Looking for the best things to do and see in Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco?
The Haight-Ashbury is a fun neighborhood to walk around and browse the vintage stores and unique funky shops, marvel at the original Victorian homes and experience the hippie vibe of the 1960s era that is still looming in the air.
Haight Ashbury neighborhood rose to fame in the 1960s and particularly in 1967 summer when the ‘Summer of Love’ movement brought thousands of people to this neighborhood in search of freedom and love. The traces of that Flower Power movement and hippie culture are still found in this neighborhood.
I have lived in the San Francisco suburbs for the last 20 years and finally got around to visit the Haight Asbury neighborhood. For me, the neighborhood definitely lived to its hype and I loved exploring all the quirky shops, vintage clothing stores, Victorian homes, cafes and eateries found in Haight-Ashbury.
The most popular things to do and see in Haight-Ashbury neighborhood
The main attractions of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood are the unique shops and vintage stores found on Haight Street between Stanyan Street and Central Avenue.
The best way to experience Haight-Ashbury is to walk around Haight Street and explore the various shops, cafes, Victorian homes and psychedelic murals.
Below are some of the top things to do and see in Haight Ashbury:
1. Marvel at the architecture of the Victorian Houses
Haight Ashbury was one of the few neighborhoods that was not greatly affected by the 1906 earthquake and still has a lot of older Victorian homes. Stroll across the Haight Street, Ashbury Street and Central Avenue to see some of these Victorian homes.
2. Check out the Painted Ladies of Haight Ashbury
These are not the famous ‘Painted Ladies’ Victorian homes of Alamo Square. Haight Ashbury has its own ‘Painted Ladies’, a row of Victorian homes with striking architecture on Asbury Street. The homes are equally beautiful, and colorful, with amazing architectural detail.
3. Spot Famous homes in Haight Ashbury
Stroll along Haight Street and Ashbury Street to spot some famous homes where musicians and bandmates lived during the 1960s Flower Power era.
- The Grateful Dead House at 710 Ashbury Street where Jerry Garcia and his bandmates lived in the 1960s during the hippie movement.
- Jimi Hendrix’s Red House at 1524 Haight Street where the rock star lived for a few years in the 1960s.
- Janis Joplin, the legendary singer of the 1960s lived at 635 Ashbury Street.
- Jefferson Airplane lived at 2400 Fulton Street, which is a little further away from the Haight Ashbury neighborhood.
- Another popular home here not related to the 1960s is ‘That’s So Raven’ TV Show’s home at 461 Ashbury Street which is used in the exterior shots in the popular TV show.
4. Take a picture at the Corner of Haight and Ashbury
One of the most iconic things to do in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood is to take a picture at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets.
This corner represents the Peace and Love movement of 1967 and the neighborhood got its name ‘Haight-Ashbury’ from this intersection.
5. Admire the wall art and the murals
As you walk along Haight Street you will come across several wall murals depicting psychedelic art and the colorful hippie culture that was once prevalent here.
Explore the funky Haight Ashbury shops
Haight Ashbury has some very unique shops to browse for music, books, tie dye shirts, thrift and vintage stores and many more. These quirky shops keep the hippie spirit alive in this neighborhood.
6. Amoeba Music – Music records and CDs store
Amoeba Music at 1855 Haight St, is an iconic store in Haight Ashbury and a must visit. You will be blown away by its massive size and collection of music memorabilia. This must be the largest music store I have been to till date.
It is rows upon rows of music collections from vintage hits to latest albums. It has the largest collection of vinyl records, CDs and cassettes, even posters, books, DVDs and merchandise related to music.
They have live shows frequently and the schedule can be found on their website.
7. Piedmont Boutique – The store with the famous legs
Piedmont Boutique at 1452 Haight St, is the most photographed store from the outside due to the famous legs statue hanging from the top window (the main picture of this post). This is a must see landmark of Haight-Ashbury.
The store itself is an accessories store where you can find faux fur, feather, and sequin accessories for your attire. They also have a great selection of jewelry.
