Victorian Days Walking Tours

Complementing its Victorian Days at the Old Courthouse, the History Museum is coordinating FREE walking tours throughout the Peninsula this summer. From Daly City to Pigeon Point, visit cemeteries, museums, barns, stables, downtown sites, interesting residential areas, a historic railroad depot, a dueling site, a jail, a slot machine collection and a lighthouse.

Please note that many of the tours require reservations.

Group dressed in period Victorian clothing for Victorian Walking Day Tours at San Mateo County History Museum

“Emperor Norton” and friends at the Cypress Lawn Walking Tour, 2016

Tours and Dates

Woodside: Folger Stable – Saturday, July 8 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Starting at the picnic tables near the parking lot, tour the Folger Estate Stable Historic District at Wunderlich Park (4040 Woodside Road, Woodside). 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. This year the tour will feature the Dairy House built in 1874 that is currently in disrepair but planned for restoration. Parking is extremely limited on this site.


RSVP: Not required.

Difficulty Level: Moderate. Most surfaces are paved and even, some bricks/pavers, one steep segment. For questions, contact
Address: Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside

Monument marking the site of the duel between Broderick and Terry

Daly City – Saturday, July 15 from 12 p.m.-12:45 p.m.

Daly City History Guild Museum & Archive president Mark Weinberger will lead a tour of the famous but often overlooked Broderick-Terry Duel Site located in the tiny park of the same name situated near Lake Merced and on the San Francisco-Daly City border.  The tour will take place within this small park which abuts the San Francisco Golf Club.  Visitors will view a plaque, State Landmark Number 19, and granite shafts which tell of the notorious duel that took place on September 13, 1859.  A story will unfold about how former CA Supreme Court Chief Justice David S. Terry mortally wounded U.S. Senator David C. Broderick in part over the issue of slavery.  This is considered to have been the last duel in California history.  After the tour concludes, participants are invited to visit the Daly City History Museum located a short distance away where light refreshments will be served.  Tour will begin just outside the park entrance on El Portal Way.  Street parking is plentiful.


RSVP: 650.299.0104, ext. 220 or

Difficulty Level: Easy. Gravel paths and short distance light walking.
Address: Park entrance near 80 El Portal Way (off Cliffside Drive), Daly City.  Museum is located at 6351 Mission Street, Daly City.

Millbrae – Sunday, July 16 at 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Join Millbrae Historical Society member Joe Teresi on a walking tour of historic sites of Millbrae as part of the City of Millbrae’s 75th Anniversary Celebration.  The 2.2-mile looped walk will feature stops to view and discuss the oldest house in Millbrae and the historic Millbrae Southern Pacific Railroad Depot.  Following the walk, watch an historic film about Millbrae in the Recreation Center at 477 Lincoln Circle (2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.).  Meet for the walk at the Millbrae History Museum (open Saturdays 12- 4 pm) at 420 Poplar Avenue, Millbrae.  RSVP requested.

RSVP and information: Joe at 650.455.4887
Difficulty Level: Easy (city sidewalks with moderate slopes)
Address: 420 Poplar Avenue, Millbrae.

Redwood City: Historic Union Cemetery – Saturday, July 22 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Historic Union Cemetery Association Board members will lead a tour starting at the kiosk near the entrance at 316 Woodside Road, Redwood City. The Historic Union Cemetery first opened in 1859 on a six-acre triangle of land just outside of downtown Redwood City.  With a little over 2,400 graves, many contain San Mateo County founding families and pioneers. Closed in 1918, the cemetery was named a California Historic landmark in 1967 and was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1983.


RSVP: 650.299.0104, ext. 220 or
Difficulty Level: Easy. Flat, dirt paths.
Address: 316 Woodside Road, Redwood City

Sketch of the old County Jail in Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay – Sunday, July 23 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Join us outside the Coastside History Museum in front of the old County Jail at 505 Johnston St. for a docent-led walking tour of historic buildings along Half Moon Bay’s Main Street. Then at your leisure tour the free admission, old County Jail and new Coastside History Museum inside the old vehicle barn, where docents are ready to guide you through the exhibits.  Please contact for more information.


RSVP: 650.299.0104, ext. 220 or

Difficulty Level: Easy, ADA accessible.

Address: Coastside History Museum, 505 Johnston St., Half Moon Bay

Menlo Park Caltrain station

Menlo Park – Saturday, July 29 at 10 a.m.

Menlo Park Historical Association Historian Bo Crane will lead a Victorian Days Tour of Menlo Park that is free and open to the public. The mile-and-a-half tour will cover eight Victorian residences built between 1892 and 1905 plus an 1869 mansion. Please be at the Caltrain Station, 1120 Merrill St., at 10:00 a.m. ready to walk. Bring water and sun protection. Questions can be directed to


RSVP: Not required.

Difficulty Level: Easy, mainly flat, public sidewalks.

Address: Caltrain Station, 1120 Merrill St.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Pigeon Point – Saturday, August 5 from 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Celebrate National Lighthouse Day on a walking tour of the historic grounds of Pigeon Point Light Station. Meet at the picnic area. Hear tales of whalers, bootleggers, shipwrecks, the building of the lighthouse, the “Wickies” and their families, and the anticipated restoration of the tower (currently closed to the public). Visit the Fog Signal Building to view the magnificent First Order Fresnel lens and explore the exhibits. Stay after the tour and enjoy National Lighthouse Day activities onsite.


