• "Emperor Norton" and friends at the Cypress Lawn Walking Tour, 2016,

Victorian Days Walking Tours

Tours and Dates

Redwood City: Historic Union Cemetery – Saturday, July 6 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

The tour of Historic Union Cemetery will compare and contrast life in wild west Redwood City with Victorian Era ideals. At the end of the tour, we will sit in the shade and play a game of Peter Coddles Trip to New York, using the actual cards from the 1800s.

Difficulty Level: Easy (flat, gravel paths).


San Carlos: Saturday, July 13 from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Tour historic locations in downtown San Carlos with the San Carlos Heritage Association. Meet at the SW corner of San Carlos Avenue and Elm Street. The tour will end at the San Carlos History Museum, which will be open for tours, and refreshments featuring cakes made from old-time recipes. For more information call 650.592.5822.

Difficulty Level: Easy (sidewalks, mainly flat ground).

Woodside – Sunday, July 14 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Tour the Folger Estate Stable Historic District at Wunderlich Park (4040 Woodside Road). Learn about the history of the main stable, Carriage House, Chinese built stone walls, the blacksmith barn and dairy house. Take a trip back in time to learn about the agricultural uses of the property, the development of the Folger Coffee Company, the architectural legacy of the estate, the influence of horses to the American West and Woodside history.

Difficulty Level: Moderate (Terrain is ADA accessible with some sloped areas and cobblestone walkways).

South San Francisco – Saturday, July 20 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The South San Francisco Public Library History Room will share architectural details about historic buildings along Grand Avenue.  We will see the hotel that housed the earliest workers in the booming industrial town, the house that served as the City’s first hospital, and a dozen other historical sites. Come hear about the people who lived and worked in the city 100 years ago. The tour will start at the library with a video about the city’s history. Free parking behind the library, enter on Miller. To RSVP or for more information: martinezev@plsinfo.org or call 650-877-8533.

Difficulty Level: Moderate (Most is on a slight decline, 2 blocks are steeper)

Millbrae – Saturday, July 20 from 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Join Millbrae Historical Society member Joe Teresi on a walking tour of historic sites of Millbrae.  The 2.2 mile looped walk will feature stops to view and discuss the oldest house in Millbrae and the Millbrae Train Museum at the former Southern Pacific Depot.  Meet at the Millbrae History Museum (open Saturdays 12- 4 p.m.) at 420 Poplar Avenue, Millbrae.  Questions?  Call Joe at 650.455.4887.

Difficulty Level: Easy (relatively flat city sidewalks)

San Mateo – Saturday, July 27 from 2 – 4 p.m.

Tour the Victorian Maynard House in San Mateo. The Senator was one of the first paddlesteamers to offer regular service between San Francisco and Sacramento in 1849.  Owned by the brothers Lafayette and John Maynard, it earned millions during the Gold Rush. John used part of his share to build this classic Tuscan Villa Italianate Victorian in 1879. A combination of preservation and restoration show how such a building can be a comfortable home today, 140 years after it was built.  Large sunny rooms and wide hallways exemplify genteel Victorian life.  This touur is currently at capacity.  To be placed on the wait list,  please call 650.299.0104, ext. 220.

Difficulty Level: Easy, but home is not ADA accessible due to stairs.

Menlo Park  – Saturday, August 3 from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Menlo Park Historical Association Board Secretary, Bo Crane will lead a tour of Menlo Park’s very oldest mansions and churches. The tour will begin at the Railroad Depot (1120 Merrill Street) and continue on two of Menlo’s original streets, returning to the newly built replication of the 1854 Menlo Park Ranch gateway. Please bring your own water and sun protection, reservations not required.

Difficulty Level: Easy (1.75 miles, mainly flat city sidewalks)

Pacifica – Saturday, August 3 from 7 – 8 p.m.

The Pacifica Historical Society will lead a tour of 100-year-old buildings that figured in the early history of what was then called Salada Beach.  Tour meets on the corner of Beach Boulevard and Montecito Avenue across from the Pacifica Pier.  Ample parking.

