On & Off the Beaten Track

Our Unique Neighborhoods

Travel + Leisure magazine recently polled 600,000 travelers to rank 25 top U.S. cities in 45 categories, ranging from food, shopping, people, culture, nightlife, and more to publish the 2008 America's Favorite Cities survey.
spaceSan Francisco's won number 1 her notable neighborhoods, number 2 for local boutiques, and number 3 for specialty stores and farmer's markets, cafés and coffee shops, and destination restaurants.

Want to see where the locals live and shop? Go to Union Street in Cow Hollow (between Gough and Steiner), Chestnut Street in the Marina, (between Fillmore and Divisadero Street, Hayes Valley, or Fillmore Street. This is where we play, shop, eat, and live. The shops are mostly one of a kind local San Francisco small business owners, so the mix will be really different from what you’ve seen in your neighborhood whether you live in New York, Nebraska, or Minnesota. That’s the beauty, so come and enjoy and mix with the locals!  Enjoy great restaurants, and many colorful bars along the way!

Union Street/Cow Hollow

Enjoy the charm of Union Street ... only minutes from downtown San Francisco. This beautiful Victorian street offers exquisite shopping, trendy boutiques, interesting bars and restaurants, along with fine jewelry stores.   The Union Street Shopping District contains some of the City's best!

The street is long, so plan on spending at least half a day exploring up and down the street - don't forget to miander up and down the cross streets as well - you will find some real gems off the beaten track. Breakfast, lunch or dinner at the great restaurants and cafes will definitely spike the enjoyment of your shopping day!  For more information go to: http://www.unionstreetshop.com/stores.html.

Fillmore Street

If you like to visit neighborhoods that have more local than tourist flavor, maybe spend an afternoon shopping on Fillmore Street. The street has a quiet, neighborhood feel and plenty of unique coffee shops, restaurants and bakeries perfect for relaxing and people-watching. Great shopping from Jackson St to Geary St.  Check out http://www.fillmoreshop.com for more information.

Chestnut Street

Chestnut Street is composed of an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and bars. While sophisticated in nature, the street has a distinctive neighborhood feel. Aside from great shopping, eating, and tiny local bars, you will find every type of service that you might require in your daily business.  For more information go to: http://www.chestnutshop.com.


If there's any area of San Francisco that evokes images of the long-gone '60s hippie culture, the Haight is it. Exclusive boutiques, high-end vintage-clothing shops, second-hand stores, Internet cafés and hip restaurants have all settled in, making the Haight one of San Francisco's most eclectic commercial centers.

Hayes Street aka Hayes Valley

From trendy clothing and shoe boutiques to sleek furniture showrooms, this formerly gritty 'hood has transformed into a fashionista's paradise. For more information go to: http://www.sfgate.com/traveler/guide/sf/neighborhoods/hayesvalley.shtml.

Union Square

An absolute mecca for the serious shopper!  Housing some of the biggest designers in the world such as Dior, YSL, Gucci, Baccarat, Versace, and dozens more.  Our opulent Westfield San Francisco Centre mall, centrally located on Market St. between 4th & 5th Streets is anchored by Nordstroms, and Bloomingdales and holds hundreds of shops, restaurants and more to tantalize any  shopoholics dream.  For more information go to: http://westfield.com/sanfrancisco/ourstores/index.html.

North Beach

Our very distinctive Italian neighborhood boasts some of the best Italian restaurants, one of a kind boutiques and some of the best coffee bars.  Try Steps of Rome on Columbus for a latte or cappuccino while the gorgeous Italian waiters flirt and call you “Bellisima!”.  Visit Sodini’s family owned restaurant on Green street just off Grant Street.  Delicious dinners including seafood and pastas as well as a colorful bar filled with locals and tourists alike.  Be warned, some restaurants only take cash, so be sure to check out the website of the restaurant you’re interested in or call beforehand.  For more information: http://www.sanfrancisco.com/restaurants/northbeach.html


Judy's Tips

Most shops close at 7:00 PM so go early.  Our restaurants will serve until at least 10PM, and bars open til 2:00 AM.

Judy's Tips

Yes the cable car will take you straight to Union Square but to avoid the lines, and save some money take the #30 bus one way or try the F-Line streetcar on Market Street to get back to the Wharf. These lines are only $1.50 instead of $5.00.  (Still best deal is to get CityPass or a muni pass when you get here.)

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