I love going to this music store at the west end of Haight near the park. It's an old bowling alley that has been converted into the most comprehensive collection of CDs I've ever seen in my life. You can get new & used CDs and DVDs. I saw Carlos Santana shopping here one night, so you know it's a quality hangout.
Height Ashbury is probaly the most Bohemian neighborhood in the country. Wonderful for people watching. Hippies, Hippies everywhere, young and old. Art and creativity is abound as you walk this neighborhood. This is the area to be yourself, not worry about what anybody thinks, and let your inner artist out. It is about 3 blocks off Broadway on Height street. This is a great walking area, cool head shops, vegi restaurants and grocery stores, street musicians, starving artists, hot women in total sleeve tatoos. Very hip. The architecture on the buildings is very, very colorful.
A good way to see the neighborhood at its prime is during the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair, held on the second Sunday of each June.
DIRECTIONS: Catch any of #5, #6, #7 or #71 buses on Market street.
We found this event on CitySearch. Took the Muni line straight from the Embarcadero, it was about 30 minutes. Wandered around with about 40,000 of our closest friends. Great atmosphere, actually pretty family friendly. There were tons of vendors selling their wares, along with great food booths. Great music, too. Overall a great "SF" experience.
Haight Ashbury is a pretty scenic part of San Francisico, located away from the hustle and bustle of the Wharf and other touristy areas it is home to some beautiful Victorians, one of which being the former home of the Greatful Dead (it isn't marked so ask someone at one of the shops). The shops along Haight Ashbury are pretty modestly priced for San Francisco.
San Francisco is discribed in one guide book as "a loosely knit confederation of neighborhoods." Sometmes it will seem like every block has it's own neighborhood name, and the neighborhood will be called different things depending on who you talk to.
Just south of the Haight/Ashbury is a little enclave called Cole Valley. It's a bit more upscale than the Haight, is a lot cleaner, and much more family friendly. The world famous Tassajara bakery was the focal point of the neighborhood until it closed down a few years ago. Fortunately, there's a very good bakery on the same spot (Cole & Parnassus). There's some good eateries, some shops, and the great neighborhood store Cole Hardware, which has just about everything.
NOTE: Cole Valley also has one of the great hidden views of the city - Tank Hill. To get to it, go up the hill on Cole St. from Haight St., after you pass the bakery, turn right and then left on Shrader St., go uphill all the way till it dead-ends. Park and walk on the little dirt path to the left of the guardrail about 50 yards uphill and you'll get a view that extends from the bay all the way around to the airport!
To get to Cole Valley, drive or walk south on Cole Street from Haight Street, and in a few blocks you'll hit it. The 'N Judah' line stops at Cole & Carl St., a block from the bakery. This is also the closest metro stop to the Haight/Ashbury.
This is a good off the beaten path spot. It is lesser-known park in the heart of the Haight Dist. It is a good climb uphill, with varying paths and steps to choose from. Once at the top you can view a decent, less observed, vistas of the city; from the tip of the GG Bridge to the Financial and over to Potrero Hill.
Ashbury Tobacco: half a block west of the intersection of H/A - relaxing atmosphere and good service
Visited the area of Haight Ashbury. Unfortunately by the time we reached the area, most of the stores had already closed.
It doesn't look that windy, but on the top of this hill, the famous SF gusts of wind blow right over here!
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