Friday, January 19, 2018

Fire truck tour, a San Francisco treat, rings the bell for good times in City by the Bay

A young fireman, James Brian Ganner, rings the bell and gives thumbs up for a delightful family-oriented tour.
A beautiful vintage fire truck awaits you for a spectacular way to see the Bay Area. We took three generations; all had fun.

Our guide,Alexandra, and driver John, show their love of the city with lively
commentary and unexpected sights, providing a safe, lively, different tour.





RING THE BELL for the most exciting tour we've taken in many a trip around San Francisco over  decades of delightful visits to a favorite city.
The Fire Engine Tour of this seductive, hilly and photogenic town traverses traditional sights as well as peeking into hidden roads, neighborhoods and parks.
Its lively guide and entertaining drivers compliment the city's quirky neighborhoods, lovely parks and beautiful buildings, inviting children of all ages to yield to San Francisco's charms.
The journey begins for 14 lucky passengers who climb aboard a vintage fire truck on a street behind Fisherman's Wharf.  The tour guide offers blankets and even fireman's jackets if you like, making sure everyone is comfy for the breezy, inviting open-air adventure.

The Golden Gate Bridge is always a beautiful sight, here viewed at a
half-way point stop on the Fire Engine tour, from the Sausalito side.
WE RODE THROUGH the city with a bird's eye view of the picturesque Victorian homes, winding streets, beloved neighborhoods and iconic buildings, with the guide pointing out landmarks, famous restaurants, nightclubs and churches.
Our companions aboard a shiny red 1955 Mack fire engine were my enterprising Bay Area niece, Amarylla, and three excited kids -- ranging from an eager teen-ager who grew up in San Francisco, to an enthusiastic four and seven-year old
Cookie and Keller joined the fun with family to explore
San Francisco's neighborhoods from a 1955 Mack fire truck.
born  there. Amarylla knew we were looking for something unusual to do -- having written dozens of pieces
A spin through the Presidio is an unexpected bonus.

about one of our favorite towns.   She discovered the fire engine tours from a friend.  All of us -- the natives and the two of us San Francisco regulars, learned little tidbits we hadn't known before thanks to our guide, Alexandra, who moonlights as a jazz singer.  She offered  vintage tunes along the way, and her knowledge and love of her adopted home enhanced the leisurely 90 minute tour.

through the neighborhoods -- Departing the Cannery and Fisherman's Wharf for the Financial District, Chinatown, North Beach, Russian Hill, Fillmore and
Driver John is helpful and  a fine
navigator of challenging streets.

  Fire Engine Tours take  a break in Sausalito.
 The photo opportunity is one not to be missed.



Pacific Heights, navigating through the Presidio towards the Golden Gate Bridge. Alexandra's commentary paid tribute to firemen, too adding history along with spice to the cool afternoon. After a leisurely drive through the park near the bridge, we stopped for photos -- at one of the prettiest skyline views we've seen.  The driver let our great nephew James ring the bell that it was time to head back. James and Peny were the youngest participants and Lucy was one of two teen-agers. There was one other youngster and the rest of us were  adults. One should be limber enough to get on and off the fire truck and old enough to stay safe.
THIS IS A  wonderful tour, an excellent way to see the city, even if you think you've seen it all.  Familiar, lovely and novel sights all take on a new fresh look from your cozy fire truck seat! 
Call 415 333-7077

UP NEXT:  San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is known world wide. When it opened 81 years ago this month,  after 20 years of planning, it was greeted by thousands with delight.  We take you back in time, to present day bridge wonders.  Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us Fridays when we post for the weekend, offering a novel and global view of travel, cruising, nature, family and the arts at


  1. Fun fun fun piece as always. Mixing personal history with city nostalgia is winning.

  2. Tres jolie. We will book this for our spring visit.