Day tours are the heart of our work. ¬†They are to travel what the essay is to literature — inquisitive, reflective, excursions into an idea, a topic, or a neighborhood. ¬† ¬†A chance to search, stop, reflect, and wander.

Public and Private Formats

We offer private tours. All tours are researched and guided by cultural geographer and Genius Loci Director Liz Vasile, Ph.D.

Private¬†tours are tailored to fit your schedule, interests, ¬†and desired level of physical activity. They are priced per tour, and they are exclusively for ¬†your group. ¬†Itineraries¬†are customized from our set tours, or designed entirely “from scratch”. ¬†Private tours may take place on foot, in a chartered private or public vehicle, or a combination of both. Contact us¬†to learn more, discuss your special interests, request a price sheet, or set a date. Private walking tours are limited to 15 participants. ¬†Private motorized tours are limited to the seating capacity of the vehicle.

Walking Tours

We believe that the best way to experience and understand any city is on foot. ¬†Walking brings us face to face with local people and activities. ¬† Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in San Francisco, where many of the city’s most beautiful sites and views may only be accessed by steep stairways, narrow alleys, and hidden gardens beyond the reach of any wheeled or motorized vehicle.

Our walking tours are short, slow journeys into important episodes ¬†in cultural history, revealed in thoughtfully guided routes through storied neighborhoods. ¬†They are carefully researched explorations of a significant era, movement, or theme, designed to tell a story, illuminate an idea, and provoke good questions and subsequent reflection — on place, society, history.



All of our walking tours offer:

  • rich ¬†historic content
  • breathtaking vistas
  • healthy physical activity
  • small group size (maximum of 10 participants)
  • Wireless listening devices, like those used by the world‚Äôs finest museums and luxury travel operators
  • Guiding ¬†in English or Spanish

Walking tours are available for private groups, by appointment, for up to 15 participants.  See above for additional details on tour formats .

At this time, we guide walking tours in the North Beach, Russian Hill, ¬†and Jackson Square neighborhoods, focused on two of the major forces that have shaped San Francisco’s cultural life: ¬†1)¬†¬†Bohemian and Beat¬†Literary and Arts movements; 2) Italian immigration, culture, and community. ¬†These tours are described in detail on the following pages.