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Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine

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US$30,00
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2 travellers
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Overview
Be informed and entertained on this one-of-a-kind 3-hour walking tour of downtown San Francisco, led by an impersonator of the late Emperor Norton. Self-proclaimed as the Emperor of the US, this 19th-century character comes to life as your guide leads you back to the past. Step into a time machine of sorts and learn about the Barbary Coast, the 1906 earthquake, and historic landmarks surrounding Union Square.
Itinerary
+
You'll start at
Union Square
Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94108, USAWe meet under the Dewey Monument in the center of the square. If that is blocked, we meet of the corner of the square at Powell and Geary.
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  • 1
    Barbary Coast Trail
    Stop: 60 minutes -
    See details
  • 2
    Union Square
    Stop: 20 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 3
    Jackson Square
    Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 4
    Maiden Lane
    Stop: 15 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 5
    Lotta's Fountain
    Stop: 20 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 6
    Portsmouth Square
    Stop: 15 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 7
    Old Cathedral of St. Mary
    Stop: 5 minutes -
    See details
You'll end at
Old Saint Mary's Cathedral
660 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USAOld St. Mary's Cathedral
See address & details
Highlights
  • Skip the usual walking tour for one led by an eccentric fictional historical figure, Emperor Norton
  • See most of downtown San Francisco’s historical attractions in a few hours
  • Hear interesting historical stories you might not otherwise
  • Choose between a morning and afternoon tour to fit your schedule
What to Expect
Meet your guide—an 1800s San Franciscan named Emperor Norton dressed in a feathered hat and full regalia—at Union Square and set off on your tour of downtown San Francisco. The emperor is a colorful character who has also named himself the Protector of Mexico. Walk about 2-miles (3.2 kilometers) to historic landmarks including Union Square, Maiden Lane, Portsmouth Square, the Old Mary Cathedral, and Jackson Square. While you walk, the Emperor tells stories about the devastation of the 1906 fire and earthquake, and the beloved stray dogs of the 1860s, Bummer and Lazarus. Visit the historical buildings that are not on any tourist map, and learn the backstory of the city’s eccentric history.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
Departure Time
11:00 AM
Duration
2h 45m
Return Details
Old Saint Mary's Cathedral, 660 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
Inclusions
  • Professional guide
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Entry/Admission - Union Square
  • Entry/Admission - Jackson Square
  • Entry/Admission - Maiden Lane
  • Entry/Admission - Lotta's Fountain
  • Entry/Admission - Portsmouth Square
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
50Reviews1Q&A
Traveller rating
  • 46
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Popular mentions
My wife and I really enjoyed our hike with our guide. He was very knowledgeable of the history and neighborhood and very engaging. We highly recommend following the Emperor!
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I was in San Francisco for 4 days, and I went on several walking tours with Free Tours by Foot, Wild SF, and San Francisco City Guides. While I enjoyed all of the tours, the best overall tour was with Emperor Norton. He does a great job of comparing the old and new in San
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Great way to spend my birthday! It was fun and very interesting at the same time to hear the history and to be at the actual places where the events occurred. I recommend it.
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Walking tours are the best, especially when you get an "authoritative" narrative from a local, and nobody's more San Francisco local than Emperor Norton. You will see things and go places you'd never think to see on your own. My only complaint is that the Emperor did not have
Read more
We thoroughly enjoyed our fantastic 3-hour time machine walking tour with Emperor Norton. It was a perfect introduction to the history of the downtown area, including Union Square, the Barbary Coast, and Chinatown. Dressed nattily as only an emperor can, we eagerly followed him
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Previous
About the operator
By: Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine
208 reviews
470garrettc
20
Great time following the Emperor
My wife and I really enjoyed our hike with our guide. He was very knowledgeable of the history and neighborhood
Read more
reginal_losangeles
Los Angeles, California
62
Highly recommended - 3-hour walking tour with knowledgeable, enthusiastic tour guide
I was in San Francisco for 4 days, and I went on several walking tours with Free Tours by Foot, Wild SF, and San
Read more
BirthdayGal63
31
Emperor Norton
Great way to spend my birthday! It was fun and very interesting at the same time to hear the history and to be at
Read more
LakewoodJoan
San Francisco, California
239
Wonderful Walking Tour
Walking tours are the best, especially when you get an "authoritative" narrative from a local, and nobody's more
Read more
BroadwayFanForever
North Attleboro, Massachusetts
144
Walking with Emperor Norton is a HOOT!!
We thoroughly enjoyed our fantastic 3-hour time machine walking tour with Emperor Norton. It was a perfect
Read more
marymargareto2015
Wilmington, North Carolina
29797
Extraordinary Time Warp into the 19th Century
I have visited San Francisco a number of times but never fully appreciated its history until involved in this
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ap5150
San Francisco, California
62
I might be mad, but I am brilliant!
The Emperor leads you on a grand walkabout through his haunts on the Barbary Coast, sparing no detail about its
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geoff l
51
A great introduction to SF
The Emperor Norton’s tour was a great introduction to our time in SF . It gave us a good feel for the downtown
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Don O
20
His Eminence
Too much to see. Too little time. The Emperor knows his stuff (it is HIS City after all), and we got lots of
Read more
Catherine E
Sydney
113
Great walking tour of San Francisco
Emperor Norton's tour was fun and highly informative. He knew a lot about the city, it's history, its colourful
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lzybeth
San Jose, California
50
See the real SF with the Emperor!
A very enriching and educational tour! The Emperor has exceptional knowledge of San Francisco history, adding his
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MerryZ21
Windsor, California
354
Great Historical tour
We enjoyed the tour of Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine. The Emperor greets you in the
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danielles830
42
Engaging and informative walking tour
My husband and I spent four days in San Francisco. As lifelong East Bay residents we decided to go and be tourists
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CalifTravelerOne
San Jose, California
22366
No wonder this tour gets such a high rating!
To be honest, I would never sign up for a tour like this but we got this as a gift and loved it. The Emperor
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TravelTrooper1026
Orlando, Florida
14541
Fantastic tour
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Luckily the weather was perfect. Even though we walked approximately 2-3 miles,
Read more
Key Details
  • Duration: 2h 45m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Languages Offered: English
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