Tom Downs grew up in the suburbs south of San Francisco and always felt the pull of the big city. He has authored Lonely Planet guidebooks to New Orleans, the Mississippi Delta, the west of Ireland, Vietnam, and San Francisco. He lived in the Mission District and in Chinatown before migrating to Oakland with his wife and three kids. In 2007 he was awarded a gold medal from the Society of American Travel Writers for his guidebook Lonely Planet: New Orleans.
Walking San Francisco: 33 Savvy Tours Exploring Steep Streets, Grand Hotels, Dive Bars, and Waterfront Parksby Tom Downs
From the Gold Rush to the Summer of Love to the dotcom days, San Francisco has been a city of distinct neighborhoods. This savvy, entertaining guide explores the best of the city "on the ground" in tours that traverse its length and breadth. The 33 urban treks are a great way to soak up the history, culture, and vibe of the City by the Bay. The walk's commentary includes trivia about architecture, local culture, and neighborhood history, plus tips on where to dine, have a drink, or shop. Each tour includes a clear neighborhood map and vital public transportation and parking information. Route summaries make each walk easy to follow, and a Points of Interest section lists each walk's highlights. Walking San Francisco provides the perfect path for a weekend adventure, an after-work ramble, or a sociable pub crawl.
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This is my third book of the "Walking" series - I already own Portland and Seattle, and this one is another winner. SF is a great walking town and this really breaks it down in bite size walks, that you can take along, or link to others. My only critique would be to update the walking map shown at the beginning of each walk with the points of interest discussed in the walks. That way you have some point of reference instead of trying to puzzle out - which corner, what street, etc. Overall though, that's a minor inconvienence to a highly usable book.