San Francisco Neighborhoods
Much of the charm of San Francisco can be found within the borders of its diverse neighborhoods. Chinatown is well known as a 24-block area that is the largest Chinese neighborhood in the United States. Upscale Union Square is home to posh stores and wonderful restaurants, and neighboring Nob Hill is known for its stunning homes and grand hotels. North Beach, also known as San Francisco's "Little Italy", is steeped in Italian history and culture and is home to some of the best Italian restaurants in Northern California. This same community is also renowned for its vibrant nightlife, so if you're hoping to dance until dawn, this is where you'll want to be. Remember 1968 and The Summer of Love? Then you'll want to visit the infamous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, home to hundreds and hundreds of "hippies" during the turbulent 1960s. While the hippies are gone, you'll still find lots of 60s-era clothing stores and other places reminiscent of the era as you tour The Haight. The Mission District of San Francisco is a colorful Hispanic neighborhood where guests can visit taquerias and Mexican bakeries and get a look at the oldest structure in San Francisco, Mission Dolores, built by Father Junipero Serra and his missionary priests.
Golden Gate Park
Not really a neighborhood but definitely a must-see space, Golden Gate Park is like an oasis in the middle of a bustling city. About 75,000 visitors head here each weekend (when the weather is pleasant) to enjoy two lakes - Stow and Spreckels, jog or bike, walk their dogs, or visit the Japanese Tea Garden, deYoung Museum, the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and the newly-renovated California Academy of Sciences.
Near Golden Gate Park, in the portion of the city known as Alamo Square, you'll find yet one more must-see sight, San Francisco's Painted Ladies - a row of the city's best-preserved Victorian homes that have been photographed thousands of times. While you can't tour the homes, a picture of them is mandatory!
49-mile Scenic Drive
If you're still confused about what to see and where to go, check out San Francisco's 49-mile Scenic Drive, originally created for the 1939 International Exhibition. Follow the route's blue and white signs and you'll be sure to see all of the city's best bets.