The Rise 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.

In Chinatown, head down hidden alleys to hear tales of revolutionary leaders, the Great Earthquake of 1906, surprising architecture and fortune cookies in a vibrant community often visited by tourists, yet rarely understood.

Head into the 1850’s heart of old SF, the lawless Barbary Coast, to hear of kidnapped sailors in underground tunnels, hilarious drag queens and ruthless tycoons.

In North Beach, hear of Jack Kerouac and the Beats starting a literary revolution, and see our Little Italy.

More Details

  • 1:30p-4:30p, includes cafe break
  • Meets near the Transamerica Pyramid
  • Reservations required, must book online

What we see


  • Taste samples from a Fortune Cookie factory
  • Local characters and performers of Chinatown
  • Stop at a local cafe
  • Portsmouth Square, Chinatown’s “living room”
  • Photogenic Chinatown alleys (from the Pursuit of Happyness)
  • The plaza where the Gold Rush began
  • Painted balconies of Waverly Place
  • Understand the birth of ethnic enclaves in SF


North Beach & Barbary Coast

  • The Great Earthquake of 1906
  • Transamerica Pyramid, SF’s iconic skyscraper
  • City Lights bookstore and Beatnik hangouts
  • Underground tunnel for kidnapping sailors
  • Alleyways of the Financial District
  • Secret rooftop view of the waterfront
  • Inspiring women who shaped our city
  • Preserved Gold Rush 1850’s neighborhood
Lasts 1:30pm - 4:30pm


Adults 18+ – $22
Locals/Students/Hostels – $18
Youth 0-17 – $15

Your guides



A screenwriter and director, Fischer's craft has taken him to Cannes Film Festival to premiere one of his short films. He studied film and cinematography at SF State, and when not directing, pursues photography and food (he's obsessed with Anthony Bourdain). Armed with a sharp wit and a bag of knee-slapping jokes, Fischer leads epic journeys on our Rise SF route.



Artist and actress Mina can usually be found with a 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 and improv to bring characters to life. She can be found on the Rise SF route.

Wild Wes

Wild Wes

Co-founder Wes is a third-generation San Francisco Bay native. He makes "bedroom soul" music as Wes Leslie, the Bedroom Player and fixes cocktails at Mrs. Jones on Market Street. He has spent time traveling, backpacking and/or hitchhiking through the US, Europe, Israel and Mexico, and spent a year living in Madrid, Spain. He is (slowly) reading Don Quixote in Spanish and English and could use your encouragement.

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