City Guides Online Tours

City Guides is delighted to offer a selection of tours of people and places that shaped San Francisco as an online experiences. Our knowledgeable guides will lead you on an online tour of the people, places and events that make San Francisco a unique and cosmopolitan city.

Our online tours are live, interactive, narrations throughout the history of San Francisco. Using historical and contemporary images as well as documents and discussion, our guides will lead you through the a live discussion. These presentations run around 60 to 90 minutes with the presentation and live Q&A.  They are presented via Zoom and can be enjoyed from anywhere around the globe.

Once registered, you will receive an email with the secure Zoom meeting number and password before the on-line tour.  As an interactive program, you can ask questions via the Zoom “raise your hand” and chat features. See below for our online tour line up. Please follow the links for more information and to register.

These presentations, like our in-person tours are free, but donations are appreciated.

Some of the upcoming virtual tours include:


Online Tour: Land’s End: Sutro Heights – Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 10:00am

Across the West Coast, there are a few ocean vistas more arresting than Land’s End — a fact millionaire Adolph Sutro was well aware of when he built the first passenger steam train to the park in 1880. The act made him a local hero, allowing the rich and poor alike to experience the dramatic, wind-swept scenery available just outside the city. He wasn’t done there: Sutro transformed the land, adding an elaborate public garden, renovating the quaint Cliff House and constructing the Sutro Baths, a massive swimming facility on the oceanfront.

This online presentation is hosted by Land’s End: Sutro Heights City Guide Breck Hitz.

To register, please visit: Online Tour: Land’s End: Sutro Heights


Online Tour: Ferry Building – February 28th, 2021 at 10am

For much of the early 20th century, nobody traversed the Bay without going through the Ferry Building. At its peak in the 1930s, it was the second-busiest travel hub in the world, shuttling more than 50,000 people both to and from San Francisco each day.

When the city built its famous Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, ferry travel dropped dramatically and the building suffered for decades. City officials took notice and renovated the Embarcadero over the ‘90s, helping transform the Ferry Building into a world-class food market focusing on local artisan creations. Today, it remains an iconic landmark of the waterfront (and a popular establishing shot for movies set in San Francisco).

This online presentation is hosted by Ferry Building Guide Anne Hitz.

To register, please visit: Online Tour: Ferry Building


Online Tour: Bay Trail Confidential #5: The Carquinez Strait – Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 7:30pm

The San Francisco Bay Trail is a planned 500-mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay running through all nine Bay Area counties, 47 cities, and across seven toll bridges. Currently, 350 miles has been completed.

The Carquinez Strait between Vallejo, Martinez and Benicia offers amazing scenery and excellent opportunities for biking, hiking and other pursuits. The George Miller Trail on the south bank offers stunning views and is generally uncrowded. The Water Trail has been created to support water sports such as kayaking and Paddle Boarding and is a great way to experience the Bay from a new perspective.

This online presentation is hosted by Haight-Ashbury City Guide Rodney Paul.

For a complete list of current and re-broadcast episodes, visit The Bay Trail Confidential website.

To register, please visit: Virtual Tour: Bay Trail Confidential #5: Carquinez Strait


Online Tour: Paris of the Pacific: 1850’s San Francisco Sunday, March 14 at 10:00 am

For one hour, City Guide Bruce Bennett tells you about the San Francisco French origins from City Planning, SF Infrastructure, Retail Industry and Restaurants. You will learn how the first French community managed to survive in San Francisco, a boomtown straight out of the mud of Yerba Buena Cove growing to well over 50,000 in a few years.

As early as 1851, the Alta California – California’s first daily newspaper – wrote that in San Francisco, “Commercial Street is French, truly French. There is a miniature replica of the splendid city of “La Grande République”. A miniature Paris in San Francisco. “San Francisco has since been nicknamed the “PARIS OF THE PACIFIC”.

This online presentation is hosted by 1850’S Paris of the Pacific City Guide Bruce Bennett.

To register, please visit: Online Tour: Paris of the Pacific: 1850’s San Francisco


Online Tour: Jefferson Airplane: A Deep Dive – Sunday, March 14 at 2:00 pm

In 1967, the year of the Summer of Love, Jefferson Airplane was the San Francisco hippie community’s best known band. Their release that year of “Surrealistic Pillow” rocketed them to international fame, and they would go on to play all the major 1960s rock festivals: Monterey Pop, Woodstock and the ill-fated Altamont.

This Zoom presentation includes video at each of those events as well as at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium and on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. We’ll talk about their roots in folk music and how a key personnel change spurred them to great success. In just 5 years, they released 5 classic albums and were harbingers of what came to be called “The San Francisco Sound.”

This online presentation is hosted by Haight-Ashbury City Guide Rodney Paul.

To register, please visit: Online Tour: Jefferson Airplane: A Deep Dive


Online Tour: Spreckels’ Sugar EmpireSunday, March 21 at 4:00 pm

Beginning in the late 1850s, Claus Spreckels arrived in San Francisco and set his sight on building his sugar empire that would later bring a tremendous amount of wealth to the Spreckels family.  The reach of the Spreckels’ sugar empire would reach from Hawaii to the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.  We will be focusing on Claus Spreckels and Alma de Bretteville Spreckels contributions.

This online presentation is hosted by 1850’S Paris of the Pacific City Guide Bruce Bennett.

To register, please visit: Online Tour: Spreckels’ Sugar Empire