Things to do in
Little Italy, San Francisco

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Our most recommended things to do in Little Italy, San Francisco

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

1. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

Start your tour near the Ferry Building with a view of what was once one of the busiest ports in the world. Then catch an iconic San Francisco cable car from a favorite stop and learn what makes this very unique public transport so special. Disembark atop Nob Hill and learn about the industrial tycoons who built the city as you wander through Huntington Park. Visit the beautiful gothic interior of Grace Cathedral. Enter the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia and the oldest Chinatown in North America. Taste fresh fortune cookies and see hidden landmarks like the Tin How Buddhist Temple as you learn how the neighborhood went from being a seedy red-light district to one of the most vibrant enclaves in the city. For a little treat, pop into the legendary Golden Gate Factory for an insight into the art (and logistics) of fortune cookie making. Receive a special custom-made cookie to take home. That’s not the end of the delicious snacks either - you'll also get advice on where to eat if you want to come back to try the world-famous dim sum. Then, visit Lombard Street, called the "most crooked street in the world", Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. See Fisherman’s Wharf, explore the old docks, and smell the fresh bread in the famous Boudin Bakery. Your tour will also pause at Ghirardelli Square for a sample of famous chocolate. After this, continue on to your final highlight of the day - a gorgeous bay cruise of the historic waterfront. Relax and tune into the included audio device to hear some fascinating tales. Admire beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline in every direction and sail past the famous Pier 39 sea lions, right under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island (the closest you can get without booking a ticket). A perfect end to a San Francisco day.

North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

2. North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

Take a behind the scenes food tour of North Beach and Little Italy. Enjoy tasting great local foods, see how these culinary delights are made and meet the local artisans who make them on your guided walking tour. North Beach and Little Italy will awaken your senses. From the cafés and restaurants, to the smell of fresh-baked bread in the air. Just when you think you can't feel any more romantic you will discover quaint shops filled with incredible crafts and ceramics that will fill you with awe. Explore the life of North Beach, as we join family bakers kneading love into every loaf of bread. And just when you think that you can't be any closer to food heaven, we visit real coffee shops that fresh roast the coffee beans daily. And if that was not enough, we uncover authentic Italian cathedrals where hundreds of couples have felt their heartstrings tug. As you taste everything from cappuccinos, chocolates, breads, pastries, olive oils, specialty meats, and more, your senses and your taste buds will come alive. Every time we find another artisan crafting food handed down through generations or weaving life into handmade crafts, you'll know that you've experienced one of the places that makes San Francisco a series of ever expanding adventures. All food and drinks are included on this tour that was voted "Best City Tour" two years in a row on Citysearch. Tasting portions guarantee that you will not walk away hungry on this leisurely walking tour that strolls 7-8 flat blocks.

San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

3. San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

Explore San Francisco’s historic waterfront from the back of a self-balancing, eco-friendly Segway on this 2.5-hour tour, including a 45-50 minute training session on how to safely operate your vehicle. Your fully narrated route features spectacular views of San Francisco Bay, including Fish Alley, Fisherman's Chapel, the World War II Liberty Ship, and Submarine Pampanito. Go behind the scenes to see where the fishing industry, fleet and seafood processing are located, and catch the scent of the Dungeness crab stands in Fisherman's Wharf. Time permitting, you can take a loop through North Beach and San Francisco's Little Italy. On alternate days, a different route is taken, traveling from the Wharf area towards the Golden Gate Bridge. This loop glides through the Marina District, past the yacht harbors, and along Marina Green to the Palace of Fine Arts. Note: Please bring an extra layer of warm, resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

4. Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

Cross San Francisco Bay on a journey to the notorious Alcatraz Prison by ferry. This world-famous prison served as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 and housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman. Take the award-winning 45-minute Cellhouse audio tour and hear the tales of those who lived in Alcatraz. This tour brings history alive through the recounting of tales from correctional officers and prisoners. Your bike tour will take place the previous day at 11:00. On this 4-hour bike tour you’ll explore the back alleys of North Beach’s Little Italy and have up-close views of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Building. See Barbary Coast and San Francisco’s historic supper clubs. Find out how the neighborhoods have transformed from scandalous to sparkling.  You’ll ride around the Giants’ Oracle ball park, and into the culturally rich Mission, Castro, and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods. See ever-changing street art and the locals that rule each area and make each community unique.  Cruise Nopa and take in the charming Painted Ladies of Alamo Square before visiting the Civic Center. Ride through Polk Gulch, which is San Francisco’s original gay neighborhood, and finish your ride at Aquatic Park. The tour ends at festive Fisherman’s Wharf. Important note: All bike tours take place one day prior to your selected Alcatraz departure. The date and time selected on your confirmation is for your Alcatraz tour on the second day.

