Take a virtual walk under the neon glow with San Francisco Neon authors Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan.
ONLINE NEON TOUR SCHEDULE
Thu 7/23 Tenderloin East Neon and Ghost Signs
Thu 8/6 SF Neon Chinatown Part 1
Online tours are free | $10 suggested donation.
Neon brightens the darkness, stay illuminated!
Contact us to schedule private online tours.
Preview of SF Neon tours by Evatt Carrodus
There is a wealth of vintage neon signs and stories in the streets and alleys of Chinatown. This tour features some of the oldest signs in the city. Although many no longer light up, several signs still give a glow to the neighborhood every evening. This is the first tour of a two-part series.
As we shelter in place, join us for an online journey through the historic corridors of Jones, Eddy, O'Farrell, Geary, Post, Sutter, and Bush Streets. From the gritty to the sublime, you’ll see vintage neon signs and learn some city history about this iconic San Francisco neighborhood.
Follow a historic trail via neon and matchbooks on an online journey to discover San Francisco's mid-century night-life culture. You’ll see stunning visuals of vintage match books and neon signs from the nightclubs, hotels, and late-night greasy spoons that formed the Tenderloin’s mid-century nightscape.
This Tenderloin West tour follows a route to discover ghost signs and vintage neon signs along the corridors of Polk, Larkin, Hyde, Post, Geary, and O’Farrell Streets in San Francisco. There are so many vintage signs in the Tenderloin it takes two tours to feature all of these remarkable signs and their backstories.
This Tenderloin East tour features ghost signs and vintage neon signs along the corridors of Ellis, Eddy, Golden Gate, Leavenworth, Jones, Taylor, Mason, Powell, and Market Streets. There are so many vintage signs in the Tenderloin it takes two tours to feature all these remarkable signs and their backstories.
From the grandeur of the Alameda Theater to the nearly invisible Pop Inn, downtown Alameda boasts a fine collection of vintage neon. This tour was developed by Alameda local, Devi L. Dahl, and winds through a quiet bungalow neighborhood and commercial corridors of Alameda. Design insights and historical backstories included. This Sunday evening tour was a popular sold-out feature of Neon Speaks 2019.
Photo: Devi L. Dahl
This tour has hidden neon gems that still light up the night, reminding us when San Francisco's nightlife was ablaze with neon. The Downtown neon tour includes several neighborhoods from the produce market lore of Front Street, to the well-heeled Palace Hotel, plus Union Square back streets.
Flow through corners of three neighborhoods, from the stunning Castro marquee to the city's largest neon martini glass at the 500 Club. Historic neon glows on corner stores, corner bars, coffee shops, groceries stores, and cinemas—all places where neighbors congregate. Meet at It's Tops Coffee Shop on Market Street near Octavia.
Wander between Lombard and Chestnut Streets to discover vintage neon signs for motels, movie theaters, psychics, falling donuts, and a diving lady. Meet at the Presidio Theater on Chestnut Street near Divisadero.
Get a gift certificate passport booklet for a friend or yourself. Quick delivery of this handsome 4-tour passport booklet
that is suitable for gift giving.
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Small Print: Requests for cancellation with full refund can be made 24 hours prior to tour start time. If you want to reschedule your tour, we may be able to move your reservation to a future tour, just let us know. We reserve the right to change/cancel the tour due to obstructions, stormy weather, or insufficient reservations. Canceled tours will be fully refunded. All participants agree to assume 100% responsibility for their own safety, conduct, and well-being, and recognize that possible hazards exist while participating in outdoor (or any other) activities; and agree to participate solely at their own risk. If you join this group, and if you click the reserve button, and/or attend any San Francisco Neon or Giant Orange Press events; it shall be conclusively presumed you understand and agree to this policy.
From the gritty to the sublime, zig zag through the historic corridors of Ellis, O'Farrell, Geary, Post, Sutter, and Bush Streets. As twilight falls, theses neon signs illuminate local landmarks, classic hotels, and famous movie locations. Meet at Mack's Valet Cleaners on Post Street near Taylor.
Look up to find forgotten clusters of vintage neon signs in the streets of Chinatown, back alleys and back stories are included. These are some of the oldest signs in San Francisco. They are sometimes overlooked, but not forgotten because of the history they hold in this unique tourist and working class neighborhood. Meet at the Chinatown YMCA on Sacramento Street near Grant.