Hear from the women who have covered all of San Francisco on foot!

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November 12, 2019

How I See San Francisco: Writers and Walkers Kristine Poggioli and Carolyn Eidson

Kristine Poggioli and Carolyn Eidson are the first people to walk all of San Francisco’s historic 49 Mile Scenic Drive. They saw so many new things exploring the city on foot that they decided to share the adventure. Kristine and Carolyn divided the route into 17 walks, researched the history of each neighborhood and point of interest, and wrote a guidebook, "Walking San Francisco’s 49 Mile Scenic Drive". In addition the book, they now have an app to guide visitors along their most popular walks. We asked them about their favorite places in San Francisco and the things that every visitor should experience.

What is a typical day in San Francisco like for you?

Carolyn: My work takes me all over the City, from Crissy Field, the Haight and West Portal to the Bay Bridge. I pass iconic city sights every day. It never gets old.

Which neighborhood, other than your own, do you like to explore?

Carolyn: The Mission. In fact, I enjoy walking the entire length of Mission Street, from Excelsior to the Embarcadero. It's so cool to see the city unfold, block by block.

How did you get the inspiration for your book, “Walking San Francisco’s 49 Mile Scenic Drive”?

Carolyn: I liked the seagull street signs but never knew where the route went. As an exercise goal, we decided to complete the entire trail, a mile or so at a time, over the course of a year. We were blown away by all the things we saw simply by walking. As a bonus, we lost a combined 75 pounds!

Which of your walks is your favorite?

Kristine: The Presidio. You start with Yoda, pass original earthquake shacks and the oldest adobe structure in the City, see drop-dead gorgeous panoramic views, and end at the Golden Gate Bridge. What’s not to like?

Why do you think San Francisco is a city best explored on foot?

Carolyn: In this small, densely packed city, it’s easier than you think to get from neighborhood to neighborhood. Every corner of The City has either fascinating history or great views—or both!

Where do you indulge your artistic side in town?

Kristine: Theater and museums. There are so many options, from Broadway SF and SFMOMA to community choruses and the (free!) Maritime National Park Visitor Center.

What’s your favorite annual event that happens in San Francisco?

Kristine: Pride. Carolyn is a member of the SF Scooter Girls, so we get to start the parade right behind the Dykes on Bikes contingent. Hundreds of thousands of people cheer and celebrate you. We value our freedom here.

Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?

Carolyn: Tapas and sangria at Esperpento.

Kristine: Bullshead Burgers for me.

Where do you like to view the sunrise and sunset?

Carolyn: We spent a lot of time photographing sunsets and sunrises for the guidebook. For sunrise, Twin Peaks and the Wharf. For sunset, the ruins of the Sutro Baths.

What should every visitor to San Francisco do at least once?

Kristine: There's no question that a visit to Alcatraz is the best tour in San Francisco. But if you want the most iconic walk through San Francisco, travel from Chinatown through Nob Hill to North Beach. We've got an app that can be your guide!

What’s one aspect of San Francisco that you wish visitors knew more about?

Kristine: History sets the context for everything. San Francisco didn’t get cool overnight. In every area of the city, there are so many stories of heroes, villains and local events that deepen and enrich the experience. We tried to give visitors this history in short snippets in the guidebook.

Any final advice for visitors coming to San Francisco?

Kristine: Get the book before you go to get some historical context, or download our app for handy reference. Pick out your walks in advance. And bring comfortable shoes.


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