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In 1976, San Francisco librarian Gladys Hansen, was contacted by local officials looking for someone to give tours of City Hall. Gladys began training volunteers, and two years later, San Francisco City Guides was formally established.

As City Guides grew, the group became a program of the San Francisco Public Library. Tours moved beyond the confines of City Hall, and the organization became recognized as the official docent of San Francisco.

Over forty years later, the group proudly continues their work, conducting free walking tours of San Francisco’s many neighborhoods. The group has over 300 volunteer guides and over 80 different tours. City Guides is still a program of the San Francisco Public library, as well as a partner of the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

City Guides volunteers are serious about sharing the fun of discovering San Francisco and its diverse neighborhoods. They continue working to preserve and perpetuate the history and folklore of San Francisco, and to celebrate the city’s rich history of cultural diversity. In the spirit of the San Francisco Public Library, the group continues to provide all services free of charge.

Get Involved

To learn more about San Francisco City Guides and how you can get involved, check out the group’s website which details how you can become a member, a sponsor, or a guide. You can also find all upcoming tour dates and locations here!

What SF Parks Alliance Loves

Started in 1976 by the well-known San Francisco librarian Gladys Hansen, City Guides now has over 300 volunteer guides who lead over 80 different tours… a “must do” activity for locals and visitors alike!

Send a check payable to the SF Parks Alliance to the following address, or donate directly through the button below:

SF Parks Alliance
1074 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103