Neighborhood Walking Tours
Free guided walking tours are small groups led by trained guides who are able to explain the architectural features and history of stops on the tour. Tours pass by homes but do not allow access. To see private residence interiors purchase tickets for the Open Homes Tour.
Information is available at the Stroll Heritage Plaza Information Booth
Each stroll lasts approximately 45 – 60 minutes. All terrain is flat on city sidewalks. Wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera. Stroll walking tours start at times and locations noted below.
Walking Tour #1: WHAT’S THAT STYLE?
Tour starts 8:30 AM at Gable Mansion, First and Cross streets
Docents: David Wilkinson & Roger Klemm
This “early bird” tour will criss-cross south College, First, and Second Streets and observe changes in housing styles precipitated by architectural innovation, revival periods, and technological and social changes. Learn the basics of Victorian, Shingle, Colonial Revival, Mission, Craftsman, Bungalow, Art Deco, Ranch, and eclectic styles and the history behind the houses during a fun and interactive leisurely stroll.
Walking Tour #2: DEAD CAT ALLEY
9:00 AM Tour Starts at Downtown Heritage Plaza, Second & Main
Docent: Dino Gay
In 1873 Sam Ruland had the misfortune of being robbed on Dead Cat Alley. Even before that time, the infamous alley had already become one of Woodland’s most interesting landmarks. Today, most visitors are alarmed at the unusual name of the passage, but personal tales of "The Alley" bring its history to life. 2012 strollers will visit the site of the old Woodland Winery – near By Hell's whisky shop in Yolo City – and many Chinese wash house locations. Strollers will also learn about Utility District No. 17 and the 101 year-old Electric Garage building.
Downtown Woodland was born in 1853 when Henry Wyckoff built a small store on the southeast corner of what is now First Street and Dead Cat Alley. The Tai Lee Laundry and the Din family later occupied the same building. Commercial buildings spread from that site to accommodate travelers and farmers. Woodland's original railroad crossed Dead Cat Alley where the Midtown Theater Building now stands and China Town flourished in the area behind Sears and the Chicago Cafe, one of the oldest restaurants in California.
The award-winning work of Sacramento sculptor Gary Dinnen will also highlight the tour. Whimsical ceramic cats are installed throughout the alley as part of a Woodland Art Center public art project. Allow an hour and a half for this tour.
Walking Tour #3: WOODLAND’S PAINTED LADIES
9:30 AM Tour Starts at N/W corner of First & Lincoln streets
Have you noticed how Woodland’s Victorian neighborhoods have brightened up in recent years? Inspired by the colorist movement sparked by San Francisco’s “Painted Ladies”, Woodland owners of these vintage homes have added multiple exterior paint colors to accentuate architectural detail. Woodland-based house painter, Don Easton, has painted many of these charming “Painted Ladies” in recent years, working closely with homeowners on selection of colors. He will lead a tour of several of these Victorians discussing exterior house colors and what’s involved in prepping and painting century-old houses. Learn special techniques used then and now to preserve the integrity of some of Woodland's architectural treasures.
Walking Tour #4: ELEGANT COLLEGE STREET VICTORIANS
9:30 AM Tour starts at S/E corner of College & Lincoln streets
Docent: Barbara Graham
Stroll elegant College Street to Pendegast and view classical Italianates and picturesque Queen Anne homes and also Woodland’s first modernist home. Many of these early Woodland landmark homes have been exuberantly restored and painted by their owners. Learn the history of Woodland pioneer families that settled this area, including the Pendegast family, Hesperian College and the first public high school.
Walking Tour #5: FABULOUS FIRST STREET’S ARCHITECTURAL TREASURES
10:00 AM Tour starts at corner of First and Lincoln.
Docent: Patrick Talbott
Richly diverse with a wide array of Victorians, including the California State Landmark Gable Mansion and a Great American Home Awards Grand Prize Winner for restoration work, First Street also contains a stunning collection of eclectic architecture spanning the period1860 to 1940, epitomizing Woodland’s extraordinary social and architectural heritage.
Walking Tour #6: BARNS & ALLEYS AND HIDDEN SURPRISES
10:00 AM Tour starts at corner of Dog Gone Alley and Second Street (near Heritage Plaza)
Docent: Ken Trott
Back by popular demand, this intriguing tour weaves through the south side of Woodland’s alleys where you will discover some of Woodland’s seldom seen places, visit several barns from a bygone era and carriage houses from the horse and buggy days, and see ancient Valley Oak trees and other specimen trees planted by families from those earlier times. Investigate what’s on the other side of Woodland’s historic homes.
Walking Tour #7: CRAFTSMAN BUNGALOWS
10:30 AM Tour starts at N/W corner of College & Pendegast streets
Docent: Roger Klemm
Beginning in 1910, a new style of house appeared in Woodland whose roots stretched back to the nineteen century Arts and Crafts period in England. The style was inspired by building houses with natural materials that exhibited craftsmanship and were comfortable to live in. In America, Gustav Stickley popularized the style in the Craftsman magazine, which provided house plans for every size of pocketbook. This tour will stroll through Bungalow neighborhoods along Pendegast and Elm streets filled with Bungalows in different shapes and styles and set in lovely gardens.
Walking Tour #8: DOWNTOWN WOODLAND: STONES, ROTUNDAS, BRICK & IRON, SILVER SCREENS & MORE
11:00 AM Tour starts at Downtown Heritage Plaza, Second & Main
Docents: David Wilkinson
Take a Stroll down Main Street America within Woodland’s historic Downtown, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit several beloved architectural showpieces along the way that are key icons of Woodland: the Valley Jewel. Themes explored on this tour include the architectural Stones of Woodland, the Carnegie Library Rotunda, cast iron storefronts, early movie theaters, Gladding-McBean architectural terra cotta buildings, and much more.
See you there!
Have more questions? Contact us.