Wild Wes Wild Wes

Wild SF Walking Tours

free walking tours of San Francisco

Wild SF’s free San Francisco walking tours are not your average sightseeing tours…each walking tour is an alternative, off-the-beaten path experience.

Our tours are journeys through San Francisco’s history, civil rights and social movements, presented as the residents of these neighborhoods would tell it.

Get ready to make new friends, learn about the city, and have an unforgettable experience in San Francisco. With your witty, hilarious tour guide, travel through one of our routes…

Yes, it is possible (and encouraged!) to do 2 tours in the same day (Chinatown + North Beach or Castro + Mission), with an hour in between tours so you can get food.

Chinatown + North Beach

Chinatown visits the city’s Gold Rush past, the Great Earthquake, and Chinatown’s origins, hidden back alleys, heroes, tastes and sounds.

North Beach visits Little Italy, home to the Beat Generation poets, Italian pizzerias, public parks, cathedrals, strip clubs and bookstores.

The Castro + The Mission

The Castro tour visits America’s first openly gay neighborhood, Harvey Milk’s legacy, and activists who fought for civil rights here.

The Mission tour visits the colorful do-it-yourself community made up of street artists, feminists, Latinos, activists, makers and creators.

Tours are pay-what-you-wish and happen daily.
Suggested donation $10-20 per tour.
Online reservations are required.

Questions?
Email us at info@wildsftours.com or call 415-580-1849


schedules

Chinatown

Through back alleys, learn about Chinatown's history: from the center of San Francisco during the Gold Rush, through a vibrant Chinese community today. Hear tales of revolutionary leaders, bizarre architecture, powerful women, the creation of the cable car, fortune cookies, gang battles and street art in a neighborhood often visited by tourists, but rarely understood.

The Castro

In 1970's San Francisco, America listened as gay rights activists demanded equality. The Castro was ground zero for this civil rights movement, led by the charismatic and passionate Harvey Milk. 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).

North Beach

Though known as Little Italy, North Beach isn't just that. This old waterfront has seen gold diggers, Italian fishermen, Latin jazz stars, groundbreaking Beat Generation poets, drag queens, artists and much more. See the classic pizzerias, cafés, radical bookstores, public parks, statues and churches that helped define one of America's most beloved neighborhoods.

The Mission

The hippest neighborhood in town, the Mission, is a do-it-yourself story. In the Great Earthquake of 1906, residents worked together to save this district. Since then, it's become home to artists, creators, punk rockers, feminists, activists, muralists, and a quickly disappearing Latino community. Learn about those who fought, and continue to fight, and "Viva La Misión!"


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faq

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

Yes! We offer tours every day, rain or shine (except on certain holidays). Booking opens up about 3 weeks out, so if your date isn't offered yet, please be patient and check back.

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 stories of history and social justice with fun songs, games, and getting to know your fellow travelers.

HOW CAN YOU OFFER FREE TOURS?

Our tours are pay-what-you-wish. If you enjoy yourself on the walking tour (and you will, we promise), we simply ask that you pay whatever you feel the tour was worth. $10-20 per person is average, though it is always completely up to you.

HOW LONG IS THE WALKING TOUR?

The tours last 90 minutes. Between the morning and afternoon tours there is a 1 hour break for coffee and a snack with your guide, and after the second tour, the guide will invite you out for a local, cheap and delicious lunch!

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!)

WHERE DOES THE TOUR END?

Chinatown ends where it began, Portsmouth Square. North Beach ends at Washington Square Park. The Castro ends at Castro and 18th St. The Mission ends at the old Mission, Dolores and 16th St.

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

We require that you reserve your space beforehand so we can ensure we'll have enough guides available. This keeps tour groups manageable and more personal.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

We suggest a camera, water, and a light jacket. 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 grab food or a coffee with everyone at one of our favorite local, affordable spots 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 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. The Chinatown tour talks of the old red light districts/prostitution and gang wars. 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, Chinatown and North Beach go together, and the Castro and Mission go together (with an hour in between tours to grab some food).

HOW BIG CAN MY GROUP BE?

If you are 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.

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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