Genius Loci

Genius Loci, (the pervading spirit of  place), is a Latin term coined by geographers to describe that quality or combination of qualities that makes a place unique, and stamps a pattern on the people and practices situated there. A geographic DNA of sorts.    As zeitgeist is to time, genius loci is to place.

Getting in touch with¬†genius loci¬†is one of the reasons we travel. ¬†To taste, see, hear, feel — what makes Rome different from Venice, San Francisco different from Los Angeles — and each of these places wonderfully and unmistakably themselves, with the power to infuse that and those who live there¬†with a distinctive flavor.¬†In a globalized world, where so much has become so much the same, it’s the differences we crave.

San Francisco, where we do most of our work, is ¬†marked by a combination of tolerance, deviance, excess, and innovation. ¬†A small city that packs a big cultural punch, and has from its beginnings pushed at the edges of ¬†the mainstream, stretched the boundaries of the acceptable, been hospitable to the brilliant amateur, and created art and culture and technology of superb quality. ¬†Poet George Sterling’s ¬†“cool, grey city of love” has been the cradle of beat poetry, gay rights, and flower power, along with top-ranked symphony, ballet, and opera companies. ¬† San Francisco is where the world wide web took shape, bank accounts for the working class were pioneered, topless bars started, ¬†and the homeless problem has defied all attempts at a solution. ¬†All in one of the most beautiful settings on earth.

Our Values

Genius Loci Tours commits to:

  • treat travel as an exploration, and tours as invitations into discovery, reflection, and ¬†allegory
  • create thoughtful programs designed to spark questions and provoke insights
  • give meticulous attention to the privacy and comfort of our guests
  • make care for the environment an important ¬†factor in our business decisions
  • support ¬†small, ¬†locally-owned businesses and non-profit organizations, as vendors ¬†and clients
  • donate at least 2% ¬†of our sales revenue to support the arts and literacy
  • build a sound, honest, innovative, and democratic small business enterprise
  • reward staff and associates equitably