San Francisco: Food Walking Tour of Chinatown & North Beach

5. San Francisco: Food Walking Tour of Chinatown & North Beach

On their own, Chinatown and North Beach stir your senses. Together, they awaken you to new flavors, new cultures, and to parts of your heart. Explore both on this unique combination walking tour. Start by exploring Chinatown by twilight, including tasting Dim Sum from one of the oldest bakeries in this vibrant neighborhood. You will delve into Chinese mysticism and culture, as you explore local sculpture and architecture and see close up how fortune cookies are made by hand. Tea is to Chinatown as North Beach is to coffee and you will sample both. You will also get the opportunity to search out authentic Chinese and Italian crafts and pottery. We will help you uncover the hidden secrets only intrepid locals know. And you'll be astonished by new finds in secret alcoves. We'll explore the "Beat Generation" of North Beach as we visit the very place where Francis Ford Coppola wrote "The Godfather" screenplay and the location where Bill Cosby and Steve Allen got their start, which has not changed at all since they performed there. Of course,you must try pizza and wine in North Beach, don't worry, we've got you covered! From wine to Dim Sum, fortune cookies, and teas, to cappuccinos in the very places where the Beat Generation started and Barbary Coast history that made San Francisco what it is began. You will feel like you've really experienced Chinatown and North Beach on this fascinating San Francisco walking tour.

Fisherman's Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

6. Fisherman's Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

A city as unique as San Francisco demands a unique way to tour it, the Segway Experience route follows through North Beach and the Waterfront and allows guests great views of San Francisco Bay and the City Skyline. After a 20 -30 minute training session on how to safely operate the Segway, explore San Francisco’s North Beach and Waterfront for approximately one hour. Tours are limited to 8 riders per tour guide. Your experienced and fun tour guide will narrate your experience through a compact single ear-bud sound system. Each guest is issued a compact radio receiver so you don't miss a detail of what the guide is saying about each site seen on the tour. Numerous stops are made for photos - so don't forget your camera. The goal is to let guests enjoy riding an eco-friendly Segway, see more sights than they could cover on foot and have lots of fun. An added benefit for the environment is a few less tour buses on the city streets each day.                                                                                                                                                                                                             

San Francisco: North Beach Food and History Walking Tour

7. San Francisco: North Beach Food and History Walking Tour

Begin your San Francisco North Beach food and history walking tour at the Columbus Tower (Sentinel Building), home to Francis Ford Coppola's and George Lucas' Zoetrope Film Studio. Meet your tour guide just right outside of Zoetrope Café. Learn about the historical and current events that helped shape San Francisco's North Beach District. Experience the exquisite murals executed by the Italian fin-de-siècle painter and illustrator Luigi Brusatori at the Saint Francis of Assisi Church. Walk along Columbus Avenue and pass all the restaurants and cafes. Arrive at Stella Pastry where you will be treated to a delicious house-made biscotti or cookie of the day with coffee or espresso. Walk to Washington Square for further exploration of San Francisco's Little Italy. Your guide will take a moment to go over the pizza options and beverage choices for the next food portion of the tour. In addition, hear stories about the Saints Peter and Paul Church. After, head towards City Lights Book Publishing Company and Jack Kerouac Alley. Admire the murals that adorn the walls of this one block alleyway that connects the tail end of Chinatown with North Beach. Before the end of the tour, spend time at one of the numerous watering holes in the area for a beer or cocktail. Take time to savor your drink while your guide summarizes the days' activities and answer any questions you may have.

