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History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill

star-4.5
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San Francisco, United States

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon2 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Regular temperature checks for staff
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Uncover the scandalous, high-society history of San Francisco's most illustrious hill on a walking tour of Nob Hill. Hear the stories behind the grand hotels and stately mansions built by the city's powerful 19th-century business tycoons and politicians, and learn how the advent of the cable car and the disastrous 1906 earthquake shaped one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods.
  • Walking tour of San Francisco's Nob Hill
  • Learn the hidden history behind the city's most elite neighborhood
  • Hear intriguing tales of the railroad tycoons and lumber barons who built their mansions atop the hill
  • Soak up stellar panoramic views of the city and bay
  • Great for history buffs
  • Choice of morning or afternoon departure
Saved to wishlist!
Guided walking tour of Nob Hill
Fully-narrated tour
Local guide
Food and drinks
Gratuities
Transportation to/from attractions

Departure Point

Hotel Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA

Return Details

Stanford Court San Francisco, 905 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
Choose from a morning or early afternoon tour to suit your sightseeing schedule, and meet your guide in Union Square. Get a San Francisco–style workout as you ascend to the top of Nob Hill, where rewarding panoramic views of the city and bay await.

Begin at the famous Fairmont Hotel, which debuted as the city's most elegant accommodations just before the devastating earthquake of 1906 destroyed much of the interior. Learn the backstory behind other majestic buildings on the hill’s crest and the affluent families who built them, including recognizable names like Stanford, Huntington, and Hopkins. Hear about the business rivalries and social intrigue that followed these railroad tycoons, land speculators, lumber barons, and governors who ruled San Francisco in its post–Gold Rush days.

As you stroll through the neighborhood, discover how this small, steep patch of land became early San Francisco's most elite address, especially after the introduction of the cable car. Learn how it has changed over the past 100 years while still maintaining its exclusive mystique perched high above the city streets. At the end of the tour, your guide can recommend several local restaurants and other spots to explore on your own.
Itinerary
Pass By:  
Nob Hill
This is your departure point.
Stop At:  
Hobnob Tours
Of all the many hills San Francisco is famous for, few contain the special history and strange regard of the local population as the hill - Nob Hill at the top of downtown. Once home to governors, lumber barons, railroad tycoons and wealthy land speculators, the hill at the top of California street played an integral part in the special history of what makes San Francisco special, weird, and unique. Your walking history tour of this once uber-affluent neighborhood begins at front of the Fairmont Hotel with your choice of a morning or early afternoon departure. After meeting your guide and the rest of your small group, you will proceed down the street with an introduction of how this single hill become home to some of this city's most famous and wealthy families. Names like Huntington, Hopkins, and Stanford still ring out more than 100 years later as your guide fills you in on the details of the business, social and political rivalries that once dominated the landscape. You'll learn how the cable car changed the perception of where the rich wanted to build their mansions and how this new form of public transportation tied the city together in a whole new way. You'll hear tales of the great earthquake of 1906 and how the fires reshaped the neighborhood permanently while discovering new restaurants, bars, and places to explore on your own. Once your two hour tour is complete, you'll have the option of eating lunch at one of the famous eateries near the top of the hill at your own expense.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • A moderate amount of walking on mostly flat terrain is involved
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Covid 19 restrictions. Guests must wear masks. Gloves will be provided. Guides wear masks and gloves. Guests must be healthy (temperatures taken). Social distancing ) as much as possible. Your safety is important
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Hobnob Tours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill?
A:
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by History and Architecture Walking Tour of Nob Hill.

Traveler Tips


  • "It was a tough walk getting to the initial meeting place, but the walk itself is easy." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
22 Reviews
2 stars
0
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-9 of 22 reviews
star-5
Details of the Financial District
SFNative
, Oct 2020
Valerie called ahead of time to let us know that many places were still closed for our Nob Hill tour. She offered the Financial District tour instead. Valerie was extremely informative and it was apparent that she previously walked the tour to let the lobby security know we were coming. Loved the stories and history.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2020
I enjoyed you and your lovely family. You were great tour guests and understanding that some of our venues were closed due to the COVID 19 problem. Hope to see you again in the future
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Just right
Maps02905883734
, Jun 2019
The tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly it made for a relaxed and intimate experience, very informative without being to heavy. Great stories rather than data being thrown at you and plenty of insights into the beginnings of San Francisco. We really enjoyed it.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2019
Thank you for your kind remarks. Hobnob strives to bring a great tour experience to our guests.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Informative
Meander66483645263
, Apr 2019
If you love history, you’ll love this tour! Our guide was delightful, friendly and conscientious. Not too long and not a lot of walking.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2019
Thank you for taking time to write a positive review. Hobnob prides itself on making our tours a great experience. Please join us on one of our other tours.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Nob Hill Walking Tour
markrP9758EK
, Apr 2019
Valarie was excellent. Her knowledge of SanFrancisco/Nob Hill and related history is detailed and endless! She makes excellent use of historical pics that she has and what is available in the different venues. When possible, she finds a way to get into the various ballrooms and historic rooms. We saw and learned soooo much. We are looking forward to taking Valarie's SF China Town tour
HelpfulHelpful
star-1
No Walking Involved With Guide I Had
Mary-Dan N
, Jul 2018
I use Viator often to book tours and airport transportation and am very happy with them here and abroad. In the instance of this Walking Tour of Nob Hill, my guide, Val, was not into walking. We started in the Fairmont Hotel, sitting on sofas, with Val handing over pictures of people and talking non-stop as if she were reciting from a tour book. We then walked to a ballroom which was not open and she didn’t have a key, so while waiting for someone to bring the key, I went to the Ladies Room which Val had a problem with. Off we went to another room, not open and she didn’t get the key to that one, and then we left, crossed the street & sat down in a park with more photos and recitations. Then we walked across the street to the church, Val handed out a diagram of the church, and said she would meet outside 15 minutes later. At this point I asked her when the “walking tour” would begin & she said we will go across the street to two more hotels and see pictures of houses. At this point I called Viator, which was hard to do. Only got a rep when I called my credit card company and the rep put Val on the phone at the same time. I was able to receive a 50% discount although it should have been a full refund. I am a person who does many reviews and this is the first negative one I have ever done. I think the problem was Val. She was doing a “walking tour” and was really too elderly to walk. She wanted to sit down a lot, which she did. The streets are hilly to be sure, but I am 70 and had I felt I couldn’t do the walking, I would not have signed up for this. Val, who obviously can’t do the walking, shouldn’t be conducting this tour. I think if someone signs up for this, when they find out who is doing it, look at the name and make sure you don’t end up in the same situation I did. $60 I thought was reasonable for a walking tour. $60 for sitting down is not.
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star-5
We take walking tours all over the...
Leah
, Mar 2018
We take walking tours all over the world and this one was very interesting and we would highly recommend it. Loved seeing the classic architecture and the beautiful buildings. It was a tough walk getting to the initial meeting place, but the walk itself is easy. It was a beautiful day in San Francisco and everyone should try this walking tour.
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star-5
Excellent learned so much about...
jean d
, Feb 2018
Excellent learned so much about eatly history asnd saw so many beautiful old buildings. Perfect way to see the city
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star-3
I loved the history. Our guide was...
Carol K
, Jul 2017
I loved the history. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly but not passionate. Good information.
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star-5
Val was extremely knowledgeable. The...
robert.l.frye
, May 2017
Val was extremely knowledgeable. The tour took us inside several iconic hotels showing us areas of the hotels that the average tourist cannot get into. Easy paced and very informative.
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Product code: 37658P2

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