The Barbary Coast Trail is a walking tour connecting 20 historic sites and local history museums. Approximately 180 bronze medallions and arrows embedded in the sidewalk mark the 5-mile trail.
Our first stop will be The Old Mint, built to store the wealth from the Gold Rush and the Comstock Lode, so strong that it withstood the 1906 fire and earthquake.
Next up is Union Square, one of the three oldest public squares in San Francisco, surveyed by Jasper O'Farrell in 1850 under John Geary, the first American mayor of San Francisco.
From here we stroll down Maiden Lane past a building designed by America's greatest architect, and then up to Chinatown, the largest and oldest in the United States, winding our way to Portsmouth Square, site of the first American Flag raised in the Western territory.
We will stop for Dim Sum in a favorite spot in Chinatown before heading to Montgomery Street, once known as the Wall Street of the West, exploring hidden alleyways, encountering grand buildings, and discovering an old Barbary Coast smuggling tunnel.
Then it's on to North Beach, home of the Beat Movement, Little Italy, Washington Square Park, Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower.
After climbing Telegraph Hill, we will descend upon Levi's Plaza for a brief visit to the Levi's Museum before enjoying an optional refreshment at Pier 23.
An excellent companion guide is available online, at bookstores and the Visitor Information Center at Powell Street station. For more information on the Barbary Coast Trail visit http://www.barbarycoasttrail.org/
Ming L. (March 15)
Absolutely fascinating ... well researched & richly storied with hidden secrets & gems, architecture that survived and topped with the best bars & restaurants.
Wendi K. (March 15)
What a great day! Andrew really has done his homework and his enthusiasm is infectious.
Tor V. (January 11)
Andrew, this was such a brilliant tour of the best of downtown.
Denise C. (November 17)
I loved it. It always pleases me to learn of areas of San Francisco that I've never seen, after almost 40 years living in the Bay Area.