Wild Wes Wild Wes
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Wild SF Walking Tours
free walking tours of San Francisco

Wild SF was launched to introduce free San Francisco walking tours that are always hip, educational, entertaining, and community-oriented.

Get ready for musical, alternative walking tours through San Francisco history. We bring to life the most historic, shameless, criminal, and unforgettable characters and sites of San Francisco. Our dapper, hilarious troubadour guides sing witty songs, tell riveting tales, and engage guests through our free walking tours (donation are gladly accepted).

One route travels through Union Square, hidden Chinatown alleyways, North Beach’s Beatnik history, the Gold Rush and Earthquake of 1906. The other takes you through the Castro’s gay rights origins and into the Latino and artistic cultures of the Mission District. Tours are donation-based and meet at Union Square (corner near Powell and Geary) at 10 AM and 12 noon every day.

Book your space online, and we’ll see you soon! Until then, stay wild.


schedules

Chinatown/North Beach

A hip walking tour through San Francisco's Gold Rush past, including the city's old red light district, hidden Chinatown alleyways, the near assassination of a US president, the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, North Beach and the Beatniks, an underground "Shanghai" tunnel in the Jackson Square.

  • the gold rush!
  • chinatown alleyways
  • fortune cookies
  • North Beach & the Beat generation
  • the great earthquake of 1906

The Mission

An alternative walking tour through the culture and politics of San Francisco's coolest neighborhoods today, including the LGBT rights movement in the Castro, Harvey Milk's life and legacy, Dolores Park, the Old Spanish Mission, and the Mission District's Latino heritage, street art and independent shops.

  • Hip & offbeat, food, shops & bars
  • street art & murals
  • Dolores Park
  • Old Spanish Mission
  • Harvey Milk's Plaza & gay rights movement

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faq

HOW CAN YOU OFFER FREE TOURS?

We work for donations only. If you enjoy yourself on the walking tour (and you will, we promise), you are encouraged to tip a donation of whatever you feel the tour was worth. $20 is an average donation, though it is always completely up to you.

HOW LONG IS THE WALKING TOUR?

The tours are scheduled to run 3 hours, and there are places to stop for a restroom along the way.

DOES THE TOUR END BACK AT UNION SQUARE?

No. The Chinatown/North Beach walking tour ends near the entrance to North Beach/Little Italy, within walking distance to Fisherman’s Wharf or back to Union Square. The Mission/Castro walking tour ends near Mission and 16th Street, where you can take the BART train back to Powell and Union Square.

WHY DO I HAVE TO BOOK ONLINE IF IT'S FREE?

We request that you reserve your space beforehand so we can ensure we'll have enough guides available. This keeps tour groups small and more personal. If you don't have time to reserve, just show up at Union Square (corner Powell and Geary) and introduce yourself!

IS THE WALKING TOUR WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE?

Yes! Both tours are handicap accessible, with the exception of one brief stop on the Chinatown/North Beach route that requires stairs (you can simply wait upstairs during that portion).

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

We suggest a camera, water, a light jacket, and for the Castro/Mission route, $2 is necessary to ride the streetcar. But mostly, bring a great attitude and be ready to have an awesome time!

WHERE SHOULD I GO AFTER THE TOUR?

After the walking tour, we like to eat lunch with everyone at one of our favorite restaurants in the neighborhood. Sit down and join us, continue the great conversations, and get ideas for where to head next!

IS THERE AN AGE RESTRICTION FOR THE WALKING TOUR?

We recommend ages 16 and older. The Castro/Mission tour is inextricably linked to the struggle for rights and equality within the LGBT community, and with that comes a certain level of discussion about human sexuality and current politics (in addition to history). The Chinatown/North Beach tour has some talk of the old red light districts, opium dens and gang wars in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The tours are not very physically strenuous, and have frequent stops throughout. Our 70+ year old grandfathers have been on the tours!

CAN WE BOOK A PRIVATE TOUR FOR OUR GROUP?

Sure thing–send us an email at info@wildsftours.com to discuss rates and routes!

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 four entertaining tour guides (Wes, J. Jo, Sunshine and Fischer) on two unforgettable routes.

Their mission is to create the most colorful community-building enterprise in the world. 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

Who's Wild Wes?

Wes is a third-generation San Francisco Bay native, and studied Creative Writing and Spanish Language at SF State. He has spent time traveling, backpacking and/or hitchhiking through the US, Europe, Israel and Mexico, and spent a year living and “studying” in Madrid, Spain. When not touring, Wes writes stories and makes music with his band Wes Leslie, and is at work on an ambitious concept album about San Francisco’s Market Street. Other passions include craft beer, researching SF history, and seeking out the world’s most delicious falafel.
J Jorden

Who's J. Jo?

When not giving tours, J. Jo plays soulful jazz guitar, studies astrophysics, works as a bicycle mechanic, performs improv comedy, and eats organic vegetables. He grew up in San Diego and Phoenix before moving to San Francisco, and spent a year living in Querétaro, Mexico. The key to J. Jo’s heart is through his favorite food pho, that tasty Vietnamese noodle soup. His goals in life as a musician, an astronomer and a 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.


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.

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