8. Love on Haight -Tie Dye clothing store
Love on Haight at 1400 Haight St, is a very colorful and fun store where you can pick up some unique tie dye t-shirts, clothing or accessories. The exterior of the store is as cool as the collection inside!
The store has some cool psychedelic art and artistic clothing collections. The prices were a little high but it is expected because of the location!
9. Booksmith – Bookstore
Booksmith at 1727 Haight St is a great independent bookstore with a vast collection of classics and new bestsellers and excellent staff recommendations. They host author book reading events.
The store has a great selection of children’s books here as well and a bench in the inside room to browse books.
Definitely a cool store for bookworms who still prefer reading actual books rather than digital copies. It would be hard to leave here without finding some new reads.
10. Twisted thistle Apothicaire
If you like herbal medicines, herbal teas and other apothecary stuff then you should check out this store.
11. The Love of Ganesha
This store is filled to the brim with crystals, and all kinds of stones, rocks and minerals one can imagine, and a good mix of other spiritual and healing items. There were Indian sarees and other cool clothing items as well from far away lands.
Do some vintage shopping in Haight-Ashbury vintage shops
Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is popular for vintage shopping and has several vintage stores to browse through and find some cool attires, costumes and vintage designer clothing for both men and women. Below are the most popular ones.
12. Relic Vintage
This is a really cool vintage store with some great curated pieces from the 1920s to the 1970s. The staff working here is super friendly as well and I enjoyed talking to them.
This is a larger vintage store with a great curated collection of vintage and thrift designer clothing for men and women.
14. Indigo Vintage
This is a women owned and operated co-op and features a lot of different vendors. The collection changes frequently and you can find some good vintage pieces.
15. Decades of Fashion
A popular store for premier vintage clothing, accessories, and period costumes for men and women.
Stroll or hike in the nearby parks
The Haight Ashbury neighborhood is surrounded by beautiful parks on the east, north and west. These parks were popular hangout spots in the 1960s during the Summer of Love era.
16. Buena Vista Park
Located on the eastern end of Haight Street, this little park is famous for its hiking trails and views of the San Francisco city from the top. Buena Vista Park was popular during the hippie movement as a hang out spot. Now it’s for anyone who wants a good uphill workout with SF city views.
17. Golden Gate Park
This massive park is on the western end of Haight Street and walking across it takes around 3 miles one way. The park ends on Ocean beach for some spectacular sunset views.
Golden Gate Park has a lot of awesome attractions like California Academy of Sciences, Japanese Tea Garden, De Young Museum, Conservatory of Flowers and many more.
The Hippie Hill is on the east end of Golden Gate Park and has significance in the Summer of Love history as this is where the bands used to play during the 1960s hippie movement. Now you can just sit here and enjoy the park around you.
18. Panhandle Urban Park
This narrow and long park runs along the northern end of Haight Street and is popular among locals for picnics and strolls.
19. Take a Haight Ashbury walking tour
If you want to hear about the hippie history and the neighborhood art, fashion and architecture take the Haight Ashbury Flower Power walking tour led by local experts which will ensure you see all the sights and important homes in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood.
20. Club Deluxe
If you want to spend your evening at Haight-Ashbury then Club Deluxe is right on 1511 Haight St and is an intimate night club with jazz and other live music.
This club has been an icon on Haight-Ashbury for three decades. They seem to have been closed since September 2022. I will update the post once they reopen!
21. Attend the annual Haight Ashbury Street Fair
The annual Haight Ashbury Street Fair occurs on the second Sunday of June every year to remember the counterculture era of the 1960s. The Street Fair is a free event and there are music concert stages, arts and crafts and food booths at the Fair.
Where to eat in Haight Ashbury
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood serving a variety of cuisines.
Some of the most popular Haight Ashbury restaurants:
- Escape from New York Pizza – New York style thin crust pizza by the slice, try the pesto or potato pizza!
- Magnolia Brewery – Popular place for beers and burgers.
- The Alembic – Great craft cocktails and pub food.
- Cha Cha Cha – Caribbean cuisine and popular for Sangria
- Parada 22 – Lively place with Puerto Rican food
- Street Taco – Mexican street food like tacos, burritos and more with good portions and cheap prices.
