San Francisco Sightseeing Tours - Take a guided walking tour

Book San Francisco Walking TourGuided Walking Tours of
San Francisco
for Everyone


Spreckles Lake    copyright 2000 Marilyn Straka
  • Have friends or family coming to visit?
  • Have you wanted to explore and learn more about the City yourself?
  • Need a gift for that "difficult to buy for" person in your life?
  • Planning a visit to San Francisco? Want to see some sights not on the maps?


Contact: ON THE LEVEL for a Guided Excursion. All ON THE LEVEL excursions have been tested for safety and accessibility for wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers. They have been thoroughly researched and are visited often to assess changes. I hope they will offer you only good surprises!

Price: $25 per person for standard tours. Private, couple, senior, and special group rates available.

Length of Tour: average 1 mile, 2 hours

Meeting Place: Designated for each tour, most near public transportation

Tour Route: Choose established routes or devise your own combination. We'll customize tours to suit you, including arrangements for hotel pickups and meals.

All walks feature:
  • No hills or steps
  • Length of 1 mile or less
  • A wide, uncrowded walkway
  • Places to rest
  • Safe environments to explore
  • Views and points of interest
  • Parking options
  • Public transit information
  • Access to a public phone
  • Restrooms
  • Curb cuts
  • A special Puzzler for the "young at heart"


Reserve on-line and secure your spot using Paypal. Select your tour below and then SIGN UP HERE

Your confirmation will be e-mailed to you. This will include the meeting place of the tour, directions and my cell phone number for those last minute questions.

What's New at the Presidio ?!
Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio is now open to the public. We will walk the grounds and learn the history of the Presidio as well as Lucas' plans for his "new empire". Professional walking guide Marilyn Straka will be your guide for this two hour, two mile outdoor tour (this is one in a series of her award-winning walks with no hills or steps in San Francisco!).

First we will circle the historic Presidio to see a wonderful mix of old Army buildings and newly renovated homes, offices and conference centers. Then we will compare the old and new architecture as we continue to Lucasfilm Center. There are unparalleled views of the Palace of Fine Arts as we are surrounded by brick and stucco military-like buildings, big granite boulders, streams, and rolling green knolls. Come and experience the ambience Lawrence Halprin created for the common areas of this 23-acre office complex. The tour will continue on to explore other Presidio historic sites and some surprises.

Make this YOUR Day at the Presidio. Optionally finish your tour with a snack or meal at one of the Presidio's ten restaurants (List of restaurants is available at NOTE: LDAC lobby tour is only available on weekdays. Peeking is permitted on weekends.

We will have a rest/refreshment stop at the Presidio Visitor's Center partway through the walk.

Salesforce Rooftop Garden and the New TransBay Terminal Walking Tour

Salesforce Garden Guided Walking Tour

Salesforce Tower tour

Salesforce 61-story tower is the new tallest building in San Francisco! We will start our walk at the Salesforce Plaza at Mission and Fremont and see the intriguing lobby of the TransBay Terminal building. Then we take an elevator or gondola to the 4th level garden where the "awe factor" continues.

We will do 5 blocks of walking to loop through the complete garden above the new transit center. There are signs to explain each of the thirteen unique and colorful gardens. We are surrounded by an amazing new urban "world of high rises", including the tallest building in San Francisco, Salesforce.

This huge open space in the middle of downtown San Francisco is complete with fountains and spaces for entertainment as well as many benches and tables to rest, eat and socialize. Food trucks are available to purchase food on the main level. The tour continues with insights into the buildings and neighborhood around the tower and gardens.

The 2 hour tour also visits other rooftop gardens and open spaces in the area and ends with a walk "over the water" to see another view of the skyline.

Click here for tickets and booking.


Rooftop Gardens & Waterfalls in Downtown San Francisco
San Francisco Guided Walking Tour

Waterfalls in Downtown San Francisco?  Rooftop gardens open to the public? Yes, to both questions!

One percent of the funds spent on any private building in San Francisco must go toward public spaces. Sometimes this is an art exhibit in the lobby BUT sometimes it’s a waterfall (there are multiple water features along our route) or a rooftop garden (with a great view). Many are unknown to the general public.

Join your guide, “On The Level” Marilyn Straka, for a mile-long walking tour of downtown San Francisco to see these hidden treasures.

Click here to download the brochure.

Click here for tickets and booking.

Billionaires Row Walking Tour

Pacific Heights West is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in San Francisco. Broadway is often called "Billionaires Row". Join "On The Level" Marilyn Straka for an intriguing and educational walk of the area.

The walk starts from the front door of the Drisco Hotel and offers incredible views, gardens in bloom year round and a look at the homes of the rich and famous. The tour is full of fun facts about the history, the designers and the early owners of the huge homes along the route. Learn the secrets of the current owners as well. This walk of 8 city blocks follows a path along well-maintained city sidewalks and is enjoyable for all walking abilities.

Victorians, Mansions and Gardens

Come and experience a wonderful journey and fascinating insight into the Victorians of Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow. Marilyn Straka, long time Pacific Heights resident and owner of "On the Level Walking Tours", will be your guide.

