Tag Archives: tour

Barbary Coast Trail

My girlfriend and I go hiking a few times a month. We prefer dog friendly trails so we don’t have to leave the pup at home. We live in San Francisco and don’t have a car so our options are mostly limited to hikes in the city and Marin, and there are only some many times you can do Land’s End and Twin Peaks before you get sick of it. So I googled good urban hikes in SF and discovered the Barbary Coast Trail.

The Barbary Coast Trail is a walking tour of some of San Francisco’s most historical sites and famous landmarks. The trail is not a loop. You can start at the old San Francisco Mint if you’re downtown, or you can start at the cable car turnaround at Beach and Hyde if you’re in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. The trail is marked by over a hundred and eighty bronze plaques embedded in the sidewalk. The plaques have arrows to point out the direction you came from and the direction you’re headed to. It becomes a bit of a game to find and step on each plaque. The plaques make it hard to get lost, but every now and then you might stray away from the path and have to resort to Google Maps.

The trail takes you through Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and past iconic and forgotten San Francisco treasures. The best part about the trail is that it really is an urban hike so you can easily take a break to browse a boutique, stop for a beer in the city’s oldest bar (which is on the tour), or enjoy lunch from an outdoor cafe.

I’ve lived in the city for over ten years and the Barbary Coast Trail is one of the best things I’ve experienced yet. My girlfriend feels the same way. The dog liked it too. It’s a time filling activity that’s both recreational and entertaining, not to mention educational. And it’s free. I have a feeling that I’ll be taking visiting friends and family on the trail for years to come.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Entertainment

Tour Guide Stick

I work at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and that means that I see millions of tourists every year. Tourists are easy to spot. They walk slow, they carry cameras and maps, and they typically have a dopey look on their face. We get a lot of tour groups from Japan, and Japanese tour groups are heavily invested in the tour guide stick system. You’ll see a group of fifty Japanese students in matching uniforms following a balding guy holding a stick with a flag or bandana tied to the top of it. The bald guy holds the tour guide stick over his head as he walks down the sidewalk, and the students are able to follow him in the crowd. The tour guide stick helps to shepherd the tourists and keeps them from getting lost or separated. But the tour guide stick is not perfect. The bandana is the most important part of the tour guide stick, but the bandana can fall off. Then the tour guide is left holding a bare broomstick while his confused students start following a biker or a pirate.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Random Rants

A Clueless Person Acting Like a Tour Guide

The other day I overheard a clueless person acting like a tour guide to his visiting friends. He was pointing at the Bay Bridge and declared it to be the Golden Gate Bridge. His friends smiled and nodded, one of them even took a picture. I had to bite my tongue to keep from slapping him. Even a blind person knows that the Golden Gate Bridge is fucking red. And a real San Francisco native would know that its official color is international orange. You’re not much of a tour guide if you’re ignorant about the city you live in. Maybe you shouldn’t be talking about stuff that you don’t know anything about. Most cities have an interesting history, and it’s your duty to learn about yours. You don’t have to be an expert, just don’t make up facts. You’ll end up embarrassing yourself and I’ll write an article about your stupidity.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under People I Feel Sorry For