Like a strong spine that supports a body, Market Street is San Francisco’s main thoroughfare running from the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero to the Twin Peaks neighborhood in the southwest. This highly trafficked street is where you’ll find the city’s flavors and colors coming together in a cacophony of characters: tourists and travelers from all over the world, tech industry men and women going to work in the disco-ball skyscrapers, and long-time locals popping into their favorite eateries and stores.
streets of san francisco
Sometimes, while you’re staying at a hostel, you’ll find it a little challenging to connect with your fellow travelers beyond the usual “where are you from?” conversation – maybe the language barrier is particularly strong or it’s extra difficult to find the flooring for common ground. That is, until someone name drops their favorite TV show or starts singing along to the familiar tune that’s playing in the hostel common area, and next thing you know you’re re-enacting famous scenes and performing impromptu karaoke with a brand new lifelong friend.
Every major city in the world has that neighborhood: the one that’s a little rough around the edges, that has the interesting characters, and that the guide books might tell you that you can skip. But sometimes these places can also have the most interesting histories, offer great insights into the way that a city came to be, and introduce you to a side with more local flair than you’ll find on the beaten tourist path.
San Francisco is a city of iconic bucket list-worthy things to see and do, from biking across the marvel that is the Golden Gate Bridge, to cruising the hilly streets in one of our city's famed cable cars. But there's somewhere that's a definite must-visit for the hostel traveller and wandering soul: the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Why?
The epicenter of all things trendy, beautiful, and delicious in San Francisco's hip Mission District, Valencia Street is more than just a thoroughfare: it's a melting pot. To the East of Valencia lies the old-school Mission neighborhood, where authentic taquerias are packed in several to a block and storefronts blast contemporary Mexican music. To the West, apartment rental prices soar, gourmet grocery stores thrive, and techies work on their tans in Dolores Park.