If your boots were made for walking, then a walking tour of one of San Francisco's many fascinating neighborhoods or districts may be the perfect activity for you while visiting San Francisco. Even if you aren't all that into walking but enjoy learning about an area and the things that make that area unique, this is the tour for you.
Combining education and entertainment with physical activity is a great way to trick your body into getting out, getting a little sun, and having a lot of fun. The best thing about these tours for me is the fact that they are free. Don't get me wrong, I love learning about the history of the areas I visit. Even more than that, I love hearing about the great and quirky people that made the history; but I have to admit, I love doing things that provide entertainment and don't cost a great deal of money. A donation is recommended and I can honestly appreciate that much more than an overpriced amusement park ride (or worse paying that much just to walk through the gate and never actually riding a ride).
Not all walking tours of San Francisco are free, but the ones that are led by the San Francisco city guides are. You really should check them out at some point during your visit. They offer a great selection of walking tours each and every day that will appeal to a very diverse audience. In fact, there are tours that are geared towards specific groups of people so if you are with your family, it might be a good idea to allow each member of your family to select at least one of these walking tours that is of interest to him or her. That way, everyone is motivated to sit through the selections of the other in anticipation of the trip he or she selected.
The tours typically begin in easy to identify and very public places and most of them even meet near access to public transportation in order to accommodate visitors coming from other areas of the city. The tours go to great lengths to avoid being overly strenuous but the Streets of San Francisco are not always accommodating, as they are well known for their steep hills. I think taking one of the walking tours early in the day is a great way to start the day. You get to get a little fresh air, a little exercise, and you are enjoying these things before the day gets too terribly warm. Not to mention the fact that starting your day off with something that is fun and free is a really good way to start your day.
If you are among the really brave, you might want to try one of the many 'Ghost Walking Tours' that are available. There are ghost walks of City Hall and the Palace. If you prefer something a little mellower, there are plenty of walks from which to choose. Some of the more popular walks are the Golden Gate Bridge walking tour (this tour provides great insight into the mind of the man who dared to dream of this bridge and tells the story of what it took to build this bridge it is very much a tour worth taking if you have any love for the many great bridges of the world), the Ferry Building walking tour (recently renovated, this building was once of major importance to San Francisco, it has now been replaced by roads and bridges but remains an important component in the history of this great city), and the Coit Tower Murals walking tour (the tour allows peeks at murals that aren't always opened to the public as well as a glimpse into the murals that depict famous scenes from the 1930's).
While visiting San Francisco, there are few better ways to completely enjoy your trip than taking one of the many walking tours available in the city. Finding one of the many free walking tours is even better. You will not only get a unique insight into the city or for the icon you are touring, but you will also get a much better view than if you were simply driving by.