San Francisco travel guide




San Francisco Travel Guide

San Francisco Neighbourhoods

San Francisco is a city of distinct neighbourhoods; each district carries its own unique culture.

San Francisco Pacific Heights


Pacific Heights is renowned for its beautiful examples of Victorian Architecture and its panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz and the Presidio. Union Street is famous for glamorous shopping and nightlife, here you can find practically anything you need within walking distance; you will find in particular costly women's clothing and high-stakes opulence items, you can also find accommodations, restaurants and art galleries. It is a very classy neighbourhood, home to many yuppies and wealthiest citizens. Pacific Heights is bordered by Van Ness and Presidio Avenues and Pine and Vallejo Streets. The San Francisco Pacific Heights neighbourhood is also well-known for the film of the same name.

San Francisco Nob Hill


Nob Hill is located adjacent to the intersection of California and Powell Streets. This neighbourhood is renowned for its fashionable clubs, fascinating shops, and large mansions. Here you can find many of San Francisco's notorious hotels such as the Fairmont Hotel, the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel, the Stanford Court, and the Huntington Hotel. When you hike to the top of the hill, you can enjoy impressive views in all directions around San Francisco Bay Area. Parts of Nob Hill seem to be frozen in the time. Visit the Cable Car Museum and Powerhouse, at 1201 Mason at Washington Street and the Shakris Fine Asian Works of Art Gallery at 954 Bush Street. It is said that near Lombard Street is the crookedest street in the world

San Francisco Chinatown


Established in 1850, San Francisco's Chinatown is home to the largest single concentration of Chinese outside of China. Chinatown is a residential area that includes a great array of authentic markets offering souvenirs and gifts; the shopping thoroughfare is mainly along Grant Avenue, Stockton street is also popular as a market venue. There are also fantastic restaurants famous for its cheap and delicious eats; you will be stuffed with great Chinese cuisine. The tourist section of Chinatown is mainly along Grant Avenue, from Bush to Broadway, a dragon-topped gate at the corner of Grant and Bush marks the southern entrance to Chinatown. Chinatown also hosts a variety of events and festivals such as Chinese New Year, and the Oyster and Beer Festival.

San Francisco The Haight


The Haight, formally known as Haight-Ashbury, is best known as the centre of 60's hippie movement and closely related to the Beat generation. It's a lively neighbourhood that still maintains its bohemian ambiance although gentrification is evident; there are many bookstores, nightclubs, cafes, theatres, second-hand stores, record stores, independent restaurants and shops, though you can also found exclusive boutiques and hip restaurants. The Haight is divided into two portions, The Upper Haight, which is touristier, and the Lower Haight which has a more active nightlife. The Haight was the residence to famous musicians including the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane. The famous Haight-Ashbury Street Fair is held on the second Sunday of June each year.

San Francisco The Castro


It was originally an Irish working class neighbourhood, today The Castro is home to the largest and most vibrant Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender community in San Francisco, it is a must for anyone interested in gay lifestyle and culture. The Castro is filled with bookstores, clothing outlets, video stores, restaurants and bars. Famous sights of the Castro include the historic Castro Theatre; built in 1922, the Swedish American Hall; built in 1907, Harvey Milk Plaza, Dolores Park and the restored Victorian homes. The Castro gets its name from its most important lane, Castro Street, it runs south through Noe Valley, crossing the 24th Street business district, this street is now lined with bars, restaurants, and shops.

San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf


Fisherman's Wharf is one of San Francisco's most famous attractions. It is located at the northern tip of San Francisco Peninsula, along the San Francisco Bay, there are many ways to reach Fisherman's Wharf, the F-line streetcar runs through the area, the Powell-Hyde cable car lines runs to Aquatic Park and the Powell-Mason cable car line runs near Fisherman's Wharf. It is a excellent place to see amazing street entertainment, eat excellent seafood, watch sea lions. Other nearby attractions includes the Aquatic Park; which includes San Francisco Maritime Museum, Coit Tower and the San Francisco Cable Car. There are small party boats available, so you can take a cruise to Angel Island, Sausalito, Vallejo and Oakland and to the infamous Alcatraz Prison. Other popular areas such as Chinatown, Lombard Street and North Beach are all located in proximity to Fisherman's Wharf.

San Francisco Civic Center


Civic Center in an area of a few blocks north of the intersection of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, a the name implies, the Civic Center is the main area for San Francisco local government and many important civic institutions are housed here. The Civic Center is home to many historical buildings such as the stunning City Hall (completed in 1915 and located at 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place), the Asian Art Museum (formerly the city's Main Library), the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the Japanese Peace Pagoda Gardens, the War Memorial Opera House, and the Herbst Theatre where post WWII peace treaty with Japan was signed. There's always something going in the Civic Center.

The Mission District


The Mission District, located south of Market Street and commonly known as Mission, named after the sixth Alta California mission, Mission San Francisco de Asis, founded by Spanish padres. It has one of the oldest buildings in the City, the historic Mission Dolores which dates back to 1791. The effects of gentrification are notorious but there's an interesting mix of places that survived the changes. The Mission has the San Francisco's largest Hispanic population and it is reflected through the large collections of colourful murals; edifices from Dolores Park Cafe to Cesar Chavez Elementary School are embellished with unique murals. The Mission is also home to a collection of trendy stores, used-book stores, colourful restaurants, cutting-edge theatres and specialty boutiques.

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