SF: The Victorian Home Walk

Old May 7th, 2004, 05:11 AM
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ChatNoir
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SF: The Victorian Home Walk

I found the info listed below on this walk. Any rants and raves about it? We are not adverse to doing a self-guided tour and saving the $40 if someone can point out a source for route info.

Is Pacific Heights where most of the older restored homes are located? Should we check out other areas?


? Location: Westin St. Francis Hotel
? Neighborhood: Chinatown/Union Square
? Phone: 415.252.9485
? Hours: 11am daily
? Ages: 9 and up
? Cost: $20 person
? Email: [email protected]
? Web: http://www.Victorianwalk.com/


A 2 1/2 hour tour conducted by longtime San Francisco resident Jay Gifford that takes you on a fairly level course past 200 or so restored Victorian buildings. Includes a trolley bus ride down Union Street, through Russian Hill, North Beach, and Chinatown. Gifford laces his narrative with stories of San Francisco history and throws in lots of architectural insights.

Tours start in the lobby of the Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square. Reservations required.

 
Old May 7th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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I did this same walk in 1998--I know my group met in the Westin lobby. I do recommend it. Our guide took us there by city bus and paid our $1 fares, shepherding us all on and off, making sure we were ok. The best part about having a guide was she would stop and advise us where to look up at special details, or to compare 2 houses next to or across from each other. We went inside one, now a hotel. We also walked to the best view available for great pix taking.
I took 2 other walking tours that week offered through the San Francisco Library. I picked up the info on them at the Tourism Bureau near a BART station at Union Square. One was History of Chinatown, the other of surviving pre-Gold Rush and pre-Earthquake architecture. Another day I took BART to the Mission Dolores and did that self-guided. That one was free! Have fun.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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City Guides gives a free Victorian walking tour - www.sfcityguides.org

I haven't taken this tour, but I did take the Chinatown tour with City Guides and it was great. The Victorian tour is on my list of things to do, I just haven't done it yet.

City Guides is a non-profit through the library system and the guides are volunteers. At the end of the tour they ask for donations if you enjoyed the tour to help offset the costs. I gave $5/person in my group which seemed to be about what other people were giving too.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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My mom and I did the tour with Jay last year and thought it was well worth the money. Very enjoyable.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 10:50 AM
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$40??? Do the free city guides walk or find your own in a guide book or internet. How many days are you in SF? I t makes more to me to focus on a different neighborhood each day. You'll see nice Victorian homes in the course of your travels. Zigzagging all over the city to see particular houses seams like a waste of time (and $) to me, IMHO.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for the inputs. We have five full days. I'm going to post a draft day by day flow plan after I get all my individual questions asked and the great feedback I'm receiving reviewed and digested.
 
Old May 7th, 2004, 03:45 PM
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If this appeals to you you might be really interested in a self guided walk which is a Barbary Coast Tour. It's so interesting and goes through the areas that were important during the gold rush days and the incredibly wild days of SF's history.

You can find the info on a link of on the PBS TV website www.kqed.org. It was something like "Sin, Fire and ...."
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Old May 7th, 2004, 03:48 PM
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I found it: www.kqed.org/sinfiregold
Lots of other good SF tips on the kqed.org page.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 06:26 PM
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Here's another recommendation for the City Guides walks.

I did the Victorian Home Walk. The guide is actually the niece of the fellow who originated the tour. She is charming and incredibly knowledgeable. I thought it well worth the $20.

For sure, you can do your own walk. A fabulous resource is the Access Guide, with terrific descriptions of all the landmark/historical buildings.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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I took the City Guides Victorian tour last October around Pacific Heights and it was great! We met at Alta Plaza Park. I see that it's now called the Pacific Heights Mansion tour but they also list a separate Victorian tour meeting at Bush and Octavia St.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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The only cost with the City Guides tour is what you want to tip, usually around $5.
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