City Guides On-line Virtual Tours

City Guides is delighted to offer a selection of our walking tours and historical people and places that shaped San Francisco as virtual on-line experiences. Our knowledgeable guides will lead you on an on-line tour of the people, places and happening that make San Francisco a unique and cosmopolitan city.

Our on-line virtual 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 as we would on one of our in-person walking tours. These tours 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 virtual tour line up. Please follow the links for more information and to register.

Some of the upcoming virtual tours include:


Virtual Tour: Spreckles’ Sugar EmpireSunday, January 17, 2021 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: Virtual Tour: Spreckels’ Sugar Empire


Virtual Tour: Land’s End: Sutro Heights – Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 7:30pm

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: Virtual Tour: Land’s End: Sutro Heights


Virtual Tour: 1850’s SF: Paris of the PacificSunday, February 14, 2021 at 10:00 am

France, 1848. Many rumors are circulating about gold mines in California… and the colossal wealth waiting to be picked up from the ground!  

City Guide Bruce Bennett tells you about the French origins of the “City by the Bay”. You will learn how our compatriots built the first French community in California and how, thanks to their entrepreneurial talents and resourcefulness, they managed to survive in San Francisco, a boomtown straight out of the mud of Yerba Buena Cove.

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. Ever since that moment, San Francisco has been dubbed 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: Virtual Tour: 1850’s San Francisco: Paris of the Pacific


Virtual 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: Virtual Tour: Ferry Building