Difficulty Level: Easy (about 1 mile of level walking).

Burlingame: Burlingame Avenue – Sunday, August 4 from 1 – 1:45 p.m. 

Did you know fox hunting occurred in Burlingame?  Learn about “Entertainment Burlingame Style" through the decades by joining the Burlingame Historical Society for a tour of the Burlingame Avenue area.  Meet at the Burlingame Railroad Station at 290 California Dr. and explore entertainment around the turn-of-the-century up to the rise and fall of downtown theaters. No reservations required. Call (650) 340-9960 with any questions. 

Difficulty: Easy (mainly city sidewalks)

Burlingame: Broadway Area – Sunday, August 4 from 2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

From ice-skating, to theatre-going, learn about how the North Burlingame residents spent their leisure time by joining the Burlingame Historical Society for a tour the Broadway Area.  Meet at the Wells Fargo building at 1145 Broadway.  No reservations required. Call (650) 340-9960 with any questions.

Difficulty: Easy (mainly city sidewalks)

Colma: Cypress Lawn – Saturday, August 10 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

You are invited to dress in Victorian attire or come as you are to annual Victorian Days Heritage Tour.  Meet at 1370 El Camino Real for a trolley tour of the Eastside, Westside and Hillside.  Refreshments to follow the tour.  As the trolley is limited to 24, RSVPs are required to 650.755.0580.

Difficulty Level: Easy-Moderate (.5 mile on paved road, moderate incline).  Trolley holds 24 (not wheelchair accessible).

San Bruno – Sunday, August 11 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Join San Mateo County Historical Association President Mitch Postel in an exploration of San Bruno’s historic business district. Starting at the intersection of San Mateo Avenue and El Camino, the walk down San Mateo Avenue includes the original EIMAC building where vacuum tubes were produced for broadcast and radar transmitters during World War II. The tour will feature a stop at the Welch Family’s private slot machine collection, a rare treat in itself.

Difficulty Level: Easy (note the private slot machine collection is not ADA accessible).

Colma – Saturday, Aug. 17, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“It’s Great to be Alive in Colma!” Please join the Colma Historical Association for a tour of Colma’s newly remodeled and expanded Town Hall. Meet at 11 a.m. at 1198 El Camino Real at Serramonte Boulevard (parking lot entrance on Serramonte Boulevard).  The tour is followed by a complimentary buffet lunch at the Colma Historical Museum (1500 Hillside Blvd), a circa 1911 office building for Olivet Cemetery that includes displays on Colma history. RSVP cha@colmahistory.com or 650-757-1676. For more information, visit www.colmahistory.com.

Difficulty Level: Easy.  Town Hall ADA accessible.

Redwood City – Saturday, August 24 from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Redwood City’s Historic Resources Advisory Committee will conduct a tour of historic sites in the downtown area.  Participants will see where Wyatt Earp occasionally came for a drink, where a Wells Fargo Express Office operated in 1875, Redwood City’s first new car showroom salon and auto repair garage, the finest theater on the peninsula in 1896, the former homes of prominent pioneer citizens, and much more. The tour will begin in front of the Lathrop House (corner of Marshall and Hamilton Street behind the San Mateo County History Museum).

Difficulty Level: Easy.

Pescadero – Sunday, August 25 from 1 – 3:30 p.m.

The history walking tour will begin on south Stage Road in front of the historic Knapp house at 80 Stage Road, where some historic maps and documents will be on display. Greg Timm, local historian and researcher, will lead the tour through Pescadero’s historic streets and will talk about Pescadero’s buildings and history from the earliest times up through the present, featuring the period from 1850-1920. The tour will stop in front of many historic homes and visit the historic & still working churches during the tour. It will be a fun, fast moving tour, so be sure to bring water, hats, and sensible shoes.  For questions call 650-879-0882 (leave message) or email gctimm@yahoo.com.

Difficulty Level: Easy