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 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 you sign up, you will receive an email with the secure Zoom link for the on-line tour. When it is time for the actual online tour, just click on the link to join. See below for our current online tour line up. Please follow the links for more specific tour information and to sign up.

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

Please note these online tours are in the Pacific Time Zone.

Our current online tours schedule include:

Online Tour: San Francisco’s Tenderloin District Through Time – May 12th 7:30pm

San Francisco’s Tenderloin District Through Time, traces the neighborhood’s history from its beginnings as St. Ann’s Valley, an isolated hamlet in the sand dunes, and its development into a middle- and upper-class residential neighborhood of single family homes dotted with schools, churches, and mansions. We’ll see how it became San Francisco’s upscale hotel, entertainment, and vice district, and how it transitioned into the post-war central city it remains today.

This online presentation is hosted by Tenderloin and Sunset District City Guide Peter Field.

To sign up, please visit: Online Tour: San Francisco’s Tenderloin District Through Time

Online Tour: Land’s End: Sutro Heights – May 15th 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 sign up, please visit: Online Tour: Land’s End: Sutro Heights

NEW – Online – Mission Murals: Balmy Alley – May 16th 11:00am

This is the second part of the Mission Murals tour and focuses on Balmy Alley, the most famous mural street in San Francisco. Colorful murals began to appear here in the 1970s and today the alley is blanketed with brilliant paintings. These images connect to the local community and beyond, and tell stories about Latino pride, war in Central America, gentrification, immigration, memorials and female activism. Join us to see one of the nation’s most impressive outdoor galleries. Steeped in meaning and creativity, the murals will inspire you!

This online presentation is hosted by Mission Mural Guide Siobhan Fleming

To sign up, please visit: Online – Mission Murals: Balmy Alley

Online Tour: Spreckels’ Sugar EmpireSunday, May 16th 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 sign up, please visit: Online Tour: Spreckels’ Sugar Empire

Online Tour: Pagan Tiki – May 20th at 6pm

Come learn about a California phenomenon that took the country by storm. American tiki culture was first born in Los Angeles and Oakland, but as soldiers returned from their time in the Pacific during World War II, tiki idols, palm fronds, and tropical drinks spread across the country like a massive tidal wave. For over 20 years, tiki reigned supreme before a new generation dismissed it as tacky and outdated. But with the rise of the craft cocktail movement at the start of the 21st century, tiki bars are again welcoming guests with the promise of an escapist fantasy.

This online presentation is hosted by Billionaire’s Row Guide Eric Jost.

To sign up, please visit: Online Tour: Pagan Bay: SF’s Impact on American Tiki

Online Tour: Ferry Building Future dates coming soon…

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 sign up, please visit: Online Tour: Ferry Building

For a complete list of our online tours, click here.