist group the Diggers
  • Cult mastermind Charles Manson’s psychotic estate
  • Plus a few cool surprises!

The Radical SF Route

$36 $30 The Castro + Mission District
Tours Embedded Schedule to see location & calendar.
Lasts 10:30am-3pm.

Explore the social movements and hip neighborhoods that shaped San Francisco into the city it is today. You will visit ground zero for Harvey Milk’s gay civil rights movement, see stunning political street art, and understand how feminists, Latinos, artists and activists have fought, and continue to fight, for the soul of SF. This tour is great for new locals and those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.

What we see:

  • Harvey Milk Plaza, the Castro’s protest grounds
  • Castro’s most historic and popular bars and nightlife
  • GLBT Museum, 1st stand-alone queer museum
  • Castro Theatre, Art Deco masterpiece
  • Harvey Milk’s camera store & apartment
  • The Human Rights Campaign Store
  • Pink Triangle Holocaust Memorial
  • Sweeping downtown view from Dolores Park
  • Mission High School, alma mater of Santana and Maya Angelou
  • Gourmet foodie corridor of 18th Street
  • Massive murals of the Women’s Building and alleyways
  • Sites of former lesbian institutions
  • Good Vibrations, first female-owned sex shop
  • Old Spanish Mission, the Bay Area’s oldest structure
  • Plus a few cool surprises!

$18 Part I of Radical SF Combo (90 minutes)
Book Now to see location & calendar.

In 1970's San Francisco, America listened as gay rights activists demanded equality. Learn about how the Castro became America's first "gayborhood," a colorful and magical place for all who identify as LGBTQQIAAPT (don't worry, we'll explain).

$18 Part II of Radical SF Combo (120 minutes)
Book Now to see location & calendar.

The coolest neighborhood in town is a cultural battlefield--a do-it-yourself story with independent shops, unwavering murals, innovative restaurants, radical activism, Latino heritage and the oldest history in the Bay.


$14 (60 minutes)
Book Now to see location & calendar.

A macabre and murderous tour through downtown and the Tenderloin. Get creeped out by after-dark tales of mysterious deaths, scandalous murders, ruthless cult leaders, the old red light district, famed ghosts, assassins and more. Meets near Union Square. Not recommended for children.

What we see:

  • St. Francis Hotel, nefarious Hollywood deaths
  • Pinecrest Diner and the “poached eggs” murder
  • Curran Theater, haunted playhouse
  • The “suicide alley” of 1911
  • Tenderloin District, underbelly of SF crime
  • Glide Memorial Church, connected to cult leader Jim Jones
  • Site of Tessie Wall’s notorious brothel


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faq

WILL YOU BE OFFERING TOURS ON ___ DATE? I DON'T SEE IT ON THE WEBSITE.

Probably! We offer tours year-round, rain or shine. Booking opens at least 1 month in advance, so if your date isn't offered yet, please be patient and check back :)

WHERE DOES THE TOUR START AND END?

You must book online before the tour, and the exact location will be sent to you via email. Each neighborhood tour starts in its district (Downtown/Haunted are near Union Square; Mission near Dolores Park; Castro near Castro and Market; Haight near Haight-Ashbury; Chinatown near Portsmouth Square).

DO YOU OFFER REFUNDS?

Yes--if you need to change your reservation or receive a refund, you must email us at least 24 hours before the tour.

IS THERE A MIN/MAX TOUR SIZE?

Minimum group size is 4 people, and max is 25 (during peak season). The tour may be cancelled if less than 4 have signed up. If this happens we will contact you by phone and email to refund or move your reservation to another tour.

CAN I PAY WITH CASH ON THE TOUR?

No, bookings must be made online beforehand, so that you receive the confirmation email with important info about the tour. Except for tips/gratuities, our tour guides do not accept cash.

WHAT SETS YOUR TOUR APART FROM OTHER WALKING TOURS?

Wild SF shares the rich history of San Francisco in an unconventional way--our guides are the most entertaining historians you've ever met, and our tours balance history and social movements with engaging storytelling, humor and genuine passion.

HOW LONG IS THE WALKING TOUR?

The combo tours run from 10:30a-3p, which includes two neighborhood tours and a cafe/lunch break in between. Individual neighborhood tours are either 1 hour (Haunted SF), 1.5 hours (Downtown, Chinatown, Castro), or 2 hours (Mission and Haight).

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

Well, you might get wet. Bring an umbrella! (We do tours rain or shine--if you're ready to walk, we're ready to take you!)

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

We suggest a camera, cash to tip your guide, and a light jacket. But mostly, bring a great attitude and be ready to have an awesome time!

IS THERE AN AGE RESTRICTION FOR THE WALKING TOUR?

No, although the Castro tour does directly address issues of human sexuality, which some may find inappropriate for young children. The tours are not very physically strenuous, and have frequent stops throughout. Our 70+ year old grandfathers have been on the tours!

CAN I DO MULTIPLE TOURS IN ONE DAY?

Yes! Downtown and Chinatown go together, and the Castro and Mission pair together (with time in between tours to grab some food).

HOW BIG CAN MY PARTY BE?

For groups of 7 or more, please do not book for our regular tours, but set up a private tour with us, to ensure our group size remains manageable and personal.

