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.

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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 San Francisco


schedules

The Classic SF Route

Downtown + Chinatown Tour
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  • Every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday
  • 10:30a to 3p, includes a 1.5 hour lunch break
  • Meets at Union Square
  • Reservations required, must book online

The Classic SF Route is an interactive journey through time, from the Gold Rush to today. Venture under the shade of skyscrapers, and understand San Francisco’s origins and rise as an overnight metropolis, home to the crazed, the wealthy and the inspirational.

On the Chinatown tour section, head down hidden alleys to 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.

Downtown, get past the tourist layer of Union Square and into the unbelievable stories and villains behind the buildings.

What we see:

  • Transamerica Pyramid, SF’s tallest structure
  • Taste samples from a Fortune Cookie factory
  • Enter an incense-filled Taoist Chinese temple
  • Union Square and the St. Francis Hotel
  • Maiden Lane, the old Red Light District
  • Local characters and performers of Chinatown
  • Go inside a tiny Chinatown art gallery
  • Chinatown Dragon Gate
  • Portsmouth Square, Chinatown’s “living room”
  • Photogenic Chinatown alleys (from the Pursuit of Happyness)
  • The plaza where the Gold Rush began
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral, oldest on West Coast
  • Site of first Cable Car line
  • Painted balconies of Waverly Place
  • Site of buried Gold Rush ships
  • Plus a few cool surprises!

Looking for a shorter tour? Book Downtown or Chinatown individually by clicking HERE.

Free Love & the 1960s

The Haight-Ashbury - 2 hours
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Armed with a guitar, follow your merry troubadour and historian-guide on a musical journey through the tumultuous and inspiring 1960's. Hear songs and 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.

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!



LGBT+ Historic Bar Crawl



The Castro - 2 hours
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Check out our new LGBT+ Historic Pub Crawl! $10 tickets include a free glass of wine and 2 hours discovering the Castro scene after dark, with a squad of new friends and a knowledgeable, friendly guide who loves to party.

Enjoy 2-for-1 drink specials and a variety of bars, including a retro music video party, musical show tunes, and your choice of dancing or drag queens!

Lasts 2 hours, but you'll likely want to stay out later :)

The Radical SF Route

Castro + Mission District Tour
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  • Every Monday, Wednesday, Saturday
  • 10:30a to 3:15p, includes a 1 hour lunch break
  • Meets at Dolores Park in the Mission District
  • Reservations required, must book online

Explore the social movements that shaped San Francisco into the revolutionary city it is today. Understand how artists and activists are organizing to fight gentrification and preserve local culture.

In the Castro tour section, visit ground zero for Harvey Milk’s gay civil rights movement, a rainbow-flag filled mecca for equality.

In the Mission District, see stunning political street art, and understand how feminists, Latinos, shop owners and community members have fought, and continue to fight, for the soul of SF. This tour is for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.


What we see:

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

Looking for a shorter tour? Book the Castro or Mission individually by clicking HERE.

Haunted SF Ghost Tour



Downtown - 1.5 hours
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Our most eerie experience. A macabre and murderous ghost tour through the hotels and streets of downtown and the Tenderloin. Get creeped out by after-dark tales of unexplained deaths, scandalous murders, ruthless cult leaders, the old red light district, famed ghost stories, 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


photos

 


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faq

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

We offer tours year-round, rain or shine. Booking generally opens up about 4 weeks out, so if your date isn't offered yet, please be patient and check back :)

WHERE DOES THE TOUR START AND END?

The meeting point location will be sent to you via email once you book the tour online.

The Downtown ends at the Transamerica Pyramid. Chinatown ends at St. Mary's Square. The Castro ends at Castro St and 18th St. The Mission ends at the old Mission, Dolores St and 16th St. The Haight ends at Haight and Shrader. Haunted SF ends at the Serrano Hotel.

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 IF IT RAINS?

Well, you might get wet. (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! However the Haunted tour speaks about murder, the Haight tour about psychedelic drugs, and the Castro tour does address 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!

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.

Each of the guides is a working artist or activist, bring their own passion to the tours. Whether a dancer, musician, actor, film director or community organizer, they'll share a side of San Francisco that only a true local would know.

The company mission is to create the most colorful community-building enterprise in San Francisco. 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 they speak, from here to the city of their birth in Melbourne. DW is 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. DW gets geeky about process maps, pie charts, and writing about diversity. On weekends they 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, after time 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 freezing water, practicing yoga, dancing, and building art for Burning Man. Be sure to follow along with her latest venture- converting a school bus into a mini hostel called The Wanderbus! Many wonder, “Where does she get all her energy?” The world may never know.
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!

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Mina

Artist and actress, Mina, can usually be found with coffee in one hand and a drawing utensil in the other. With a passion for creating, she found her niche in technical theatre and moved to SF to study costume design. When she’s not creating costumes or building sets for the stage she turns her focus to playwriting. Don’t mistake her for only a designer though! She shares equal time on the stage as often as she is working behind the scenes. Mina’s storytelling takes many forms; whether it’s improv, drawing or tour guiding she loves bringing characters to life.  

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.

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