For 3.8 miles (6.1 kilometers), the trail takes you past the Old Mint, Gold Rush-era buildings, the first Asian temple in the U.S., a World War II submarine, a Catholic cathedral, the site of the Pony Express headquarters, and other historical landmarks. You can follow it independently at your own pace for as long as you’d like, or take a bike tour or walking tour that includes parts of the trail to gain insight from a guide about the significance of the sites.
Things to know before you go
- The Barbary Coast Trail is a must for history buffs.
- The route follows mostly flat terrain with some gentle inclines.
- Make sure to wear appropriate walking shoes.
How to get there
The Barbary Coast Trail begins at the Old Mint in downtown San Francisco and goes north, ending at Aquatic Park on the northern edge of the city. Both ends are located near the Powell-Hyde cable car line.
When to get there
It’s an open-ended activity, so you can follow the route according to your own schedule. At the downtown end, begin in the late morning to avoid the rush hour crowds at the start of the workday.
Wells Fargo History Museum
Located on Montgomery Street at the Wells Fargo headquarters, this museum is on the trail and features an old stagecoach, telegraphs, and other artifacts from the 1850s—when the bank first opened in the rapidly growing city of San Francisco.
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