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Alexandra K.

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Originally from New Jersey, I've lived in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Paris. While living in New York in 2004, I took a vacation to San Francisco and realized I didn't want to come home.

It took three years, but I finally moved to San Francisco in 2007. When I bought my one-way ticket out west, my father bought me a copy of Adah Bakalinsky's book "Stairway Walks of San Francisco". At the time, I worked an hour outside the city during the week, so on weekends and inspired by the Stairway Walks book, I would take off to explore my new home on foot. One fateful day, a native San Franciscan friend brought me on a walk to the Embarcadero via the Vallejo and Filbert Street Steps. I loved the views afforded by the stairways, I loved the exercise I got from climbing them, and I loved how they seemed to be a secret to most. From that moment on, I was hooked on urban hiking.

I love finding new secret spots in the city and now I want to share my findings with you!

Reviews for Alexandra K.
Robert

Great trip to Twin Peaks with Alex she was wonderful, interesting, patient accommodating and was able to make it enjoyable for parents, a 22year-old, a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old and that is not easy to do ! The hiking is not difficult and it's not too easy it's actually just about right on the difficulty scale and the exertion required. The peters family

Jessica F.

We booked this tour as part of our honeymoon adventure along the west coast. It was the best decision! Both Dawn and Alexandra were super. The pace was steady with a few breaks to catch our breath. It was a great way to see a new city. We would definitely recommend this hike for people in good health (for reference, we are both in our late twenties and have been regularly going to the gym for the past six months) as it was a rather steep and narrow climb to the summit of Twin Peaks. Dawn and Alex kept us right on schedule with the timing, but did not rush us when we wanted to take photos at several points throughout. We would highly recommend this tour and can't wait to do another when we visit SF again!

Jeff A.

We thoroughly enjoyed Max's led hike of the Castro and Twin Peaks. Lots of local history and interesting stairways. Buns of steel. If Max can make a hike on the hottest day in SF history fun (when the entire Bay Area is enshrouded in smoke from fires in nearby counties), then imagine what a blast you will have in normal conditions. Don't miss this funky way to see the city. (PS - you may learn all the different ways to say "San Francisco")

David M.

Great tour/hike of SF! Highly recommend it.

Juliana C.

Great experience in San Francisco - consider I love hiking. I had been in town many times before, but had never done such a fun (non)touristic experience. Alexandra knows how to take you to another San Francisco without leaving town. Would definitelly do it again.

William B.

What a great hike! I've been to San Francisco more times than I can count and Alex took us places I didn't even know existed. A couple of highlights: being suddenly engulfed in fog on Twin Peaks and hiking through a eucalyptus forest in the dark—the sound of the wind in the trees was incredible.

Chloe

The hike through the Presidio was absolutely breathtaking. Alexandra will bring you through paths that you would normally not cross if you were to go on hikes yourself. It was an easy meeting point and a great way to explore the neighborhoods of San Francisco. There were viewpoints that overlooked the entire San Francisco and the most beautiful parts of the city. I highly recommend this tour if anyone is looking to be away from the busy city center and enjoy the less urbanized parts of the bay area.

Petr S.

The trip with Alexandra was fabulous. She is very knowledgeable and will lead you through paths you would not find. And she'll unveil their history for you on top of that! Timing was great at this time of year (late August). We got to see the full moon rising over the bay just as we ascended the Twin Peaks. The way down was as interesting as the way up. Houses lining the narrow twisted roads and stairways, running down from Tank Hill, offered us magical views through the windows (a picture of Napoleon hanging in a Victorian style room with red curtains on the walls). If you're "too cool for a bus" like me, then you'll really enjoy this hike!

Jerome M.

