Listen here, ye swashbucklers: stroll the Mission Dolores neighborhood on San Francisco City Guide’s free walking tour
, and before you know it you’ll be singing “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.” Every Sunday this 90-minute walk departs from a gold-painted fire hydrant (which saved the neighborhood after the 1906 quake) and blends hard facts with urban tales while passing famous landmarks. Midway through, you’ll reach 826 Valencia
, a literacy project co-founded by author Dave Eggers. The non-profit organization offers writing workshops for kids and teens. When Eggers learned they had purchased commercially zoned property, which meant they could only operate from the storefront if they also sold merchandise, he came up with a staggeringly genius idea and decided to sell pirate supplies. During the tour, you’ll hear the story behind Eggers’ literary shop, celebrating its tenth year helping children read and write—and pirates be pirates! The concept has grown so popular that sister stores and workshops have opened up nationwide (a Bigfoot Research store in Boston!). 826 Valencia is the city’s first—and only—pirate supply store, and proceeds go to the literacy organization. So what are you waiting for? Go get your scallywaggin’ hands on some booty!
826 Valencia Pirate Supply Store is open daily from 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. The Mission Dolores Neighborhood Tour is offered Sundays at 11:00 a.m. The tour is free, but tips are encouraged. Check the San Francisco City Guides website for more information. Dog-friendly!