RSVP required: Register online.

Difficulty Level: Moderate. Ground is mainly flat, but uneven and it is not entirely paved.

Address: 210 Pigeon Point Road, Highway 1, Pescadero.  Directions.

Colma: Cypress Lawn – Saturday, August 5 from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

A docent-led trolley excursion will be presented around a beautiful arboretum and outdoor museum of mausoleums and memorials to the famous pioneers of San Francisco and California. Victorian outfits are encouraged, but not required. Meet at 1383 El Camino Real by the archway. Refreshments to follow the tour. As the trolley is limited to 24, RSVPs are required.


RSVP: 650.299.0104, ext. 220 or
Difficulty Level: Easy. Trolley not wheelchair accessible.
Address: 1383 El Camino Real by the archway

Decorative detail with scroll pattern on a San Mateo building

San Mateo – Sunday, August 6 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Explore the fascinating architecture of San Mateo’s National Register eligible Downtown Historic District in a tour led by the San Mateo Heritage Alliance. Comprising 40 individual buildings, the historic district reflects important themes in the city’s growth and development, including architecture, city planning, social history, ethnic heritage and commerce. The district’s eclectic mix of styles includes Art Deco, Colonial, Classical and Greek Revival, Spanish Colonial, Mission and Tudor Revival. Tour begins in the plaza in front of the Century 12 San Mateo movie theater on B Street, one block from the downtown Caltrain station. Comfortable shoes are recommended.


RSVP: 650.299.0104, ext. 220 or

Difficulty Level: Easy. ADA accessible.

Address: Plaza in front of Century 12 San Mateo on B Street (movie theater address is 320 2nd Ave, San Mateo)

English style cottage with flowers in Burlingame

Burlingame – Sunday, August 6 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Join the Burlingame Historical Society as we share with you the history of the quaint English village known as Willborough, in Burlingame. Bring water and a hat. The tour begins at the corner of Palm and Willborough Road.


RSVP: Not required.

Difficulty Level: Easy, flat walk on street and sidewalk.

Location: Meet at the corner of Palm and Willborough Road. Recommend parking on California or Palm Drive.

South San Francisco – Saturday, August 12 from 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

The South San Francisco Public Library History Room will host a walk down Grand Avenue, sharing architectural details about historic buildings and stories about the people who built the city at the turn of the century.  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. The tour begins at the library with a video about the city’s history. There is free parking behind the library, enter on Miller Avenue. This tour will also be held in Spanish at 11 a.m.


RSVP: Due to limited space, you must RSVP to 650.877.8533 or
Difficulty Level: Moderate. Most is on a slight decline, 2 blocks are steeper.
Address: Grand Avenue Library, 306 Walnut Ave., South San Francisco

South San Francisco – Sábado, 12 de Agosto de 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

La Sala de Historia de la Biblioteca Pública de Sur San Francisco organizará un paseo por Grand Avenue, con detalles arquitectónicos sobre edificios históricos e historias sobre las personas que construyeron la ciudad a principios de siglo. Veremos el hotel que albergó a los primeros trabajadores de la ciudad industrial en auge, la casa que sirvió como el primer hospital de la ciudad, y una docena más de lugares históricos. El recorrido comenzara con un video sobre la historia de la ciudad. Hay estacionamiento gratuito detrás de la biblioteca, entre por Miller Avenue. Esta visita también se llevará a cabo en ingles a las 10:15 de la mañana.

Debido al espacio limitado, debe confirmar su reserva:

Dificultad: Moderado. La mayoría esta en una pequeña inclinación, 2 cuadras son empinadas.

Dirección: Biblioteca Grand Avenue, 306 Walnut Ave., South San Francisco

San Bruno – Sunday, August 13 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.

RSVP: 650.299.0104, ext. 220 or
Difficulty Level: Easy. Note the private slot machine collection is not ADA accessible.
Address: Intersection of San Mateo Avenue and El Camino Real (in front of apartments at 400 San Mateo Avenue)

Volunteers in front of the Woodside Community Museum

Woodside – Saturday, August 19 – 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Tour the Woodside Town Center with Woodside History Committee members. Starting at the Woodside Community Museum, the tour lasts about 30 minutes. Tours will be offered from 1 p.m. – 3 p .m.


RSVP: Not required

Difficulty Level: Relatively Easy.

Location: Woodside Community Museum, 2961 Woodside Road, Woodside

Boat with red canopy flying an American flag anchored at a dock

Foster City – Sunday, August 27 – 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Join the Foster City Historical Society for a very unique “walking” tour as we discover Foster City by boat! Once aboard, we will explore one of our famed lagoons. We will travel first by Leo Ryan Park, view some of the noted islands, sight some notable buildings, see the Captain’s House, go by a couple of historic bridges and see the pump station. A waiver will be required of each attendee to be signed that morning.


RSVP: Required at Space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible.

Difficulty Level: Medium. Boat is not ADA accessible. No restroom stops once boat tour starts.

Location: Start at Foster City Recreation Building, waterfront area, 650 Shell Boulevard, Foster City. Parking lot located at waterfront area.

Pescadero – Sunday, August 27 at 1 p.m. 

The in-person Pescadero tour has been canceled. Watch Greg Timm’s Pescadero walking tour video for some great old photos with narrative leading you through the town, from buggy to automobile.