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Things to do in Little Italy, San Francisco

Our most recommended things to do in Little Italy, San Francisco

North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

1. North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

Take a behind the scenes food tour of North Beach and Little Italy. Enjoy tasting great local foods, see how these culinary delights are made and meet the local artisans who make them on your guided walking tour. North Beach and Little Italy will awaken your senses. From the cafés and restaurants, to the smell of fresh-baked bread in the air. Just when you think you can't feel any more romantic you will discover quaint shops filled with incredible crafts and ceramics that will fill you with awe. Explore the life of North Beach, as we join family bakers kneading love into every loaf of bread. And just when you think that you can't be any closer to food heaven, we visit real coffee shops that fresh roast the coffee beans daily. And if that was not enough, we uncover authentic Italian cathedrals where hundreds of couples have felt their heartstrings tug. As you taste everything from cappuccinos, chocolates, breads, pastries, olive oils, specialty meats, and more, your senses and your taste buds will come alive. Every time we find another artisan crafting food handed down through generations or weaving life into handmade crafts, you'll know that you've experienced one of the places that makes San Francisco a series of ever expanding adventures. All food and drinks are included on this tour that was voted "Best City Tour" two years in a row on Citysearch. Tasting portions guarantee that you will not walk away hungry on this leisurely walking tour that strolls 7-8 flat blocks.

San Francisco: City Sights, Muir Woods, and Alcatraz Tour

2. San Francisco: City Sights, Muir Woods, and Alcatraz Tour

Meet outside Fisherman’s Wharf at your chosen tour time. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 3 hours, you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity, and geography of the area. You will exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration. At the end of the adventure, you will be dropped off at Fisherman’s Wharf or North Beach, where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch and explore Lombard Street. You can also take in stunning views over the city from the Coit Tower or watch Pier 39 infamous sea lions. Your guide will recommend restaurants and must-see locations during your break. After lunch, walk over to Pier 33 to depart for Alcatraz. Upon arriving to Alcatraz Island you will take the official tour and have the opportunity to explore additional exhibits at your convenience. Lastly, return by ferry from Alcatraz back to Pier 33 where you are free to enjoy the rest of your evening. Here are the places you will explore (photo stops noted by *): • Alcatraz* - Used as a federal prison between 1933-1966, Alcatraz housed some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, including Al Capone, James "Whitey" Bulger, and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Featuring unbelievable views of the San Francisco peninsula, a visit to the island is essential when in town • Fisherman's Wharf - One of San Francisco's most popular destinations - from beautiful old shipyards to Boudin's Bakery and of course, the sea lions of Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf has it all • Fort Point* - Located just beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point gives you a front-row seat to the San Francisco Bay. This former military fortification was used during both the Civil War and World War II • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared one of the 10 wonders of the modern world, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco • Pacific Heights* - Offering one of the most scenic outlooks in all of Northern California, Pacific Heights is home to Billionaire's Row, featuring the estates of politicians, tech titans, and other San Francisco celebrities • Chinatown - Boasting the largest Chinatown in the United States, this 24-block mecca is bustling with energy, amazing food, and unique shops that give this area its charm • North Beach - Voted as one of the USA's ten great neighborhoods, North Beach is best known as the home of Little Italy. From delicious restaurants to authentic sidewalk cafes and bakeries, you will feel the charm of San Francisco as soon as you arrive • Haight Ashbury* - The origin of the hippie culture and the birthplace of the “Summer of Love.” From the stunning Painted Ladies to the homes of music’s favorite 60’s bands, this district started the counter-culture movement across the USA • Tenderloin - Nestled near downtown San Francisco, the Tenderloin neighborhood continues to resist gentrification, all while spearheading the local arts movement. It’s a must-see in our modern-day city • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared “one of the 10 wonders of the modern world,” the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco

San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

3. San Francisco: 2.5-Hour Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

Explore San Francisco’s historic waterfront from the back of a self-balancing, eco-friendly Segway on this 2.5-hour tour, including a 45-50 minute training session on how to safely operate your vehicle. Your fully narrated route features spectacular views of San Francisco Bay, including Fish Alley, Fisherman's Chapel, the World War II Liberty Ship, and Submarine Pampanito.  Go behind the scenes to see where the fishing industry, fleet, and seafood processing are located, and catch the scent of the Dungeness crab stands in Fisherman's Wharf. Time permitting, you can take a loop through North Beach and San Francisco's Little Italy. On alternate days, a different route is taken, traveling from the Wharf area towards the Golden Gate Bridge. This loop glides through the Marina District, past the yacht harbors, and along Marina Green to the Palace of Fine Arts.

