San Francisco Solo Group Tours
A city which welcomes all with open arms. San Francisco is a cultural hotbed with a fascinating artistic, political, and demographical history. If you have got a slightly bohemian side, then this is a city you absolutely must go to. Likewise, just seeing its iconic sights such as Alcatraz, the trams and the Golden Gate Bridge still make it more than worth it. It’s a part of our California Calling trip, West Coast Adventure and The Full Coyote.
San Francisco is one of the USA’s most culturally and economically dynamic cities and has been constantly reinventing itself since its founding.
The San Francisco bay remained solely inhabited by the indigenous Yelamu tribe right up until 1769. Until then, colonial ships passing by had always missed the bay area due to the famous fog which covers it. After a period of Spanish rule the USA flag rose in the city 1846 marking the beginning of the San Francisco we know today.
The first wave of growth came to the city from its infamous gold rush. The city’s population skyrocketed and was caught up with a frenzied search for wealth. In these early days it held a reputation for being a wild place of lawlessness and debauchery. At the same time, construction of the Central Pacific Railroad used thousands of workers from China who later made San Francisco their home. The city’s Chinatown is a defining feature of the city to this day and remains to be the largest Chinatown outside of Asia!
In 1906 came the tragic San Francisco earthquake, killing 3000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. Yet this earthquake saw the beginning of a new wave of construction leading to a modernised city centre and, most famously, the construction of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Despite being built almost a century ago the bridge remains a breath-taking and incredible structure to this day.
Since the 1950’s San Francisco has been an iconic centre for counterculture communities. Whether that be the beatnik poetry scene with the likes of Allen Ginsberg; the hippies which filled the city during the Summer of Love; or the gay rights campaign movement. It’s this cultural hotbed which makes it such a great travel destination today: the art, music, dance and food are all part of what makes the city a must visit.
And the newest chapter for the city? That would probably be it being home to Silicon Valley, the centre of the world’s tech companies and home to the likes of Google. No big deal there.
- Take a walk along the Golden Gate Bridge. You can’t go to the city without doing it! If you’re a little short on time, we’d recommend hiring a bike.
- Head into the Napa Valley for some wine tasting. Its home to hundreds of vineyards and one of the ‘fine wine’ regions of the world!
- Pay a visit to Alcatraz. This island prison once had a fascinating breakout! If you squint, the brutal rock its built on almost looks beautiful.
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has some excellent exhibitions, outdoor spaces, and perfect views of the streets below.
- Take a stroll through some of the city’s trendy districts for some beautiful murals, bohemian bars, and small art galleries. The main ones to head for are the Mission District, Castro District and Haight Street.
- The fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco’s Chinatown (not China!)
- The colour for the Golden Gate Bridge was actually just a protective coat when it was being built. The architect loved it so much he wanted to keep it as it was!
- San Francisco is home to more then 50 film festivals a year.
- This city loves its dogs. So much so, there are more dogs in the city than children.
- La Taqueria is a great place to grab a bite – they won the title of best burrito in the USA!
- Take a tram to Lombard Street. If you look like a confident San Franciscan you won’t get charged!
- If you’re there on a Sunday, go for a service at Glide Memorial Church. They’ve got a great gospel choir and were featured in the film The Pursuit of Happiness. Don’t worry, they welcome tourists!
- Slacklining is a popular activity in San Francisco. If you pass a group, ask to join in!
Big Cities Destinations