The Armada of Golden Dreams – San Francisco, California - Atlas Obscura

San Francisco, California

The Armada of Golden Dreams

Self-guided audio tour of San Francisco's buried gold rush fleet. 

The Armada of Golden Dreams is a self-guided audio tour of a dozen of the gold rush vessels buried beneath the streets of downtown San Francisco: the Alida, Apollo, Arkansas, Rome, Bethel, Almandralina, Balance, Euphemia, General Harrison, Niantic, Thomas Bennett, and Autumn. The tour also includes other unknown vessels.

The tour combines historical narratives and first hand-accounts of early San Franciscans with original prose and poetry works created for each vessel by bay area authors, original music by Oakland composer Jesse Clark, visual installations by Joshua Churchill, edible art by Rebecca Ebeling, and a collectible map with illustrations by San Francisco artist George Pfau.

The tour can be downloaded for free beginning April 23, 2011, to any iPod or smartphone device through a free app on iTunes. You can also purchase a collectible map with original illustrations by George Pfau from the Invisible City website. Members of the public can take the tour at any time, and it is kid-friendly. The tour follows a one-mile loop that starts at the foot of Market Street across from the Ferry Building and ends at Market and Beale.

Update May 2018: Currently, it’s not clear if the tour is still available to the public.