24 Hours in San Francisco

3 mins read

To most people, San Francisco is known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Warf. So, we wanted to explore the similarly popular but often underrated parts of the city to show that the city is much more diverse than most people think. 

Haight-Ashbury District

Made famous in the 1960s for being the center of the hippie counterculture, the roads, and stores are covered in colorful paint and bohemian paraphernalia. Browse vintage clothing stores, quirky boutiques, and eclectic record shops, immersing yourself in the free spirit that still permeates the neighborhood. And don’t miss the opportunity to snap a photo in front of the iconic Victorian houses known as the “Painted Ladies.”

We grabbed coffee at The Mellow Haight, a plant store located in the middle of Haight Street, and walked around the colorful streets. 

Latte from The Mellow Haight
Booksmith Book Collection

The first store we went into was Booksmith, an ambient low-lit store with a large selection of books. There were organized sections of book genres, with a lot of variety, with something for everyone. No matter what books you read, we highly recommend visiting Booksmith for all your readers!

Next, we visited The Love of Ganesha, which stands as a beacon of spiritual enlightenment amidst the eclectic tapestry of Haight Street. This enchanting store transports visitors to the mystical realms of Eastern spirituality, offering a curated selection of handcrafted artifacts, incense, and sacred jewelry. From intricately carved statues of Hindu deities to vibrant tapestries and healing crystals, The Love of Ganesha invites patrons to explore the transformative power of ancient wisdom and holistic living.

Crystals at Love of Ganesha
Candy’s, eclectic candy store

As soon as we stepped into Candy’s, Haight’s unique candy store, the nostalgia of childhood immediately kicked in when we saw the large selection of candy. There was a wide range of American candy as well as candy from countries around the world, such as Japan. We bought the freeze-dried Skittles, which have been going viral recently, and definitely lived up to the hype.

Aviator Nation is the embodiment of laid-back California style and the colorful, retro vibe of Haight Street. The interior reflects the nostalgia of 1970s surf culture, with bright ceilings, guitars, and even a Pac-Man machine, free for all to use. While we don’t recommend buying the products, it’s worth stopping by.

Bound Together Bookstore

Started by the Prisoner’s Literature Project, Bound Together is a quaint bookstore run by volunteers at the end of the Upper Haight. The books range from international politics to pamphlets on feminism and poetry. With comfortable couches and chairs available all day, this bookstore is a homey place to relax and read books you won’t usually find at a library. 

Fillmore Street

Fillmore Street is the center of the historic and diverse Fillmore neighborhood, known for The Fillmore music venue. Being one of the main shopping districts in San Francisco, it is bustling with traffic so parking is very hard to find on this street. We recommend either walking, renting a bike or scooter to get there, or you can take the MUNI (free public transportation for people under 18).

Dandelion Chocolate is the perfect place for chocolate lovers. They have a wide selection of options ranging from chocolate toffee to locally made, single-origin chocolate. Outside of the full chocolate bars, there also were packages of small chocolate snacks, including toffee and chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Dandelion Chocolate Shop
Browser Books

Browser Books, located right next to Peet’s Coffee, is the cutest, hole-in-a-wall bookstore in the city. With a large variety of books to choose from, the interior is filled with locals and college students coming to grab a book and a cup of coffee. As you stroll past the storefront, you’re drawn in by the inviting window display featuring stacks of books adorned with handwritten recommendations from knowledgeable staff. 

No Rest for Bridget is one of our favorite stores. This store had one of the most versatile clothing with so many cute and affordable items to choose from. The store was very popular and was bustling with people, after having recently expanded from a location in Boston.

Unique rings from Hi Ho Silver
Pinsa Rossa Ancient Roman Pizza

Hi Ho Silver has the largest selection of unisex rings and other jewelry at affordable prices. The owner was very sweet and had a large section of items on sale. We highly recommend visiting this store to see their unique jewelry, including animal-inspired rings. 

After window shopping and walking around, we began looking for places to eat. The choice was difficult as there were so many good options, but we decided on the Roman Pinseria, Pinsa Rossa. For appetizers, we ordered arancini balls: fried Italian risotto balls with mozzarella, which was a perfect balance of flavor and excellent portion size to share. Soon after, we ordered a Margherita pinsa for our main course. Pinsas are very similar to pizzas except the dough is made from soy, rice, and wheat flour, making it have much more flavor in comparison to the average pizza. The mozzarella on the pinsa was a great soft consistency, and the crust was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Overall, the food we ordered was outstanding, and we highly recommend paying a visit if you are in the area!

Margherita pizza from Pinsa Rossa
Arancini balls from Pinsa Rossa

Riya is a sophomore at M-A. She joined journalism as a chance to meet new people and write about issues that she is interested about. In her spare time, she enjoys writing songs and running with her team.

Nava is a junior at M-A. This is her first year in journalism. She hopes to write about world wide issues that affect the M-A family. In her free time, she like to read, play volleyball, debate, and play piano.

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