San Francisco Gold Rush Era Walking Tour with Cocktails

activities / Bars & pubs

San Francisco Gold Rush Era Walking Tour with Cocktails information and booking

3 hours
Departs from
Hilton Hotel
Returns to
Returns to a few blocks away from original departure point
Time of departure

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Tour description provided by Viator

Discover historic buildings and saloons on the old San Francisco waterfront, and learn about the city's notorious reputation during and after the Gold Rush years on this evening walking tour. Hear about shanghaied sailors, famous brothels and infamous bars from your knowledgeable guide as you explore the Barbary Coast, a former red-light district in today's Financial District that was once considered dangerous. Enjoy three cocktail tastings at old city saloons, made by serious mixologists who perfect the classics on this fun and informative 3-hour tour.

Meet your guide in San Francisco's Financial District to begin your walking tour of the remains of the Gold Rush and Barbary Coast eras. As fortune-hunters flooded San Francisco in the mid-19th century, a red-light district flourished in what is today downtown San Francisco. Named after the Barbary Coast of North Africa where pirates and slave traders were rampant, this tawdry area of the city was one of the most dangerous places anywhere in the US.

Listen to your guide share fascinating anecdotes of the scandalous happenings that were part of everyday life in San Francisco's Barbary Coast as you stroll along the old waterfront and imagine how the area was once crammed with rowdy bars and brothels.

See historic buildings in Jackson Square from that era, and visit the remains of the Niantic, a ship that brought treasure-seekers to the city during the Gold Rush until it ran aground and was converted into a hotel. Walk along the block of Pacific Avenue (then Pacific Street) between Kearny and Montgomery that boomed with jazz clubs and dance halls in the early 20th century and was known as Terrific Street.

During your tour, stop into old San Francisco saloons for three cocktail tastings, mixed by modern bartenders who revive traditional drinks or invent their own creations. You'll learn more about the city's colorful past as you sip, including the once-exotic ingredients shipped to the San Francisco port.

Your 3-hour walking tour concludes near where it began in the Financial District, leaving you with a much clearer idea of just how much San Francisco has changed over the years.

What's included

  • Professional guide
  • 3 cocktail tastings

What isn't included

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Additional food and drinks