The tour begins at the beautiful Queen Anne Hotel. You will then stroll past over 100 beautifully restored Victorian homes and mansions. See the homes where the television series "Party of Five" and the movie "Mrs. Doubtfire" were filmed. Another highlight will be the oldest mansion in the area, the spectacular Casebolt home.

You will gain insight into the Tech industry with stories from Marilyn and you will take in the grand architecture and history of Pacific Heights. Ask to see the secret rooftop garden!


Andy Goldsworthy at the Presidio
Andy Goldsworthy has become famous internationally for his site specific art installations featuring materials from nature.  The Presidio is home to the largest collection of his works on public view in North America.  The art is designed using materials from the Presidio; they allow the viewer to experience the familiar in a new way!  This is the insider's look at Andy Goldworthy art.  On this tour, we will walk 2 miles to see Spire, Tree Fall, Wood Line and Earth Wall.  This tour can optionally be done with a car shuttle from site to site to minimize the walking required.  Call Marilyn to create a tour that meets the needs of your group.


San Francisco WITH the Hills and Steps:

A unique offering from 'On The Level' - see the newest and best of San Francisco's 600+ stairways! Many are in the heart of SF's most intriguing neighborhoods. See first-hand the challenges city residents face who live on the stairways and have no vehicle access.

Also, see the beautifully landscaped gardens by the stairways and hidden parks, often maintained by the locals who live there. This is your reward for the climb!! With 42 minor hills and 7 major hills to explore, each walk has ten or more stairways. The length of the walk can be customized to your walking ability.

Bonus: Based on a collaboration with author, Adah Bakalinsky, the well-known stairway guide, Stairway Walks in San Francisco, will be available for purchase at a discount. This walk can be followed by a neighborhood restaurant meal (not included in tour price).

Bike Tours from On The Level in San Francisco

Choose from 3 levels of difficulty:

EASY Totally flat – explore 10 miles of the SF Waterfront, SOMA (South of Market Area) and Mission Bay

• See where to view a Giants game – free
• Landmark houseboat community (including a spaceship and a swan boat)
• New pop-up beer garden and ice cream venues
• World's largest dry dock facility
• New Benioff hospital complex

MODERATE Mostly flat or downhill – explore 5 miles of Golden Gate Park and learn its secrets (you won't see this from the bus or car), return via public bus or bike 5 miles of gentle uphill, stopping to spend time at your favorite new places

• Primitive plant trail
• Shakespeare's Garden
• Fly Casting ponds
• Waterfalls
• Natural lake with great blue herons and other wildlife

MORE DIFFICULT Bike the 5 mile Angel Island perimeter road with multiple ups and downs

• 2 secret beaches
• Unknown awesome viewpoints – 360 degree view of the Bay area
• Campsite with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge
• History of the island and the Bay Area

Low price bike rentals available at the start of all rides
All tours are private: $35/person with a $150 minimum. Families are welcome.
See YELP for reviews

Overnight Trips to Northern California
$75/day if participants use my suggestions and tour independently
$300/day for 8-hour tour

Offering 2 to 4 night trips to explore this national park gem. John Muir fell in love with Yosemite and you will too as we hike, bike, or tour via car, viewing huge granite boulders, rivers/creeks, wildlife and waterfalls. May is the best month to see the waterfalls at their fullest. Book one month in advance for lodging near park entrance. Book four months in advance for lodging within the park.

Offering 2 to 4 night trips to explore the mountains and lakes around Lake Tahoe. Includes a visit to Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Olympics and the Sierra Discovery Trail, an accessible trail with river access, waterfalls, forest and meadows. What a discovery!

Offering 1 to 3 night trips to see the beauty and diversity of the Monterey peninsula. Tour includes 17-mile drive, Point Lobos Preserve and other hidden gems from Santa Cruz to Big Sur.

San Francisco Holiday Lights
Join “On The Level” tour guide, Marilyn Straka, to see downtown San Francisco and all that glitters at the Holiday Season. We will explore uniquely decorated hotel and office lobbies before walking to Yerba Buena Gardens for a look at a hidden treasure. Bloomingdales and the Westfield Shopping Center will offer new and exciting visual delights. Then onto Union Square to see several department stores, the large tree and other points of interest. Here shopping and eating options abound. Or continue on to the quiet world of Maiden Lane where we will sing carols. $25/person

Starting Point
Sheraton Palace Hotel at Market and New Montgomery, inside main entrance

Getting There
From the East Bay, exit BART at Montgomery and walk ˝ block south of Market on New Montgomery.

Meters operate until 6pm (free on Sunday) or two ramps are available on 3rd St between Howard and Market

Think family, friends, co-workers, holiday party idea! Call Marilyn at 415.921.1382 to book your date.

Book San Francisco Walking TourON THE LEVEL EXCURSIONS

All excursions available as guided walks.
*indicates a self-guided booklet is also available and links to the walk description.