San Francisco: Food Walking Tour of Chinatown & North Beach

4. San Francisco: Food Walking Tour of Chinatown & North Beach

On their own, Chinatown and North Beach stir your senses. Together, they awaken you to new flavors, new cultures, and to parts of your heart. Explore both on this unique combination walking tour. Start by exploring Chinatown by twilight, including tasting Dim Sum from one of the oldest bakeries in this vibrant neighborhood. You will delve into Chinese mysticism and culture, as you explore local sculpture and architecture and see close up how fortune cookies are made by hand. Tea is to Chinatown as North Beach is to coffee and you will sample both. Search out authentic Chinese and Italian crafts and pottery. Uncover the hidden secrets only intrepid locals know. And you'll be astonished by new finds in secret alcoves. Explore the "Beat Generation" of North Beach as we visit the very place where Francis Ford Coppola wrote "The Godfather" screenplay and the location where Steve Allen got his start, which has not changed at all since they performed there. Try some pizza and wine in North Beach. From wine to Dim Sum, fortune cookies, and teas, to cappuccinos in the very places where the Beat Generation started and Barbary Coast history that made San Francisco what it is.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

5. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

Start your tour near the Ferry Building with a view of what was once one of the busiest ports in the world. Then catch an iconic San Francisco cable car from a favorite stop and learn what makes this very unique public transport so special. Disembark atop Nob Hill and learn about the industrial tycoons who built the city as you wander through Huntington Park. Visit the beautiful gothic interior of Grace Cathedral. Enter the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia and the oldest Chinatown in North America. Taste fresh fortune cookies and see hidden landmarks like the Tin How Buddhist Temple as you learn how the neighborhood went from being a seedy red-light district to one of the most vibrant enclaves in the city. For a little treat, pop into the legendary Golden Gate Factory for an insight into the art (and logistics) of fortune cookie making. Receive a special custom-made cookie to take home. Also get advice on where to eat if you want to come back to try the world-famous dim sum. Then, visit Lombard Street, called the "most crooked street in the world", Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. See Fisherman’s Wharf, explore the old docks, and smell the fresh bread in the famous Boudin Bakery.  Take a pause at Ghirardelli Square for a sample of famous chocolate. After this, continue on to your final highlight of the day — a gorgeous bay cruise of the historic waterfront. Relax and tune into the included audio device to hear some fascinating tales. Admire beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline in every direction and sail past the famous Pier 39 sea lions, right under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island (the closest you can get without booking a ticket), a perfect end to a San Francisco day.

San Francisco: Alcatraz Entry Ticket and E-Bike Street Tour

6. San Francisco: Alcatraz Entry Ticket and E-Bike Street Tour

Immerse yourself in the vibrant streets of San Francisco on a guided e-bike tour on the first day and on the second day travel by ferry to the island of Alcatraz. Discover the island's dark secrets with an audio tour. Uncover the best of the city on this 2-day tour.  Meet your guide and get set up with your e-bike, lock, and helmet. Store your things away in the handlebar bag and rear gear rack. Peddle through the back alleys of North Beach’s Little Italy and have up-close views of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Building.  See the Barbary Coast and San Francisco’s historic supper clubs. Find out how the neighborhoods have transformed from scandalous to sparkling. Ride around the Giants’ Oracle ball park and into the culturally rich Mission, Castro, and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods View the ever-changing street art and the locals make each community unique. Cruise to Nopa and take in the charming Painted Ladies of Alamo Square before visiting the Civic Center. Ride through Polk Gulch and finish your tour at Fisherman’s Wharf. Cross San Francisco Bay on a journey to the notorious Alcatraz Prison by ferry. This world-famous prison served as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 and housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman.  Take the award-winning audio tour and hear the tales of those who lived in Alcatraz. This tour brings history alive through the recounting of tales from correctional officers and prisoners.

San Francisco: North Beach Food and History Walking Tour

7. San Francisco: North Beach Food and History Walking Tour

Begin your San Francisco North Beach food and history walking tour at the Columbus Tower (Sentinel Building), home to Francis Ford Coppola's and George Lucas' Zoetrope Film Studio. Meet your tour guide just right outside of Zoetrope Café. Learn about the historical and current events that helped shape San Francisco's North Beach District. Experience the exquisite murals executed by the Italian fin-de-siècle painter and illustrator Luigi Brusatori at the Saint Francis of Assisi Church. Walk along Columbus Avenue and pass all the restaurants and cafes. Arrive at Stella Pastry where you will be treated to a delicious house-made biscotti or cookie of the day with coffee or espresso. Walk to Washington Square for further exploration of San Francisco's Little Italy. Your guide will take a moment to go over the pizza options and beverage choices for the next food portion of the tour. In addition, hear stories about the Saints Peter and Paul Church. After, head towards City Lights Book Publishing Company and Jack Kerouac Alley. Admire the murals that adorn the walls of this one block alleyway that connects the tail end of Chinatown with North Beach. Before the end of the tour, spend time at one of the numerous watering holes in the area for a beer or cocktail. Take time to savor your drink while your guide summarizes the days' activities and answer any questions you may have.

