North Beach San Francisco: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Departure: Corner of Columbus and Broadway
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes
Navigation : GPS-activated audio guide


San Francisco literary figure, Joan Gelfand, hosts this grand tour from the Gold Rush haunts of the Barbary Coast to the culturally rich neighborhood of North Beach. The audio tour plays automatically as you are led to the tour’s historic locales, favorite local restaurants, and hidden gems.

What’s Included

  •  GPS-activated audio guide plays on your phone
  •  Local insider commentary and guest interviews
  •  See top attractions like the TransAmerica Building, Jackson Square, MacArthur Park, Sentinel Building, and the Condor Club
  •  Find hidden gems, including: Punk Rock birthplace, Mabuhay Gardens, City Lights Bookstore, Beat Museum; and gold rush era hang outs.
  •  Restaurant recommendations
  •  Easy pause and play to go at your own pace

What’s Not Included

  •  Meals or beverages
  •  Transportation
Note: This is a self-guided audio tour. Entrance fees to all attractions mentioned on the tour are excluded from the price.


This route meanders through wonderfully historic neighborhoods of San Francisco. Your host, Joan Gelfand, an accomplished literary figure in her own right, takes you from North Beach, home of the beats, punks and jazz; to Jackson Square where Gold Miners came to weigh gold, carouse and sleep.

This entertaining audio tour takes about an hour but there are many places to stop and linger along the way, like: City Lights Books, Purple Onion Comedy Club, and The Beat Museum.

Landmarks you will see on your tour include: the TransAmerica Building, Bay Bridge, Saints Peter and Paul Church, Jackson Square, MacArthur Park, Sentinel Building, and the Condor Club

As you walk, learn the stories of Jim Dirksen, the Pope of Punk; Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet; Jack Kerouac, writer; Francis Coppola, movie producer; and Tony Serra, attorney.

Finally, when you are ready, take a break for coffee or a meal. Your host makes recommendations, including: Cafe Vesuvio, Tosca Cafe, Cafe Trieste, Cafe Sport, Cafe Pucchini, The Stinking Rose and Stella Bakery



The tour begins at the corner of Columbus and Broadway. Get there by taking BART to Montgomery Street, then walk east on Montgomery to Columbus, or take the MUNI bus.

Know before you go

Remember your headphones and charge your phone’s battery. The way the app uses GPS to play audio automatically can be battery intensive.


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