#  1   Marina Green (free here on website)

Golden Gate Bridge

3   Palace of Fine Arts

#  4   Pacific Heights East*

5   Pacific Heights West*

6   Fort Point*

#  7   Yerba Buena Gardens*

#  8   Mountain Lake Park  

#  9   Aquatic Park  

#10   Embarcadero  

#11   Levi's Plaza  

#12   Golden Gate Park - Spreckels Lake*

#13   Golden Gate Park - Arboretum*  

#14   Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake*  

#15   Fort Funston  

#16   Sutro Heights Park  

#17   Cow Hollow  *

#18   Fort Mason*

#19   Presidio History Walk  

#20   Lobos Dunes Boardwalk  

 Marina Green Promenade   © 2000  Marilyn Straka


Presidio  © 2000  Marilyn Straka


Strybing Arboretum  © 2000 Marilyn Straka


Embarcadero © 2000 Marilyn Straka


The ON THE LEVEL locator map displays the locations of Excursions 1 through 20. 

Exploring San Francisco on the Level,  Marilyn Straka © 2000  Map by Ben Pease

Exploring San Francisco on the Level, Marilyn Straka © 2000

Map by Ben Pease 
|   Larger printable map


Muni  BART

Muni is San Francisco's mass transit system. When more than one bus/trolley line is given below, any of the routes can get you to the start of the walk. BART is Bay Area Rapid Transit and can bring you to San Francisco from many areas outside of San Francisco.

Muni and BART access to get to the start of a walk:  

1 Marina Green

Muni #28 - Beach and Buchanan

Muni #22 - Fillmore and Marina Blvd. 

Muni #43 - Chestnut & Fillmore

2 Golden Gate Bridge

Muni #28 and #29 - Bridge parking lot

3 Palace of Fine Arts

Muni #30 - Jefferson and Broderick

Muni #28 - Baker and Richardson

Muni #43 - Baker and Lombard

4 Pacific Heights - East

Muni #22 - Broadway and Fillmore

Muni #3 and #24 - Jackson and Fillmore

5 Pacific Heights - West

6 Fort Point

7 Yerba Buena Gardens

Muni #14 - Mission and Third St.

Muni or BART - Powell or Montgomery stations

8 Mountain Lake Park

Muni #2 - Clement and Funston

Muni #38 - Geary and Funston

9 Aquatic Park

Muni #19 - Beach and Polk

Muni #42 and #30 - Van Ness and North Point

10 Embarcadero

Muni or BART - Embarcadero station

11 Levi's Plaza

Muni #42 - Battery or Sansome

12 Golden Gate Park - Spreckles Lake

Muni #5 - Fulton and 36th Ave.

Muni #31 - Balboa and 36th Ave.

13 Golden Gate Park - Arboretum

Muni #44 and #71 - Lincoln Way and 9th Ave.

Muni #N Judah - at 9th Ave.

14 Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake

15 Fort Funston

Muni #18 - Skyline Blvd. at John Muir Drive

16 Sutro Heights Park

Muni #38 - 48th and Point Lobos Ave.

17 Cow Hollow

Muni #42, 47, 49 - Van Ness and Union St.

18 Upper Fort Mason

Muni #42, 47, 49 and #30 - Van Ness and North Point

19 Presidio History Walk

Muni #29 - Lincoln or Funston

20 Lobos Dunes Boardwalk

Muni #29 - Lincoln and Bowley St.

Note: Check a map for the exact location of these stops. The nearest stop may not be at the start of the excursion. Contact Muni or BART to obtain the latest information regarding special needs access.




Click on tour name below to view pictures

San Francisco City Park walks

click photos below for larger images

Palace of Fine Arts   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Palace of Fine Arts
Aquatic Park   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Aquatic Park
Golden Gate Park - Spreckles Lake   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Golden Gate Park -
Spreckels Lake
Golden Gate Park - Arboretum   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Golden Gate Park -
Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Golden Gate Park -
Stow Lake
Marina Green   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Marina Green
Mountain Lake Park   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Mountain Lake Park 


Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA)
(walks near the ocean or San Francisco Bay

click photos below for larger images

Golden Gate Bridge   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Golden Gate Bridge
Fort Mason   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Fort Mason
Fort Point   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Fort Point
Fort Funston © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Fort Funston
Sutro Heights Park © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Sutro Heights Park
Presidio   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Presidio History Walk
Lobos Dunes Boardwalk - Presidio   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
 Lobos Dunes Boardwalk
(in the Presidio)


Urban walks

click photos below for larger images

Yerba Buena Gardens   © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Yerba Buena Gardens
Levi's Plaza  © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Levi's Plaza
Embarcadero  © 2000 Marilyn Straka


Neighborhood Walks

click photos below for larger images

Pacific Heights East  © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Pacific Heights East
Cow Hollow  © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Pacific Heights West  © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Pacific Heights West
Cow Hollow  © 2000 Marilyn Straka
Cow Hollow



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Phone 415.921.1382

Marilyn Straka
2295 Vallejo St. #504
San Francisco, CA 94123