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Little Italy, San Francisco

Culture & History

Our most recommended Little Italy, San Francisco Culture & History

North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

1. 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.

Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

2. 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: 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.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

4. 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. 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.  Take a 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.

Fisherman's Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

5. 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 VIP Segway Tour: Waterfront and Hills

6. 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: 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.

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What people are saying about Little Italy, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 395 reviews

Maggie our guide was awesome and very knowledgeable about all the city and its history. She was very aware of everyone’s needs and interest. It was a fun and enjoyable day.

Really fun. Zipping along the streets of San Francisco. Our guide, TK, was fantastic. Everyone had a great time, would highly recommend !

Gute, persönlich geführte Tour vom local im Herzen von San Francisco und Golden Gate Bootsfahrt

Great guidance from Maggie. We recommend. Lots of information and nice places to take pictures.

Was a great experience. Saw lots of San Francisco. Our guide Adam was excellent