Home | Frequently Asked Questions | Why Tour with Us? | What Our Clients Say | Fees | Planning Ahead | Contact Us

We can pick you up anywhere within 90 minutes’ drive of San Francisco—at your home, hotel, ship's terminal, or the airport!

Why Tour with Us?


We offer the exciting alternative to regimented Big Bus Tours,

expensive Limo Tours, to Driving yourself

Value Charter Bus Limo

Rent  a Car

or Van

A Friend in Town
Optimal use of limited time Good Good Poor BEST
Itinerary designed with your interests in mind Poor Good BEST Very Good
Informed Commentary by an experienced Guide trained in local History Good Poor Poor BEST

Comfort

Poor

BEST

(if you have good knees & don't mind twisting around to see the passing scenery)

Good Very Good
Convenience Good Very Good Very Good BEST (pick-up + drop-off at your door)

Access

to private interiors on relevant itineraries

(e.g. Coit Tower murals)

Rare Rare Rare Very Good (with adequate notice)
Flexible pace Poor Good BEST Very Good
Costs BEST per-person Poor Good Very Good
Opportunity to choose your cuisine + entrees for lunch/dinner Poor Very Good Very Good BEST
Experiencing the lesser known yet fascinating places Poor Poor Poor Very Good
Getting close to local people Poor Good Good Very Good
Many suggestions of activities best done on your own Poor Poor Poor Very Good
Availability to solo travelers Yes Yes Yes Yes!
  • We start when you're ready, and move at your pace.
  • You get picked up (& dropped off) at your home or hotel. We can meet you anywhere within 90 minutes of downtown San Francisco. (You decide to rent a car, then spend an hour getting to their office, doing the paperwork, figuring out the map, then worrying about getting it back in time.)
  • You employ the services of a trained, knowledgeable Guide who's lived in the Bay Area for decades. With interactive narration, you get context and history so you appreciate more thoroughly what you're seeing and experiencing.
  • Your itinerary is customized to emphasize your preferences in places to see and where we eat. You may suggest out-of-the-way destinations to indulge your passion for lighthouses, gardens, places of worship...you tell us. If you want to experience redwood, we take you there. If you like antique trains (and they're running that day), we get you on board. If art (classical or modern) is your passion, we take you where you can be fulfilled.
  • Our itineraries include sites omitted from the typical guidebook or tour—places that even many natives don't know about.
  • You travel in a roomy Toyota Sienna featuring leather Captain's seats, large windows and privacy glass. Or, for larger groups, we charter a comfortable mini-bus...large windows, fabric seats. .
  • You don't worry about directions, traffic or where to park…and paying the ticket!
  • You know what you owe since we have no hidden fees like fuel surcharges, "license fees," and mandatory gratuities. We provide a superlative quality, personalized tour at an affordable price.
  • You can travel solo, as a couple, as a family, or as a group of similar interests.
  • If you're headed for our Wine Country, no one in your party needs to be the designated driver. If you really want to see our spectacular Big Sur coast, you can look at the scenery, not the road. If headed to Yosemite, you arrive rested and ready to go!
  • You may ask for recommendations to outstanding and unusual activities and events to enjoy on your own (evenings or the next day).

Sizing Up the Best Known Tour Company

Here's what a local reporter said about Gray Line's 'deluxe' City Tour:

"Fifteen minutes at Mission Dolores. Ten minutes at the big orange bridge. OK, everyone back on the bus… Day after day, year after year. The route never changes… The Gray Line company has been running them forever, taking visitors to spots that few San Franciscans bother with and serving up cute remarks about hippies, homeless people, juvenile hall, bridge suicides and buffalo poop… "I already know what your questions are," say Rich [the driver/guide] "Ninety-nine percent of everything you are going to ask I will answer, sooner or later. So hold your questions." Two hands that were up go down… The bus no longer travels through Seacliff or the Marina. These are exclusive neighborhoods, according to the people who live there and wrote letters to keep out the tour buses. "We'd like to take you there," Rich says. "But we can't."… Its mission discharged, the bus gravitates to its spiritual home at Fisherman's Wharf, and Rich recommends a couple of restaurants whose names do not now or ever pass the lips of San Franciscans. …There are a great many things to do at Pier 39, says Rich, and whatever they are, a lot of people stand up and, watching their step, get off and go do them."

"Sightseeing in S.F.—by the Numbers" (6/23/2000) by Steve Rubenstein,
San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer

A Friend in Town Is the Preferred Solution for:

  • Busy professionals who have to work during the day, and don't want to leave their guests feeling neglected and bored.
  • Visitors who've been here before but are wondering 'What else is there to see and do in the Bay Area?'
  • First-timers and conventioneers who need to optimize the limited time they have to get to know our myriad attractions.
  • Native-born and long-term residents who now have time to discover or return to places they've just passed by before.
  • Anyone who prefers helping to design an outing over being processed through a strictly timed mass itinerary.
  • The history buff or aesthete who prefers informed commentary over a canned spiel.
  • Anyone who prefers moving about in comfort and privacy to squeezing into seats smaller than airline coach… as well as those who'd prefer not to have to appease the parking gods or negotiate traffic while showing off the marvels of our area
  • Anyone who prefers being picked up and dropped off at home, at a restaurant, concert venue, or his/her hotel.
  • Anyone who prefers the option of influencing our pace by saying, 'let's stop here, let's enjoy this a little longer, let's move on.'
  • The gourmand who prefers being able to choose where s/he has lunch as well as their own selections from the menu.
  • The solo traveler who wants to get out and experience things, safely—without having to wait for a quorum to form.Parents who appreciate having child-oriented, age-appropriate activities as a focus of the itinerary.
  • The hedonist who desires to experience The Wine Country—perhaps have a mud bath and massage, followed by a sumptuous dinner—but doesn't want to worry about logistics or being too relaxed to drive home
  • The native or visitor who hasn't been to Yosemite (in years or ever)—who's hesitated on account of the distance, fear of traffic and crowds.
  • The technophile or Curious George who hasn't gotten around to visiting Silicon Valley—'yeah, I kinda know where it is… but is there really anything to see there?'
  • The thoughtfully magnanimous person whose friend or relative deserves an unique and specially memorable gift.

Call: 510-619-3619Reserve Your Tour