Thinkwalks

(8 activities)
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    Hike Our Most Hidden Watershed

    On the west side of Twin Peaks near 7th avenue, there exists a watershed, which used to be one of San Francisco’s major reservoirs. This area has been through a lot over the years. Sewers flow underneath the deteriorating concrete bottom; Muni Metro trains run below the creek. During this tour, you’ll examine the secret backwoods of the watershed where no official trails go! You’ll stumble upon some renegade trails that have been appearing, but for the most part, this area remains secret. Learn about the tumultuous past of this area as you discover more about the undeniable link between nature and the growth of San Francisco.
    Hike Our Most Hidden Watershed

    Downtown, San Francisco

    • Hike the hidden backwoods of a watershed near Twin Peaks, San Francisco
    • Learn of the sewers flowing underneath the concrete bottom and the Muni Metro trains running below the creek
    • Hear about the history of the watershed as San Francisco’s first major reservoir
    • Appreciate the undeniable link between nature and the growth and proliferation of city life
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    Hot Air & Cool Water Walk

    You may or may not know, but San Francisco started off as the small town of Yerba Buena. Where the library is now, there was a graveyard beside a marsh. Then it became City Hall. Then the UN Charter was signed here. Then…. well, everything! During this tour, the history geek inside of you will be fangirling over the sites you visit and the stories you hear. Learn about the 1906 explosions, the digitization and dumping of books, plank roads, missing dunes, and more! At each stop you make, you’ll gain more insight into the city’s rapid transformation over the years. Your knowledgeable guide will also be sure to answer any burning questions you may have! Be amazed by the dynamic, ever-evolving nature of San Francisco! There’s no better way to experience it than through first-hand interaction!
    Hot Air & Cool Water Walk

    Downtown, San Francisco

    • Enjoy a blast to the past during this history-themed walking tour of San Francisco
    • Visit city landmarks like the Civic Center and the Jewish Korean Center
    • Hear stories about the dome, the 1906 explosions, missing dunes, and more
    • Learn about San Francisco’s transformation over the years from small town to the bustling hub it is today
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    Divisadero Natural History Walk

    This may be the shortest Thinkwalk offered, but it will definitely have a long-lasting impact on your view of San Francisco. You’ll stop by Alamo Square Park, which is actually an outcrop of rock jutting up through a vast dune field. Like all of San Francisco’s bedrock, water will spring up through the fissures, even at the hilltops! Learn about this phenomenon as you explore the neighborhoods in the vicinity. You’ll find out what areas used to be lakes along Divisadero, springs along Fulton, and ridges along Hayes. This is a historic nature tour that will give you vast insight into the transformation of San Francisco over the years.
    Divisadero Natural History Walk

    Downtown, San Francisco

    • Explore San Francisco’s natural history during this quick tour of Divisadero, Fulton, and Hayes
    • Stop by attractions like Alamo Square Park, San Souci Road House, and Hayes Creek
    • Find out what places used to be lakes along Divisadero, springs along Fulton, and ridges along Hayes
    • Start really seeing the underlying landscape of San Francisco
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    Transportation History Bicycle Ride

    Bring a bike for a relaxing ride through Golden Gate Park, a canvas on which the city’s ambitions were sketched -- a place where many ideas were tested. The city’s history exactly matches the 160 years of transportation revolutions. You’ll see where a major railroad came right into the park, where the suspension bridge was first tried, where driver licenses were invented, and more! Between short stretches of riding, you’ll stop by Brooklyn Bridge in SF, the Northwest Passage, and even an abandoned 12th-20th century castle. Be prepared for excellent in-depth discussions of the city’s history! This tour is sure to satisfy your inner history aficionado.
    Transportation History Bicycle Ride

    Downtown, San Francisco

    • Bike through Golden Gate Park on a history-themed excursion that will teach you more about San Francisco’s past
    • Visit attractions like the Brooklyn Bridge in SF, the Northwest Passage, and even an abandoned 12th-20th century castle
    • See where a major railroad came right into the park, where the suspension bridge was first tried, and where driver licenses were invented
    • Participate in interesting, in-depth discussions about the city’s rich history
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    Wiggle Walk

