Flavors and Murals of the Mission with Alcatraz
The Mission might be San Francisco’s oldest neighbourhood, but this district has turned into one of the trendiest parts of the city. Walk among the hippest locals in town on this San Francisco food tour that combines artisanal eats with some of the most beautiful murals and legendary street art in the city. Afterwards, head over to Pier 33 where you'll hop on an included ferry to visit and experience Alcatraz, where you'll learn all about the legends and stories that have made the island so famous! When you're finished exploring, hop on the next ferry (ferries depart every thirty minutes) and head back to Pier 33 at your leisure.
- Get to know the uber-cool locals of the Mission
- Sample artisan donuts, Mexican pastries, savory tacos, and other delicious local snacks!
- Stroll by some of the Mission’s best street art and learn about its history from an expert local guide
- Hear stories of how the Mission came to be and what makes this neighbourhood so unique
- Wander through Dolores Park and finish your local tour at the famous Mission Dolores church
- Visit Alcatraz with an included ticket (38$ value) and learn about it’s storied history
- Local English speaking guide
- Food samples at five different locations
- Round-trip ticket and ferry ride to Alcatraz Island (38$ value)
- Award-winning Cell House audio tour on Alcatraz Island
- $2.75 bus fare
- Gratuities for your guide
- Duration: 2.5 hours for the food tour, then Alcatraz is afterwards
- Meeting point: Dynamo Donuts, 2760 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
- Starting time: 9:30 AM
- Ending point: Dolores Park, 19th & Dolores St, San Francisco, CA 94114 then transfer to Pier 33 for Alcatraz
- Full Itinerary
Your Mission food tour will kick off the only way we know how at 9:30 am – with coffee and donuts! But these aren’t just any donuts. These are artisan hoops of heaven! They’re locally-sourced, made with organic, sustainable ingredients to create an eclectic selection ranging from bacon maple apple, to chocolate rose or even lemon and thyme. Enjoy a donut and a cup o’ joe with your local guide as they introduce you to the neighbourhood and its legendary food scene.
Your next stop on this SF food tour is a local panaderia, a Mexican bakery that captures the Latino culture and charm that is everywhere in the Mission district. Here you can choose from a selection of pan dulce, or Mexican sweet bread, made daily in the bakery. To wash that all down, you can also try an agua fresca, a blended fruit drink that is sure to refresh.
Fully stocked up on energy after your breakfast, we’ll continue our tour towards the murals along Balmy Avenue. This area’s artistic roots date back over 30 years, giving us plenty to chat about. Your guide will give you the scoop on the murals we’ll find here and what they mean to this neighbourhood. Whether they’re describing the plight of migrant workers from Latin America, oppression in Nicaragua, or the gentrification of the mission District itself, the multitude of murals along Balmy Avenue each have a special story to share and your local guide will make time for you to soak in all the beautiful artwork.
Next up, pie time! Whether you’re up for some strawberry rhubarb, or perhaps you fancy a roasted cauliflower and black olive quiche made with free range eggs, organic milk, and cream, you’re sure to find your slice of happiness in the local spot we take you to. Having tasted these delights, we’ll hop on a bus to travel a few minutes down the heart of Mission Street itself and make our way to one of the oldest and most beloved taquerias in the neighbourhood. Here you can sample a carne asada, al pastor, or another of this spot’s famous tacos – a must-try in the Mission!
We’ll continue to tour SF onwards to Clarion Alley, where we’ll find the second largest collection of murals in the Mission. It might be more contemporary than Balmy Avenue, but Clarion Alley shares the same vibrant stories and is lined with lots of colourful graffiti. We dare you to try and pick your favourite – it’ll be difficult!
Our final section of the tour will take us to the centre of the hipster scene, where we’ll check out the Mission’s best thrift stores, grab a last snack at one of the trendiest bakeries in San Francisco, and then we’ll head to Dolores Park, finishing up at the Mission Dolores church itself. We’ll conclude your food tour here, the perfect spot for you to continue to spend as much time as you like learning about the history and stories that built San Francisco.
After the food tour, make your way to Pier 33 and board the ferry to Alcatraz Island at your selected departure time. The quick ride across San Francisco Bay takes you past the city skyline and Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz. Your admission ticket guarantees access to the former federal penitentiary, now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
On arrival, take a award-winning audio tour of the cellblock, and listen to narration of a storied past enhanced by sound effects and commentary by former inmates and prison guards. Learn how the infamous prison once housed some of the nation’s most dangerous criminals, including Al Capone and James ‘Whitey’ Bulger. Hear about escape attempts made by a number of inmates, and learn if anyone succeeded in leaving the fortified island. Explore and enjoy the island and prison at your own pace and return to the city whenever you wish; ferries depart roughly every half hour.
- Inclusions: Local English speaking guide and food samples at 5 different locations, Round-trip ferry ride to Alcatraz Island, Award-winning Cell House audio tour on Alcatraz Island
- Exclusions: $2.75 USD bus fare, drinks, and tips / gratuities for your guide.
- Dress standard: Casual clothing is appropriate for this tour.
- Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
- Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
- Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
Mr. Waldermar A – The tour was amazing!
My partner and I did the tour because we love food, art and local culture a lot. Linda, our tour guide was very knowledgeable and really nice, she answered all our questions and explained how the The Mission’s been changing in the last decades. Me being a Latin guy, more specifically from Guatemala, I was very happy to go and experience authentic Latin food in San Francisco.
Mr. Lesley U – A fabulous tour!
Such a great combination of art and food. Linda was a great host and shared interesting stories about the changes in area, as well as the stories of some of the murals. as a Santana fan I loved seeing that mural and where he went to school. The food and businesses were a delicious mix of old and new. Fabulous overall ..
Mrs. Diana J. – Devin tailored this adventure to meet our interests and was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
He brought the Mission area to life for us and we would certainly recommend this tour to our friends.
Ms. Nicola O. – My guide was amazing.
I was a tour of one so we were quickly able to move through the fabulous Mission area of San Fran. Her local knowledge of not just the Mission, but San Fran generally, was incredible. Definitely a tour I’d do again when I wasn’t feeling rushed (I had to get to airport for a flight not long after the tour ended so was a little anxious)
Ms. Amy B. – It was awesome!
Loved the area, gave a real local feel my favorite day!
Ms. Sheridan M. – “Did the trip match your expectations?” Urban Adventures exceeded them!
Thank you to Jim from the San Francisco Urban Adventures team for being such an enthusiastic Tour Leader on The Flavors and Murals of The Mission. I met a couple from New Zealand the day before the tour and the next day they had booked the same tour – it was easy to sell, and absolutely worth every sent. We stopped at local restaurants for authentic Mission food and strolled the streets where more murals than I expected could be found. You can read more about my experience on my blog www.sheridanlee.com.au – Thanks again Jim, and the SF Urban Adventures team.