I'm a big fan of walking through cities, and for my first time in San Francisco this tour with Alex sure did not disappoint. She took us through areas of the city I would definitely haven't been to by myself, while sharing interesting (and dare I say, fun!) tidbits of history along the way. I'd definitely recommend this tour to anyone who's visiting the city - in fact I wished there were similar tours where I live! (et au fait, pour les francophones - Alex parle parfaitement français!) ((Alex does speak an impeccable French ;-))

Moe

AMAZING! Alexandra makes a great tour guide with her secret routes and in depth knowledge on San Francisco history. These tours are perfect for locals looking for a weekend activity and a MUST for San Francisco visitors. Hey San Francisco locals, you may be thinking that you've 'been there, done that' so why pay for such a service. I must say, I was a skeptic myself and did this for my out-of-towner guests. But after going on the Urban Jungle hike, I am excited to give all hikes a try and uncover more secret sf history!

Jane

Terrific service - perfect for the City Dweller that enjoys learning more about our architecture, parks, and the people who built them - all while getting cardio work out and sunlight. Highly recommend it for explorer types and especially for those to want /need to get out of the office. Suggest organizing one of these hikes with your team, around your office or near at least - then make an afternoon of it. Work out is what you make it. The bigger the crowd, the slower we all go but you can take it at your own clip - so to speak. Dogs welcome too which is a treat! Alexandra does her research on the sights and journey before hand - so it's worth the price.

Sara

I can't recommend this tour enough! These hikes are spectacular adventures, and unlike any other walking tour you can get in SF --- skip those cheesy bus tours, and discover the gems of this beautiful city by foot! You'll still get your fill of Victorian houses and top views of the Golden Gate bridge, but also get some fresh air and exercise along the way. I've lived in San Francisco for 5 years and I thought I knew this city well, but Alex showed us showed us so many cool things about the city, including a way-up top view that looks straight down Market Street to the Ferry Building, shortcuts to Twin Peaks through lush-green secret stairways, and my favorite --- a hidden eucalyptus forest. We couldn't stop taking photos because we kept turning the corner and discovering a new angle of the city! They also surprised us with some delicious home-baked lavender cookies and rosemary parmesan tea cakes to keep us fueled on the hike.

Thomas

This tour took us on a couple of hours hike through San Fran, literally. I was sceptical before we headed off about using the word 'hike' in the tour name but soon learned just how appropriate it was as Alex took up the side of the Twin Peaks (yep on the goat track), through a hidden little pocket of Eucalyptus trees and up and down some of those crazy steep stairways that San Fran is famous for. Along the way we met some locals fighting to save their beautiful stairway parkland, played with some kids on a concrete slide, and chatted with Alex about her beloved San Francisco. I love tours. I love the slightly crazy men and women taking me for a stroll around their neighbourhoods and telling me great stories. I also love those big nasty hop-on hop-off tour buses that drop you off with millions of other tourists in all the most popular spots. I fully embrace being a tourist. Alex provided me with a totally different type of tour and it turned out to be a brilliant way to balance out all those other tours that were a little more predictable. Alex has hit upon a unique idea and has an effervescent and engaging personality which makes this tour an absolute winner. Thanks Alex !!

Jon

I love to hike, but I also like visiting cities and taking in the sights. An urban hike was just the thing. The route we followed (and there are several to choose from) started out in the Castro neighborhood and went up to Twin Peaks. We saw historic buildings which had survived the earthquake, winding streets, great stairways, beautiful views (no fog on our day), and explored an old eucalyptus forest. At times you can forget you are in a big city. At the end of our morning hike we were back in time for a great lunch.

Tamma

This hike was fabulous from the first step to the end! I was amazed at all the beautiful views, hidden stairways and gorgeous homes we saw along the way. I grew up in the bay area and never knew SF had so many wonderful hidden secrets. Alex was great. She knows her stuff. She matched her pace to our needs and challenged us knowing we were up for it. What a way to get some exercise and take in the beautiful sights I may have never seen. Thank you so much Alex!