    Ever heard about the Wiggle? No, not the children’s singing group, but a zig-zagging bike route that runs from Market Street to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. During the Wiggle Walk, you’ll learn about the history of this twisted route, which will give you further insight into the history of San Francisco as a whole. You’ll learn about geology, activism history, water, native tribes, and more! The eccentric history of the Wiggle is one you don’t want to miss out on. Imagine: there used to be a spring in the area that catalyzed the growth of the city. There was also a green rocky mountain whose top was chopped off -- twice. Now what’s up with that? Find out first-hand through this interactive, in-depth tour!
    Wiggle Walk

    Downtown, San Francisco

    • Come walk the Wiggle, a zig-zagging bike route in San Francisco
    • Learn about the history of this interesting route, from geology to activism
    • Experience the natural landscape of the Wiggle with the guidance of a friendly tour guide
    • Discover fun facts that you never knew before about this city
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    Social Justice Murals Walk

    Sometimes all you need is a good walk in a beautiful place to get your brain tuned to what matters most in this world. San Francisco allows you to do just that on this Social Justice Thinkwalk. You could wander on your own, or you can take this ThinkWalk through the Mission’s famous mural areas, as your guide regales you with insight, history and street stories. The discussion is deeply informed by research into how the Native American lineage of art came to San Fran and how street culture adopted it. This Thinkwalk will provide you the perfect frame to grasp your learnings on the history of social justice in America.
    Social Justice Murals Walk

    Downtown, San Francisco

    • Experience San Francisco’s mural culture dating back to the Mexican Revolution
    • Thinkwalk your way through the mission guided by an award-winning mural organizer
    • Explore a small area of the North Mission District and hear insider stories
    • Discuss Big Picture questions and social issues with deeply informed thinkers
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    Mission District: Water Walking

    Why is the Mission of San Francisco called “Dolores”? On this fascinating tour, you will explore treks along water routes where creeks once flowed, before the city grew up. Some are still flowing, hidden to the untrained eye. As you walk along, you’ll delve into both practical and political sides of local drinking water, sewers, wells, hydrants and reservoirs. This extensive, interactive history lesson covers sinking hotels, lagunas, arroyos, Chula Alley, and a brutally incorrect bronze plaque. You’ll find out how this place came to be a population center; and coolest of all, you will finally debunk San Francisco’s founding lore -- “Founded on a now-vanished freshwater lake” -- and see how that myth came into being. With so much water everywhere, you’ll be awash in history.
    Mission District: Water Walking

    Downtown, San Francisco

    • Explore the waterways and water myths of the Mission District
    • Walk along ancient and hidden water routes that allowed San Francisco to grow and flourish
    • Discuss the practical and political sides of drinking water, sewers, and wells
    • Debunk San Francisco’s founding lore about a now-vanished freshwater lake
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    Golden Gate Park (Walk Deep in Manure & Park History)

    Today’s Golden Gate Park is a lush, sculpted garden, but for 6,000 years it was nothing but open dunes. In fact, the park was nothing but blowing sand until the manure arrived. On this tour, you will explore how the park came to become the beautiful grounds you see today. This is a walk through history, with visits to a dawn redwoods, a native oak forest, an old zoo, the site of the 1894 Wold Fair, and a velociraptor forest. You’ll even see the glamorous habitat for a pregnancy test frog and bits of a building that’s 8 centuries old. If you like the park you see before you today, you’ll absolutely love discovering its past.
    Golden Gate Park (Walk Deep in Manure & Park History)

    Downtown, San Francisco

    • Explore the past and present of Golden Gate Park on a walking tour
    • Discover how manure turned sand dunes into the lush grounds you see today
    • Visit the site of a velociraptor forest and unearth how the park was made
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