WHO STARTED WILD SF, AND WHO ARE THE GUIDES?

Wild SF was created by best friends Wes and J. Jo, who met in San Francisco and quickly discovered many shared interests. After years spent traveling, making music, storytelling, dressing well and making people laugh, the two decided to bring all their passions together and launch Wild SF Walking Tours, which now boasts nine entertaining tour guides (Wes, J. Jo, Fischer, Ducky, DW, Maz, Ozy, Sister Zylow and Mina) on an ever-growing number of unforgettable routes.

Their mission is to create San Francisco's most colorful community-building enterprise. To open minds, foster friendship, and nurture local culture during an unforgettable experience that empowers others, shares fascinating history, and never simplifies the complex and vibrant spirit of the City.

Wild Wes

Wild Wes

Wes, co-founder of Wild SF, is a third-generation San Francisco Bay native. He has spent time traveling, backpacking and/or hitchhiking through the US, Europe, Israel and Mexico, and spent a year living in Madrid, Spain. Before Wild SF, he did marketing for the city’s greatest craft brewery, and learned a whole lot about beer. When not touring, Wes writes stories and makes music as Wes Leslie, and is at work on an ambitious concept album about San Francisco’s Market Street. Other passions include researching SF history, clever puns, and seeking out the world’s most delicious falafel.
J Jorden

J. Jo

J. Jo, co-founder of Wild SF, is a musician, thinker and astronomer whose passion is playing soulful jazz and funk guitar. He lived in Phoenix and San Diego before moving to San Francisco, and spent a year living in Querétaro, Mexico while studying astrophysics. The key to J. Jo’s heart is through pho, that tasty Vietnamese noodle soup. His goals in life, from musician to tour guide, are all rooted in the cultivation of truth and joy. On his tours, J. Jo is often noted as relaxed and humble with a knack for opening eyes to new perspectives. His music can be found online here and here.
Sister Zylow

Sister Zylow

Sister Zylow (Zaria Gunn) is a self proclaimed “Living work of Art-ist.” A true renaissance woman: she reports for Bay HQ, she’s an art director for music videos and film, a mode, entertainer and a visual artist living in Oakland, CA. Former student of San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied New Genres and film under the late cult filmmaker George Kuchar. By using humor and fantasy as a conduit for social commentary in her work, Zylow charms her audiences with the belief that “Just a spoonful of sugar, helps the medicine go down.”
Fischer

Fischer

Fischer splits his time tour guiding and pursuing his film career. A writer and director, his craft has taken him to Cannes Film Festival to premiere one of his short films. He’s finishing his studies in film and cinematography at SF State, where he runs their award-winning improv comedy troupe, Improv Nation. When not directing, Fischer is a photographer and self-professed foodie, obsessed with Anthony Bourdain. Armed with a sharp wit and a bag of knee-slapping jokes, Fischer leads Wild SF guests on epic journeys through the classic tales of Chinatown, the Barbary Coast and the Gold Rush.
DW

DW

Passionate about queer rights, DW (Dani Weber) sparks curiosity and zest surrounding the conversation of sex-positivity with whomever she speaks, from here to the city of her birth in Melbourne. She's the biz improvement champion for Wild SF and a Castro guide whilst being Diversity Coordinator for Sex Geekdom International, a global community of people who love talking about sex in a safe, non-hook up environment. She gets geeky about process maps, pie charts, and writing about diversity. On weekends she can be found playing ukulele in the park, dancing at queer parties and spending way too much time on Instagram.
Ducky

Ducky

Ducky is a global community-builder, with a worldwide network of friends from her time spent living in St. Louis, Texas, South Africa, Thailand, the Netherlands, Swaziland, and finally San Francisco. Social justice and community activism are dear to her heart, and she’s proud to lead titillating and passionate tours through the Castro District. You can also find her running the ship at the infamous Pacific Tradewinds Hostel, surfing in freezing Bay Area waters, practicing yoga at Grace Cathedral, and getting funky at local dance classes. Many wonder, “Where does she get all her energy?” The world may never know.
Ozy

Ozy

A lifelong singer and longtime Shakespeare clown, Ozy (May Oskan) moved to San Francisco from Martha's Vineyard to pursue theater, rock and roll, and whether they could be combined. She found some cult success in this with a musical called The Ape Woman, and now conducts conceptual glam rock experiments in the recording studio. She likes baking extravagant pies, and takes the stage as frontman in SF’s premiere David Bowie tribute experience, Rebel Rebel.
Maz

Maz

Mazin is a community organizer, musician and holistic health enthusiast, who can be found either hosting open mics and community events, leading meditation workshops, or playing his ukulele in the streets of the Mission District. Originally of Sudanese heritage, Mazin grew up between the Bay area and Dubai, in the UAE. He studied International Relations at San Francisco State University, before graduating and Founding a Non-Profit calledThe Holistic Underground. His passions are integrating the Arts, Activism and Holistic Healing for ecological solutions, social justice and spreading peace!

WHO DESIGNED THIS BEAUTIFUL WEBSITE?

Webdesign and code by Daniel Reiser. SF skyline by Courtney Riddle, Wild SF logos by Caroline Selmes and Morgan Winter, Classic SF promo song by Hot Flash Heat Wave, Radical SF promo song by French Cassettes.

Tours Embedded Schedule