- Coffee to the People – Café with a great vibe and good coffee and treats.
- Ben and Jerry’s – Ice-cream!
Where to stay for Haight Ashbury
The historic Stanyan Park Hotel is right at the intersection of Haight St and Stanyan Street and is the most convenient place to stay to explore the Haight Ashbury neighborhood.
You can also stay in the Fisherman’s Wharf area or Financial District of San Francisco where there are more brand name hotels to choose from, and do a day trip to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood.
Vacation rentals are also an option if you are looking for a larger unit or planning an extended stay in San Francisco.
Where is Haight-Ashbury
Haight Ashbury neighborhood is in San Francisco, on the east end of the Golden Gate park between Stanyan St and Central Ave.
Map of Haight-Ashbury neighborhood
Click on the image below to open the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood map in Google maps.
All the main attractions and popular stores are on Haight Street between Stanyan St and Central Ave.
How to get to Haight Ashbury
Getting to Haight Ashbury by Car
If you have a rental car or you are a local and have your own car, you can drive to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. There is a paid parking lot on 825 Stanyan St at the intersection of Stanyan St and Frederick St which is just one block from the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. This is where I parked.
You can also park on Haight St at a metered parking spot, but do not leave any valuables in sight to avoid petty theft.
Getting to Haight Ashbury by Public Transport
If you are getting around San Francisco by public transport then Bus Number 7 stops right on Hyatt street. You can take BART or Muni (light rail) from your starting point to Market and 7th St and transfer to Bus number 7 to reach Haight St. You can use the Trip planner feature on BART or Muni public transport websites to plan your route.
Is Haight-Ashbury worth visiting?
Haight Ashbury is a very unique and quirky neighborhood in San Francisco and is definitely worth visiting for its rich history of the Summer of Love era of the 1960s and the Flower Power movement.
You can see the hippie vibes in the funky shops and wall murals here. There are lots of vintage clothing shops here. The neighborhood has many original Victorian homes including some famous homes where rock stars lived in the 1960s.
What is Haight-Ashbury famous for?
The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is famous for its significance in the 1960s Summer of Love era as it was the epicenter of the hippie movement and counterculture of freedom, love, drugs, music and psychedelic art.
Many legendary musicians like Janis Joplin, Jimi Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead bandmates lived in Haight-Ashbury during the 1960s. Today the neighborhood is famous for vintage shopping and other quirky shops.
What famous park surrounded the hippies neighborhood?
Haight Ashbury neighborhood is surrounded by beautiful parks. The Massive Golden Gate Park with the Hippie Hill is on the west side, The Buena Vista Park is on the east side, and the narrow Panhandle park is on the north side.
These parks were popular hangout spots for music and fun in the 1960s during the Summer of Love era. Today they are some of the best recreation parks for the locals.
Is Haight-Ashbury safe?
I visited Haight-Ashbury on a weekend afternoon and it felt completely safe. Lots of tourists and locals shopping at the vintage shops, music and book stores and eating at the restaurants and cafes.
Of course there is the occasional smell of weed and you might spot some wierdo but that is with most places in downtown San Francisco. Just keep your wits about you and do not go in deserted alleys or streets. Do not keep any valuables or electronics visible in your car to avoid theft.
Final Takeaways: Best things to see and do in Haight Ashbury
Haight-Ashbury has a rich and colorful history of being Ground Zero of the hippie movement and counterculture in the 1960s and shot to fame during the 1967 Summer of Love.
In your visit to this unique and quirky neighborhood experience the hippie vibes, admire the Victorian architecture and find some famous homes where rock stars lived.
Browse some vintage shops and find something special. Check out Amoeba Music and find an old classic or new album, buy some tie dye clothing at Love on Haight.
Eat at some popular restaurants, cafes and bars. Visit the nearby parks for some exercise and views of the SF city. I hope you have a great time exploring the unique Haight Ashbury neighborhood.
Visiting San Francisco? Check out my other posts on San Francisco!