Starting on exclusive Nob Hill, then heading down to the famous shopping district of Union Square, this tour discusses the early history that developed the city's one-of-a-kind personality.
Next, head to the back alleys of America's largest Chinatown. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells (good, bad, and otherwise) of the city's oldest neighborhood—and visit a fortune cookie factory, too. From there it’s only a few steps to North Beach, heart of the Italian community and long-time headquarters for the Beats.
The Whole Shebang includes the following historical highlights:
- The Gold Rush, the Silver Rush, and the Rushing Railroad
- Painted ladies (these are buildings) and tainted ladies (these are well-built)
- Cable cars and historic bars
- The Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906
What Is Not Included?
Gratuities are not included but are always appreciated.
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Tickets must be purchased in advance, and tours often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express credit card. Cash is not accepted.
- What if it rains?
- The Whole Shebang tour runs rain or shine! We have a bad-weather version for rainy days so you will still enjoy yourself just as much.
- What if I want to go on a day and time that isn’t offered?
- Additional dates and times of this tour that are not on our schedule may be available upon request, but keep in mind that there may be an additional fee per ticket charged in order to accommodate your special request. Please click on the “Contact FOOTtours” link to let us know what date and time you are interested in!
- Are there any hills on this tour?
- This tour starts on a big hill and from there it's mostly downhill; we'll walk a steep downhill for three blocks and a slight uphill for two blocks near the middle of the tour. (Don't worry about climbing this big hill again because the tour ends in a different neighborhood).
- Do we walk the whole time?
- The tour is about half walking and half talking. We stop, discuss a building, person, or historical event, then move to the next stop. There are about 18 stops on this tour.
- Does the tour end where we start?
- No, the tour ends in North Beach, about 10 blocks from where we begin. We feel we can show more of the City by ending in a different area. Plus, we don't want you to have to walk up any hills more than once!
- Should we tip our guide?
- We encourage it. Like all service professions, if you enjoyed the tour, the guide appreciates a tip!
- Why can't we pay with cash?
- Because tours often sell out in advance, tickets must be purchased ahead of time by credit card. Also, some guides are uncomfortable carrying large amounts of cash through high-traffic areas. (But they do appreciate a tip at the end of the tour!)
- Should we drive to where the tour starts?
- We recommend NOT driving in San Francisco. It's noisy, confusing, and frustrating--then you have to park, which is more of the same (and expensive). We'll supply you with other options after you purchase your tickets.
- Are there bathrooms along the way?
- Restrooms are available near the meeting location. We have a few bathroom opportunities along the route also, so if you need to stop, please let us know and we will accommodate you.
- What should we bring on the tour?
- Always be prepared for San Francisco's climate: dress in layers and check the forecast for tour day. Comfortable shoes, a bottle of water, and a camera are recommended. The city has a confusing pattern of streets, so a map can be handy, too. Bring extra cash if you might want to buy coffee or a snack along the way.
- Who will my tour guide be?
- No particular guide is guaranteed for this tour, but all of our guides are professional entertainers and will show you a good time! From comic actors to stand up comedians and improvisers, we have it all. All of our guides are history buffs as well, and will teach you more than you can imagine about the stops along the way.
- Is the tour strenuous?
- The tour covers about 30 blocks over three hours. There is one long downhill from Nob Hill to Union Square, and a few slight uphills in Chinatown. You will be on your feet, for the most part, for three hours.
- Where should we park?
- We strongly recommend public transportation, but if you have to drive, DON'T park on Nob Hill. Parking is very limited and very expensive. We'll supply other options after you purchase your tickets. There are a number of lots in and near North Beach, where the tour ends.
- When should we get there?
- We recommend getting to the meeting place 10-15 minutes before tour time so we can have a timely start.
- Where can I get a map?
- San Francisco's streets were laid out by a drunk who received death threats for the poor job he did. A map is essential because streets can turn into paths or change names. Ask your hotel concierge for a map; they can also provide other helpful information.
- Are any meals included?
- No, there are no meals on this tour, but we often stop mid-way for a coffee break if our participants request it.
- Can I bring my own food and beverages?
- Sure! Feel free to pack a light knapsack with a snack and bottle of water. There are no meals included on the tour, but we may stop for a quick coffee break if the guests request it!
- What should we do after the tour?
- San Francisco is chock-full of things to do--your guide or hotel concierge can recommend a number of options.
- Can we take pictures?
- Certainly! Please note that the fortune cookie factory will charge you 50 cents to take a picture of their operation.
- Can I take a stroller on the tour?
- Yes, strollers are allowed on the tour, but we do go over many curbs, potholes, and doorways. It may be rather difficult to bring a stroller, but of course you are welcome to if you'd like. We have other tours that have shorter distances and better terrain.
- Is the tour wheelchair accessible?
- Unfortunately this tour is not wheelchair accessible due to the various hills, curbs, and bumps involved. Please check out one of our other tours!
- Are dogs allowed on the tour?
- Dogs are allowed on the tour but may not be permitted in some of the buildings that we enter.
- Are gift certificates available for this tour?
- Yes! Gift certificates for FOOT! comedy walking tours are great for any occasion. To purchase a gift certificate, click on the "Contact FOOTtours" link.
- Can I book a private tour?
- Certainly! We offer tours for private groups, family events, and corporate team building. We can accommodate a variety of special requests as well, including starting and finishing locations, topics, tour lengths, and just about anything. Please use the "Contact FOOTtours" link to inquire further about special group rates and customized tours.
FOOT! fun walking tours
FOOT! comedy walking tours will show you the funniest routes through San Francisco’s quirky history and unique neighborhoods. Founded by America’s 67th funniest comedian, FOOT! tours are part history, part game show, and all fun.
“That was by far the most entertaining walking tour I have ever taken. You made learning the history of San Francisco so much fun."
--Concierge, Le Meridien Hotel
“Your tour was a memorable highlight of the weekend.”
--SF Convention and Visitors Bureau
“… these themed walks mix humor, facts, and fast-talk...These tours turn history into family fun.”
--Physicians’ Travel & Meeting Guide