San Francisco Segway Sunset Tour

8. San Francisco Segway Sunset Tour

See 3 of San Francisco’s most enchanting neighborhoods during sunset and at night on a 2.5-hour Segway tour with guide. Meet your guide at Fisherman’s Wharf, where you will get a 45-50 minute training session to familiarize yourself with the self-balancing Segways. Then, glide through North Beach, best known as San Francisco’s Little Italy. Stop at Washington Square Park and learn about the Beat Generation that used to frequent the area. Then, continue to Chinatown, a veritable city within a city. See the hidden alleys of the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. Enjoy romantic night views of the Transamerica Pyramid and Ferry Building. The tour will then loop back from the edge of the Financial District towards the Wharf. Cruise past historic piers along the Embarcadero, while San Francisco Bay glitters against the night. Your next stop is Fisherman’s Wharf, gliding past picturesque fishing harbors and hidden gems such as Fish Alley and Fisherman’s Chapel. Watch Dungeness crabs being cracked, and see the Cable Car turntable at the end of the Hyde Street Line. At Ghirardelli Square, you will learn more about the famous chocolate that bears its name. View the streamline design of the National Maritime Museum and take in breathtaking views of Alcatraz Lighthouse and the twinkling lights of the Bay Bridge. Then, return to the start point, and end with an Irish coffee at Buena Vista Café. Please note:  Bring an extra layer of warm, wind resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

San Francisco VIP Segway Tour: Waterfront and Hills

9. San Francisco VIP Segway Tour: Waterfront and Hills

Get VIP views of San Francisco’s waterfront, wharf, and hills on a private Segway tour that includes a cruise through Aquatic Park and ends at Municipal Pier. En route, you will pass myriad attractions, such as the Maritime National Historical Park for panoramic views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. After your brief training session to ensure you feel safe and comfortable on your self-balancing, eco-friendly mode of transport, climb the slopes of Russian Hill, the affluent residential neighborhood that takes its name from the Gold Rush era when settlers discovered a small Russian cemetery at the top of the hill. Peek down paths to see some of San Francisco’s 350 secret stairways. Climb past the cable cars to reach the summit of Lombard Street, the “Crookedest Street in the World.” Continue down the world’s most famous twisting street toward North Beach, heading down the slopes of Telegraph Hill. Experience the European (predominantly Italian) flavor of North Beach. Stop to admire the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Washington Square Park at the heart of Little Italy. Next, you will go to Pier 39, home to San Francisco’s famous sea lions. Glide past the historic fishing fleet of the wharf, and smell the Pacific Ocean before scooting back to the start point. The hills portion of the route may be adjusted or canceled based on rider ability and guest safety. Route changes are at the discretion of the tour guide. Please note: Bring an extra layer of warm, wind resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

San Francisco Hills & Crooked Street Guided Segway Tour

10. San Francisco Hills & Crooked Street Guided Segway Tour

This 2 hour 45 minute tour takes you on the newest and most challenging Segway route in San Francisco. The advanced tour is for those who have ridden a Segway before, want to see a bit more, and would like to test the machine a little further. What better testing grounds than the hills of San Francisco! The tour includes scooting up Russian Hill, riding down the Crookedest Street in the World, seeing the sights in North Beach/Little Italy, and gliding along the waterfront. You’ll start with 20-25 minutes of refresher training. The total time for the program is 2.5-3 hours. The refresher includes hands-on training with an instructor, a training video, a test ride and skills review, rider courtesy instruction, and review of the rules of the road. Advanced Tour Sights and Stops Your narrated tour features spectacular views of San Francisco Bay • Cruise through Aquatic Park and to the end of Municipal Pier • Climb the slopes of Russian Hill • Peek down hidden stairways and paths • Climb past the cable cars to the peak of Lombard Street • Return to the waterfront near Pier 39 • Glide past the historic Wharf Fishing Fleet This tour is subject to a minimum of 4 participants, and groups will be combined. Advance reservations are required. Additional requirement for Advanced Segway Tour: Previous Segway experience is required. All riders must have taken at least a 2-hour guided Segway tour on the newer i2 Segway within the last 2 years. Test rides and tours on older Segway models do not qualify. There are no exceptions. Note for all participants: Bring an extra layer of warm, wind resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

Frequently asked questions about Little Italy, San Francisco

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What people are saying about Little Italy, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 347 reviews

Wonderful experience. Thank you Brian for making this so much fun! Delicious food, good jokes, great conversation, learned so much! Tea sitting was a great highlight. Highly recommend!

It was a fun way to keep teenagers engaged and see the sights of the city. If you are looking for a detailed tour regarding the history of the area, this is not it.

The guide was amazing, very knowledgeable. She made it very fun and exciting. Allowing us to try various foods that were popular in the culture.

Lauren was great … funny, topical and with a good energy. The food was yummy too!

Christopher was informative and a great tour guide.