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Gold, Greed, and Gunslingers: Forging San Francisco

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Location Marker San Francisco, CA
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Gold, Greed, and Gunslingers: Forging San Francisco

How the West Was Won

Did you know the 1849 Gold Rush can be blamed for some of the wildness of the West? The unprecedented growth it sparked turned small settlements like San Francisco into dens of depravity overnight.

With its historic architecture, distinctive neighborhoods, and romantic scenery, San Francisco is known as a cultural getaway destination, but during the California Gold Rush, this area was named for Africa’s Barbary Coast, infamous the world over for its cutthroats and pirates at that time. Look past the quaint alleyways and picturesque views to the darker side of how the Golden West was won and hear how thousands of fortune hunters from every corner of the Earth flooded into the bay, bringing every kind of crime, violence, and vice in their wake.

“This is one of the most eye-opening tours I’ve ever been on. These stories are fascinating!” 

What is the Gold, Greed, and Gunslingers: Forging San Francisco Tour about?

Our San Francisco History Tour brings to life the city’s den of iniquity, an infamous red-light district characterized by lawlessness and danger. Discover the historic neighborhoods where saloons, gambling halls, opium dens, and brothels stood in place of today’s restaurants, clubs, and shops, and take in a history lesson with a spicy side on this walkable tour. 

What You Will See on This Tour:

This fascinating tour will take you on an immersive mile of the most notorious areas of San Francisco’s historical wickedness, such as:

Professional guides will introduce you to the original city districts where greed and lawlessness combined to create an atmosphere of danger and iniquity among the residents of early San Francisco.

Join us to explore the darker elements of San Francisco’s gold rush legacy, where money and mayhem ruled the day amidst the formation of the Golden City.

“When gold was first discovered at Sutter’s Mill, back in 1848, San Francisco, still in its infancy, was barely settled. New arrivals lived in canvas tents – poor shelter from the rainy weather. The city’s first buildings were made from ships run aground in the harbor. In 1849, the population was estimated at two thousand men and almost no women.” 

- Ruth Franklin

Includes



  • Tickets
    Entry ticket

Additional Info

Meeting point address: Meet your tour guide in front of the Hilton Financial District, at the intersection of Merchant and Kearny Streets.

Duration: 2 Hours

Help Icon Parking: There are paid parking lots and meters around the meeting area
Use parkme.com for more parking locations.

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Location:

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Reviews (450):

Tammy Macdonald
Verified Customer

Review Star Review Star Review Star Review Star Review Star

April 13th 2024

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Anna Barabino
Verified Customer

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April 10th 2024

"Our tour guild Mike and the ghost hunting dog Oakly made sure to take us all around where we needed ... "

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Neevi Shah
Verified Customer

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April 9th 2024

"Jamie was an amazing guide!! Very knowledgeable. Had lots of fun learning about SF ghosts and histor ... "

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Important Information

Arrival

Please arrive to the designated meeting location before your tour’s start time, or they may leave without you! Your email confirmation will verify map and meeting location.

Easy E-Check in

No need to print anything out. Just show up, and the tour guide will mark you present! Please save your email confirmation handy on your phone for reference.

Daily Availability

Press “book now” to view current time and date availability.

Private Groups

Looking for a private or large group tour? Contact us for details

Walking Tour

This tour is a walking tour.

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