Travel Guides for Un-tourists


Hopping Around Haight-Ashbury

by Fernanda DeSouza

posted on December 19, 2018

Photo Courtesy: SF Gate

We would kill for a time machine just to frolic through Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s. Sure, it’s physically impossible to do that in 2017 (someone please figure this out, stat!), so we’ll count ourselves lucky that Haight has maintained most of its hippie roots, enough to get a sense of the flower power that made it so famous.

Itinerary Details

10 Places
1 Hour

Photo Courtesy: federdanman

How does a morning hike sound to kick off the day? Put your sneakers on and traverse the oldest park in the Bay Area for stunning city views. Trails and centuries-old oak groves wind through this lush space, and you'll find old gravestones from the Gold Rush era re-used as gutter linings. The climb gets steep in some parts, but it’s worth every minute.

Walking Distance

0.32 Miles

Photo Courtesy: driftmag

Treat yourself because, well, you just hiked up an enormous hill, so why not! Head west on Haight to savor a cup of cold brew as you take in the views of Buena Vista Park at this artisanal coffee chain's newest location. The airy space boasts high ceilings and large windows, making this a go-to spot for your morning caffeine fix. Small pastries will curb your hunger until it’s lunchtime.

Check out

Sweet Tooth espresso, Duromina, El Alto, Guchienda Estate

Walking Distance

0.34 Miles

Photo Courtesy: hi_ree15

The best thing about Haight is the endless amount of shops that populate the area, and Held Over is one of the bes. If you had to choose one vintage shop out of the entire cluster colonizing this area, we'd recommend this one. But be careful: the well-stocked, whimsical store makes it easy to lose track of time trying on 80's prom dresses and other retro outfits.

Walking Distance

0.17 Miles

Photo Courtesy: georgiecoward

If you’ve managed to pry yourself away from Held Over (we get it - it’s easy to get lost), then head down the block to Wasteland for more goodies. Designer duds? Check. Vintage finds? Check. Browse through a multitude of shirts, dresses, and more at this iconic vintage shop that continues to dress future rock stars. An awesome Haight-Ashbury destination since the '80s, it's worth the visit.

Walking Distance

0.03 Miles

Photo Courtesy: sparrowbarandkitchen

If that coffee and croissant have worn off, luckily your next destination will feel heaven sent - you don't have to feel guilty about eating a giant meal here. At Sparrow, all the veggies and even the booze are local and the meat is humanely raised. So relax on the patio with a cocktail, some baked brie, and a smile. It's lunchtime.

Check out

Baked brie, Grass-fed burger, Mussels, Burrata, Kale Caesar

Walking Distance

0.01 Miles

Photo Courtesy: itsmarianchen

Expand your mind as well as your belly at the next location - right next door. From best-sellers to biographies, this reader’s' paradise has it all. Whether you like the classics or how-to's on crafts, browse through a variety of titles packed between bright green walls, and pick up some tongue-in-cheek stationery while you’re at it.

Walking Distance

0.09 Miles

Photo Courtesy: whitespace024

Across the street and down the block from Booksmith for a treat that indulges your macabre side. Odd and charming in a dark yet enlightening way, you are bound to find items you didn't think you would stumble upon at Loved to Death. Upscale antiques, jewelry, home decor, and yes, taxidermy, make this store a favorite among those looking for something off-beat. Surprise a friend with an unexpected gift.

Walking Distance

0.22 Miles

Photo Courtesy: amoebasf

No trip to Haight is complete without a visit to neighborhood favorite Amoeba Music. Amoeba has withstood the test of time—it’s been around since 1990— as SF real estate property skyrockets these days. Catch a free show, browse the endless record collection, and soak in some of San Francisco's music history at this grungy underground Indie music lover's hangout in the middle of the hippiest neighborhood in the city.

Walking Distance

0.05 Miles

Photo Courtesy: shereenreen.psd

With your rock ‘n’ roll loot in hand, swing on up Haight Street to celebrate a fabulous shopping day (and to rest those feet). If you're lucky enough to snag one of the ten seats at tiny Parada 22, you'll be instantly transported to Old San Juan. Between the brightly colored setting and the classic Puerto Rican menu (order the pastelon), this is a meal you'll remember. The teal facade will give it away instantly.

Check out

Chicharron, Plantains, Pollo Encebollado, Habichuelas Colorados, Mofongo, Sampler

Walking Distance

0.10 Miles

Photo Courtesy: alembicsf

Finish out the evening by treating yourself to a nightcap at the Alembic. Alembic's motto is "good friends & great enemies," but there's nothing hostile about this casual bar. Slide into a leather booth and get up close and personal with subtle craft cocktails and (if you’ve still got room) surprisingly bold dishes like jerk-spiced duck hearts. Peace and love, Haight.

Check out

Bone marrow, duck hearts, lentil croquettes

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