Barbary Coast Trail San Francisco
Are you ready to chase a trail of golden medallions throughout the city? The do-it-yourself Barbary Coast Trail is your chance to show summer guests a city that even old-timers don’t know! On this self-guided walking tour, 170 medallions set in the pavement lead you into the city's intriguing and tumultuous past. Begin the journey wherever you like, but the official start is the Old U.S. Mint Building in the heart of downtown. Over four flat and gently sloping miles, you'll hitch up at the old Pony Express Headquarters, discover the birthplace of the Gold Rush, and uncover a few scandalous tidbits too. Example: Maiden Lane, the side street known for its high-end shopping, used to be lined with wooden shanties that housed ladies of the night. According to lore, these denizens "often hung out of windows naked to the waist, and offered men one breast to touch for 10 cents, two for 15 cents." You won't find prices like that at today's boutiques! To complete this classic tour, you can ride a cable car from the finish at Aquatic Park—home to the recently renovated, Maritime Museum, featuring 1930s art deco and vibrant murals depicting the underwater world—back to the start at Hallidie Plaza. And the rest is history!

BONUS: The trail passes some eminently edifying watering holes, such as the Old Ship and Caffe Trieste, where you and your guests can ponder the past over a pint of Anchor Steam or a frothy cappuccino.

We recommend picking up a printed guide to get the full Barbary Coast Trail experience. They can be found at various bookstores in the city or ordered online.