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Discovery Street Tours ‑ CLOSED

San Francisco, CA, USA
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About Discovery Street Tours
Get your geek on! Discovery Street Tours offers unique, interactive walking tours that explore science topics in San Francisco. Join us to unearth the geological mysteries of San Francisco's famously hilly landscape, get up close and personal with the deliciousness to bread, cheese, and wine, and discover San Francisco's history as a hotbed of innovation. On a Discovery Street Tour, you'll get your hands on the science, enjoy some tasty treats, and meet others like yourself—curious, active, and a little beyond the ordinary.Discovery Street's Robin Marks embraces the science in our food and under our feet, and mixes it with her love of exploring San Francisco and a decade of working at the Exploratorium. The result is a one-of-a-kind San Francisco experience where people learn and share their own ideas, and investigate the wonders in their everyday lives.
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Discovery Street Tours
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Ben H wrote a review Jan 2015
San Francisco, California3 contributions1 helpful vote
One of my favorite inspirational quotes, which sadly I can't remember verbatim, is from David Suzuki, about encouraging a natural curiosity through the simple act of buying a magnifying glass and looking at the world afresh. Robin has very much the same philosophy, and this tour opened my eyes, both literally and metaphorically! I consider myself fairly scientifically aware, but I learned a lot both about the physics of light and also how the brain perceives light. Robin is clearly a very experienced educator, as the structure of the tour was superb, starting off with the basics and gradually delving into more of the complexities of light as the tour proceeds. Robin is also a very entertaining tour guide: my group was a diverse mix, including children, SF residents and visitors (and possibly also a couple on a date?) and her delivery kept everyone engaged right until the end. I've been a resident of SF for three years, and this tour begins and ends fairly close to where I live. So it was a very pleasant surprise to also experience my neighborhood afresh. We strolled around some of SF's delightful hilly backstreets that were new to me, and I also appreciated my neighbors and their passion for holiday lights afresh!
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Date of experience: December 2014
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Kurtklas wrote a review Dec 2014
United States61 contributions38 helpful votes
Don't do this Holiday light tour unless: 1. You want to discover everything you never wanted to know about light--it is more of a lecture than a tour. 2. You are in excellent physical condition because you will clime innumerable steep hills and countless flights of stairs. 3. You only want to see a few mediocre lights in over two hours--only the final stop was worthy of calling a holiday light display. We were on the preview tour in 2014 and spent part of the time looking for a bus stop so we could escape--never found one.
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Date of experience: December 2014
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Response from Robin M, Owner at Discovery Street Tours
Responded 26 Dec 2014
Hi Kurtklas - I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy The Science of (Holiday) Light tour. It sounds like you were expecting a tour that more focused on visiting elaborate light displays. Discovery Street specializes in offering science-themed walking tours of San Francisco, with content that includes science-related explorations and hands-on experiments. We have a very loyal following of people interested in these sorts of themes, and people are especially enthusiastic about this tour. But I understand that such explorations aren't for everyone. I try to make the nature of the tours clear in my marketing, and I apologize if this wasn't the message you got from the ticketing page or other materials you read about my tours. I do also indicate on the ticketing page that this tour involves hills and staircases. We ascended two staircases and descended one. I keep the hilliness in mind when routing this tour, though it's true that the topography of the Castro neighborhood means the tour will involve some ups and downs. I chose this neighborhood because of the final light display, because it's a scenic neighborhood with great views, and because it's one of the city's most accessible neighborhoods for public transit. So I'm sorry that you didn't find an escape route. I would have been happy to help you with that, even in the middle of the tour. I choose light displays that are amenable to the experiment or discussion we do at each stop. Often a smaller display that we can approach and examine is more useful for these demos than a big, exuberant display. If the science and history content didn't hold your interest, I can see where your disappointment in the light displays would arise. I'd be happy to refund your tickets. Just drop me an email and confirm your name with me so that I can be sure I'm refunding the correct party. Despite your disappointment, I appreciate your attending the tour, and I hope that you at least enjoyed the cookies!
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Michael L wrote a review Aug 2012
San Diego, California5 contributions
My husband and I began our S.F. trip with the "Invention Tour". Robin led us through different ares of the city and shared lots of historical and scientific facts along with some hands-on activities. We enjoyed this tour so much that we scheduled another Geology tour a few days later! "San Francisco Rocks" was our favorite. We got to explore another part of the city with Robin as our guide, pointing out geology we never would have found on our own. My husband who is a fourth grade science teacher plans to "borrow" some of Robin's fun activities. Robin is someone who is very knowledgable and really enjoys sharing that knowledge. She has a wonderful presentation that is engaging and fun. She asked us questions from the beginning of the tour that got us thinking. We really loved her lighthearted style and sense of humor. We would highly recommend any of her tours for a unique experience in San Francisco!
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Date of experience: August 2012
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cpschwartz wrote a review Aug 2012
Larkspur, California6 contributions1 helpful vote
Robin's tour introduction was concise and complete. She set expectations for the walk and began to engage the walkers to bring them into her tour. She used a number of good props, including an eye patch to help emphasize that sometimes the spark for invention is “looking at things differently”. Her methodology was engaging and used many techniques that teachers employ to hold the attention of students (walkers). Her topics were well researched and she told the stories in an effective manner. This was a very interesting themed walk
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Date of experience: August 2012
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LynnOutdoors wrote a review Aug 2012
Boulder, Colorado80 contributions12 helpful votes
My 14 year-old daughter and I went on the geology tour and loved it! This is the same as the Earthquake tour, reviewed by Erin, below. I agree with everything Erin said. Robin really knows her stuff and taught us about geology and SF history in a very fun and engaging way. Hands-on demos helped us learn about the earth's interior or how plate tectonics work, while also providing yummy snacks and energy. An added bonus was the different SF neighborhoods we walked through. I loved seeing the architecture, staircases, stores, and gardens of places I likely wouldn't have discovered on my own. When I am traveling, I like to do 3 different things every day: 1) learn new things; 2) get some exercise; and 3) just wander around and hopefully discover some cool stuff. This tour got me all 3 at once. It really was like walking around SF, talking with a bunch of really smart and interesting friends. Highly recommended!
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Date of experience: July 2012
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