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Gold Rush to Golden Gate: Self Guided Tour of San Francisco

Professional tour guide and city Insider, Brad Prickett, hosts you on a tour of San Francisco. GPS-activated audio plays automatically on your phone as you learn the colorful history and see the top attractions along San Francisco’s waterfront and across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

GPS-activated audio app that plays on your phone
Local insider narration and special guest interviews
Visit the top attractions, including: the Ferry Building, Coit Tower, Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, Alcatraz, Palace of Fine Arts, Presidio, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Easy pause and play to go at your own pace
Lifetime access to this self-guided tour in English
Meals or beverages
Tickets to attractions or Alcatraz

This tour takes you along to visit many of San Francisco’s must-see places while you are in control behind the wheel of our own vehicle. The audio tour’s auto-play feature tells you the stories behind the attractions as you experience them.

Activated by your GPS location, you’ll hear about gold rush founders such as the scandalous Samuel Brennan and the innovator Levi Strauss. You’ll also hear about Alcatraz escape attempts, a day in the life of a soldier at Fort Point, and Al Zampa of the Halfway to Hell Club.

Go at your own pace as you discover the history and stories of the attractions that you won’t learn in travel guides, including:

  • Ferry Building: once the transportation hub of San Francisco and today, a center for the city’s sustainable food scene
  • Coit Tower: the mysterious and historic monument gifted to the city by ‘Firebelle Lil’ to honor San Francisco’s firefighters
  • Pier 39: a colony of sea lions, along with scores of attractions, stores and restaurants entertain locals and visitors alike
  • Ghirardelli Square: a former chocolate factory, today, the red-brick landmark features unique urban shoppings and food.
  • Lombard Street:hairpin turns and awesome San Francisco views have earned it the title of the “crookedest street in the world”
  • Alcatraz: America’s once-premier federal penitentiary for the worst of the worst like Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly.
  • Palace of Fine Arts: born as a temporary structure for a world’s fair, it stands today as a dreamy architectural wonder
  • Presidio: a beautiful national park with a colorful military history dating back to 18th century  Spanish explorers
  • Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco’s “must-see” bridge whose lofty cables open a gate to visitors from all over the world

Reviewers have raved about how the tour informed, entertained, and inspired them during their visit.


Drive the tour at your own pace, using your phone as your guide. Learn the history, hear the stories of San Francisco’s founders, scoundrels and visionaries as you  visit:

  • San Francisco Ferry Building
  • Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill
  • Levi Strauss headquarters
  • Pier 39 sea lions and shops
  • Ghirardelli Square
  • “Crooked” Lombard Street
  • Alcatraz prison (does not go to island)
  • Palace of Fine Arts
  • Presidio National Park
  • Fort Point military base
  • Golden Gate Bridge


We will begin in the parking lot at 490 Brannan St, at the corner of Brannan and 4th St. The address 490 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107.


This is a self-guided driving audio tour. Entrance fees to all attractions mentioned on the tour are excluded from the price.

Charge your phone's battery. The way the app uses GPS to play audio automatically can be battery intensive.


Two hours or longer with pauses to explore the attractions.

Important Information
What can you do on a driving tour of San Francisco?

San Francisco has top-rated restaurants and museums. It also has many attractions that can be experienced on a driving tour. The most popular are the Ferry Building, Bay views of Alcatraz and Angel Islands, Maritime Plaza, Lombard Street, Palace of Fine Arts, Presidio, Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge.

What is the best time to do a self-guided driving tour of San Francisco?

Plan your driving trip to San Francisco away from the summer months when crowded streets and thick fog can be obstacles. The Fall gives you the best chance for a beautiful sunny day. No matter the season, visit the downtown sites in the early morning and finish your driving tour in the western districts near Golden Gate Park.

What is weather like in San Francisco?

LIke much of the California coast, San Francisco has a temperate climate with highs between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 24 Celsius) all year around. Winter storms, however, can make it feel much colder, so visitors should dress in layers and bring a warm rain jacket.

Are there any limitations on the size or type of vehicle that can be used on a self-guided car tour?

A self-guided tour is fine for all vehicles up to large SUVs. Some of the side streets are narrow, so they might be a challenge for larger trucks and RVs.

Where is the starting point?

Parking lot at 490 Brannan St, at the corner of Brannan St and 4th St.

Can I download the tour in advance?

You can download the tour at any time, before or after your booking date. It’s best to download the tour before you set off for the starting point.

How long does the tour download take?

The download should only take a few minutes to complete. If it takes longer, please cancel the download, go to Account, select Purchased and download the tour from there.

Once I start the tour, can I pause it?

Yes. Simply hit pause on the tour and do what you’d like. Hit play when you return, even the next day if needed.

Where does the tour end?

Battery Cranston Rd Parking Lot.

What should I bring?

Please charge your phone as well.

Gold Rush to Golden Gate: Self Guided Tour of San Francisco
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