San Francisco Neon
Survivors and Lost Icons
Small Print: Requests for cancellation with refund can be made 24 hours prior to the tour start time. If you need to reschedule at the last minute, just email us an request and we will do our best to fit you into a future tour. Please note that we reserve the right to change the tour due to obstructions, stormy weather, or insufficient reservations. Full refunds issued if we have to cancel a tour. 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 events; it shall be conclusively presumed you understand and agree to this policy.
SF Neon Tours Celebrate Luminous Signs Past & Present
"From the the vibrant glow of the Balboa Theater to the bubbling martini glass outside the 500 Club, neon signs are beacons for some of the city’s most beloved neighborhood establishments. And while some have been lovingly restored, others run the risk of going dark. That’s why one local couple has taken to the streets—not in protest, but in celebration."
Spend an evening under the neon glow with tour guides
Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan. Tours feature local history with design/architectural insights to San Francisco's unique legacy of neon signs. Photography and a lively Q&A are encouraged. Tickets: $25 Regular, $12 Discount for Students/Teachers/Seniors. Contact us with questions or to request a private group tour for up to 12 people.
Tours start at twilight, and last approximately 2 hours. There are 5 unique neon walking tours to choose from:
Downtown Tour Tickets
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.
Market-Mission-Castro Tour Tickets
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.
Chinatown Tour Tickets
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
Tender-Nob Tour Tickets
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.
Cow Hollow Tour Tickets
Wander between Lombard and Chestnut Streets and discover vintage neon signs for motels, movie theaters, psychics, donuts, and a diving lady.-$10
All photos © 2014 Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan
All photos © 2018 Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan