South of Market walking tour

St. Patrick's Church from the MLK Memorial (c) 2017 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

San Francisco City Guides is a free program sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library (and one the beneficiaries of the city's hotel tax). Donations are welcome and are collected at the end of the tour but are not required. Walking tours are led by volunteers who love their city and want to share its history and sights with tourists ... and locals! One of our fellow walkers had recently moved to SF from Louisville and was taking advantage of these tours so that he could become knowledgeable about his new home.

I highly recommend the City Guides program and have taken quite a few of their tours. This past weekend, we showed up for a "South of Market" walk. The group met in front of St. Patrick's Church (pictured above), just a half block away from the St. Regis Hotel where we spent Friday and Saturday nights. After a quick walk through the church to see the white carrara Italian marble and green marble from Ireland, our guide took us through the neighborhood, pointing out historical and architectural sights of note along the way.

I never knew there was a Martin Luther King Memorial in San Francisco, but it's located at the south side of the lawn pictured above. The second largest MLK memorial in the country (Atlanta is home to the largest), it featured plaques with a number of Dr. King's quotes, including his admonition that "we must learn to live together as brothers, or we will perish together as fools." Indeed!

Martin Luther King, Jr., Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, 2 June 1959

Tours are offered daily, and the City Guides web site has a full schedule. A worthwhile way to spend a couple of hours getting to know San Francisco better.

copyright (c) 2017 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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