Johna

I am a frequent business traveler to San Francisco, and as soon as possible I try to politely ditch my co-workers, because I love to go on a walkabout to see parts of SFO that I have never seen before. And the best way to explore the City is with an expert guide. Let Alexandra lead you on one of her fantastic expeditions through the Urban Jungle or the Presidio! She is very knowledgeable about the local history, her snacks are wonderful, and she is one groovy sherpa. Honestly, the most memorable parts of my last trip were taking two of her urban hikes. Highly recommended!

Joan

Being in San Francisco for the first time was highlighted by our hike with Alex. She was so accommodating and worked with us and the weather to make sure we got our hike in. It was a great trip, great views and so many areas you would never see on your own. Since we were in from the east coast, we had a limited time to get our hike in., Even though the weather was pretty rainy, it cleared up by noon and we had a great hike. The views from Twin Towers were amazing, and it was a great workout. There were enough times to catch your breath while Alex talked about the areas were were seeing, so all fitness levels would be fine completing the hike. Next time we're in the city, I would love to do another of Alex's hikes. She was great!

Marie

A friend invited me to do a hike with her this past weekend, and I'm SO glad she did! What a GREAT time it was. A fantastic workout whether you're totally in shape or haven't worked out in a while. The pace was just right. And the paths we took were filled with the most wonderful "hidden" neighborhood stairs and architecture. Alexandra shared the most interesting historical bits and funny stories about San Francisco and some of its more noteworthy inhabitants! Alexandra is, by far and bar none, the most AMAZING "tour guide" I've ever experienced. She is so comfortable, very knowledgeable, is ALWAYS smiling, is considerate and patient. Even though there were 11 people in our hiking group, she gave personal attention to each one of us. I can't wait to do another hike with Alexandra! I'm going to give one of her hikes to my best friend for her birthday this year, too!

Brooke

On January 19th I went on a hike. This hike was such a great experience. From scheduling it to the time it ended. She was very accommodating and she made the hike an enjoyable one. She is very informative of what you will be needing on the hike as well. My boyfriend and I went on this hike and loved it. We weren't aware of the many secret places you could find and hike through. We got to see the city from so many different angles and got to learn so much more about the city as well. You pretty much feel like a kid exploring the city and its secret passage ways. I am definitely looking forward to more hikes with Alex. She is so sweet and you can tell that she is passionate about the city.


Reviews by Alexandra K.
Alexandra K.
Alexandra K. for Explore Angkor Wat Temples

My life dream was to go to Cambodia, and I decided to head there this year for my birthday with my mother. Our first stop was Siem Ream, and we booked both Chamnan's Beng Mealea/Floating Villages Tour plus his Angkor Temples Tour. I thought it would be impossible to exceed my expectations (this was my life dream after all), but wow - did Chamnan ever deliver. Chamnan is a driver *and* a tour guide. This is not typical in Cambodia. Usually someone is either a driver *or* a guide. This means you have to hire a new guide at each temple that you visit. Even in Cambodia this can get pricey. Chamnan speaks excellent English and is extremely knowledgeable and friendly. He also doesn't try to upsell you on anything you wouldn't want to do or see. He is also punctual, which is an extremely important quality for a tour guide to have. Chamnan has an *air-conditioned car* which can be great if it's 95 degrees out, you want to get somewhere fast, and you don't want to get dusty. My mother is in the 65+ years of age range, and at first she was scared about climbing over blocks of ancient rock (as you see at Beng Mealea). Whenever my mom was nervous, he held my mother's hand to help her with her balance. It was so sweet. The heat also exhausted my mom, so Chamnan was willing to take us out in the morning, let us take a break at lunchtime to avoid the sun, and then take us back out in the afternoon when the heat was less intense. He's really flexible and can accommodate all sorts of schedules. On a personal note, Chamnan's daughter's schooling costs $50/month, so each time you buy a tour, you are contributing to a month of a little girl's schooling. I had an amazing time with Chaman on my birthday, and I hope you have a great time with him too!