San Francisco VIP Segway Tour: Waterfront and Hills

8. San Francisco VIP Segway Tour: Waterfront and Hills

Get VIP views of San Francisco’s waterfront, wharf, and hills on a private Segway tour that includes a cruise through Aquatic Park and ends at Municipal Pier. En route, you will pass myriad attractions, such as the Maritime National Historical Park for panoramic views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. After your brief training session to ensure you feel safe and comfortable on your self-balancing, eco-friendly mode of transport, climb the slopes of Russian Hill, the affluent residential neighborhood that takes its name from the Gold Rush era when settlers discovered a small Russian cemetery at the top of the hill. Peek down paths to see some of San Francisco’s 350 secret stairways. Climb past the cable cars to reach the summit of Lombard Street, the “Crookedest Street in the World.” Continue down the world’s most famous twisting street toward North Beach, heading down the slopes of Telegraph Hill. Experience the European (predominantly Italian) flavor of North Beach. Stop to admire the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Washington Square Park at the heart of Little Italy. Next, you will go to Pier 39, home to San Francisco’s famous sea lions. Glide past the historic fishing fleet of the wharf, and smell the Pacific Ocean before scooting back to the start point. The hills portion of the route may be adjusted or canceled based on rider ability and guest safety. Route changes are at the discretion of the tour guide. Please note: Bring an extra layer of warm, wind resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

San Francisco Hills & Crooked Street Guided Segway Tour

9. San Francisco Hills & Crooked Street Guided Segway Tour

This 2 hour 45 minute tour takes you on the newest and most challenging Segway route in San Francisco. The advanced tour is for those who have ridden a Segway before, want to see a bit more, and would like to test the machine a little further. What better testing grounds than the hills of San Francisco! The tour includes scooting up Russian Hill, riding down the Crookedest Street in the World, seeing the sights in North Beach/Little Italy, and gliding along the waterfront. You’ll start with 20-25 minutes of refresher training. The total time for the program is 2.5-3 hours. The refresher includes hands-on training with an instructor, a training video, a test ride and skills review, rider courtesy instruction, and review of the rules of the road. Advanced Tour Sights and Stops Your narrated tour features spectacular views of San Francisco Bay • Cruise through Aquatic Park and to the end of Municipal Pier • Climb the slopes of Russian Hill • Peek down hidden stairways and paths • Climb past the cable cars to the peak of Lombard Street • Return to the waterfront near Pier 39 • Glide past the historic Wharf Fishing Fleet This tour is subject to a minimum of 4 participants, and groups will be combined. Advance reservations are required. Additional requirement for Advanced Segway Tour: Previous Segway experience is required. All riders must have taken at least a 2-hour guided Segway tour on the newer i2 Segway within the last 2 years. Test rides and tours on older Segway models do not qualify. There are no exceptions. Note for all participants: Bring an extra layer of warm, wind resistant clothing. Rain ponchos, knit gloves and warm jackets are available for guest use. Please leave bulky backpacks at home.

San Francisco: North Beach & Chinatown Food & History Tour

10. San Francisco: North Beach & Chinatown Food & History Tour

Discover San Francisco through the lens of food and history on this walking tour through the Financial District, Barbary Coast, Little Italy, and Chinatown. Visit San Francisco's smallest redwood park and learn about the Gold Rush while sampling pizza, chocolates, fortune cookies, and savory snacks. Begin your tour by meeting your guide in the heart of the Financial District, underneath the Transamerica Pyramid. Learn about the architectural history of this striking building, which happens to be the second-tallest in San Francisco, and the nearby Transamerica Redwood Park. Walk to the Barbary Coast, previously the red-light district during the 19th and early 20th centuries that featured dance halls, concert saloons, and brothels. Pause to savor Ghiradelli chocolate, saltwater taffy, homemade fudge, and caramel popcorn while learning about the jazz age. Continue to North Beach, also known as Little Italy, as your guide details facts and anecdotes about the Wild West during the Gold Rush. Then it's time to sample more food, including Italian pastries, pizza, sandwiches, cakes, antipasto, and aged cheese, while chatting with local business owners. Then it's time to visit bustling Chinatown, known for its eclectic collection of shops and street food vendors. Sample dim sum and wander through the souvenir shops before visiting The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory to learn about the factory's history and try a fresh cookie.

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What people are saying about Little Italy, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 493 reviews

This was a great tour of the city. Our guide was very knowledgeable and experienced about getting around the city and I enjoyed the history he shared. It was an intimate tour since it was just my 2 daughters and me. I was a little surprised that the tour was primarily a walking tour but we handled it fine and had a great time.

We had a great time…2 first time riders.(1 adult, 1 teen) and one 2nd time rider. Just enough training and perfect pace. Just enough time for stops and picture taking. Highly recommend!

really good lots of food lots of information.isabella was really good

Guide had so much knowledge and great sense of humour!

Isabela was incredible; it was an enjoyable activity.