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A Trip through the 1960s in Haight-Ashbury

The historical, groovy and fun neighborhood near Golden Gate Park
id_1118872
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  As the Mamas & the Papas suggested in their hit 1967 song, "if you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in... more »

Tips:  If you are driving, try to find street parking on Stanyan or near Kezar Stadium at the east end of Golden Gate Park. Since the... more »

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Points of Interest

Opened in 1925, Kezar Stadium is the original home of the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders football teams. Today it's used for all kinds of sporting competitions, concerts and public events.

Pop in for a quick look around. It anchors Golden Gate Park on the southeast end and is quite a nice stadium, where you will probably find all... More

2. Stanyan and Haight streets

From Kezar, walk a block north on Stanyan to the top of Haight Street. With the beautiful Golden Gate Park behind you, you are looking east down the famous stretch of blocks. Unceremoniously and perhaps disappointingly framed by McDonald's to the right and Whole Foods to the left, the first stretch of your trip back in time may require some... More

3. Giant Robot

It's a magazine. It's an art gallery. It's a shop. Or at least it used to be. Giant Robot was one of those things that made the Haight--and San Francisco--quirky and unique. It was a mash-up of Asian and Asian-American pop culture, toys, technology and history. Sadly, this location is closed now. All that's left is the Giant Robot awning.

If you... More

Pass the hookah and the hummus! Kan Zaman serves up Middle Eastern food and drinks with Palestinian/Lebanese roots. They also have belly dancers on hand some evenings.

For the uninitiated, a hookah is something you smoke, but it's nothing like a cigarette or a cigar. It's a tall, ornate vessel and the smoke is filtered with water. Kan Zaman also ... More

5. Cold Steel America

Hands-down the best storefront on the street, Cold Steel is where you go to get ink done. After passing through the eye-popping, bejeweled flames on the front facade, you are met with a clean, well-lit and spacious tattoo and piercing shop. The bartender at the Alembic (next stop on the tour) showed us a few tattoos that had been procured at Cold ... More

This bar and restaurant has close ties with Magnolia Brewpub (farther down Haight and mentioned in this tour) as well as a relaxed but elegantly retro feel to it. Exposed light bulbs, high ceilings, giant chalkboard menus and tattooed bartenders may not be unique in San Francisco, but the bar's enormous selection of cottage or boutique spirits... More

A bed & breakfast, a cafe and a "peaceful world center," the Red Victorian packs a lot into its charming red, Victorian space. Not to be confused with the Red Vic independent movie house just a block west, the Red Victorian is more about art and peace building, meditation and self-awareness--all the things you may have expected in... More

8. Wasteland Vintage Clothes

Nothing takes you back in time like bell bottoms and psychedelic patterns. Wasteland's flagship store is here, based in an old theater but hard to miss. Have some old clothes you'd like to unload? Wasteland buyers are on hand seven days a week to evaluate your threads.
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1660 Haight St. (between Belvedere and Cole)
415-863-3150
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Hours
... More

Founded by Gary Frank in 1976, Booksmith is one of those rare breeds--an independent bookstore. The shop also features regular readings and events.

In 2007, Frank sold the store to Praveen Madan and Christin Evans, who wrote about their reasons for leaving their corporate jobs to jump into the independent book business for the Huffington Post.
--... More

10. Genesis Imports

For 15 years, Genesis Imports has brought "spiritually oriented" crafts from all over the world to Haight street shoppers. The stores sells hand-carved and painted masks from Bali, Africa and Nepal, meditation tools and hand-made jewelry from Southeast Asia and South America.
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1573 Haight St.
415-703-0775

This is a no-nonsense, leave me alone, I'm on a mission to thrift-shop destination. If you have ever had 20 minutes to pull together a costume for a theme party, Halloween or other such occasion, you understand what kind of focus is required to get the job done and get out the door. Buffalo is your place, and it has three locations in the Bay Area... More

You have arrived: The famous intersection itself.

Don't feel awkward, stop and take a look around and try to picture the crowds, the hair, the clothes, the flowers and the sounds that were here in the summer of 1967, the Summer of Love, when 100,000 people reportedly flooded this neighborhood to experiment with communal living, new kinds of... More

A quick detour right onto Ashbury Street takes you one block off Haight to the Grateful Dead House, where the band synonymous with psychedelic, experimental drugs and its famous teddy bear lead guitarist, Jerry Garcia, took up residence in late September 1966.

When the Dead lived here, locals say it was notorious for loud parties and debauchery... More

Opened originally in 1916, this little unassuming cafe is beloved many locals and tourists. It serves breakfast and lunch, and has a second location in San Francisco's Mission District, which also serves dinner Thursday-Saturday.

People love the eggs Benedict, chicken-fried steak and hash browns. Pancakes, turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes... More

A popular local watering hole featuring draught beer and cask ales with great names like Kalifornia Kolsch and Billy Sunday Bitter, Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery makes its brew on-site and is open seven days a week. It serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
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1398 Haight St.
415-864-7468
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Hours
Monday-Thursday 11am-midnight
Friday 11am-1am
Saturda... More

As you might expect, Coffee to the People is an independent coffee house. The cafe offers fair-trade coffee, light fare, free Wi-Fi and is well liked for its cozy, relaxed ambiance.
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1206 Masonic
415-626-2435

17. Pipe Dreams

A trip to the Haight would not be complete without a look at where pot smoking paraphernalia is sold. Pipe Dreams touts itself as the oldest smoke shop in San Francisco and sells all kinds of smokeware, beyond the marijuana variety. Please note: No one younger than 18 is allowed inside the store.
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1376 Haight St.
415-431-3553
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Hours
... More

18. Bound Together Book Collective

An anarchist collective, volunteer-run book store--say that three times fast. Bound Together has had a presence in the Haight for 35 years.
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1369 Haight St.
415 431-8355
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Hours*
Daily 11:30am-7:30pm
*BUT in true anarchist fashion, the store notes that it is "closed on occasional days/call ahead to check hours."

At the east end of the Haight is Buena Vista Park, a hilly, 37-acre respite that affords spectacular views and ascends south toward Buena Vista Heights, a windy residential neighborhood. Buena Vista Park was first established as Hill Park in 1867, making it the oldest official park in San Francisco. It was later renamed Buena Vista in 1894.

20. Graham Nash's house (Crosby, Stills and Nash)

This beautiful Victorian, built in 1897, has been the home of more than one famous owner. Long before Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills and Nash) moved in in the 1970s, Jack London lived here, where he reportedly wrote "White Fang."

David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash formed their folksy rock 'n' roll band in 1969, and added Neil ... More

21. Janis Joplin's house

Perhaps best known for her raspy, soulful and powerful songs "Piece of My Heart" and "Me and Bobby McGee," Janice Joplin (1943-1970) was a singer and songwriter who was seemingly born to experience and contribute to the full measure of what the late 1960s had to offer--for better and for worse. She lived here in 1967 and 1968.

... More

The three-story Colonial Revival mansion at 2400 Fulton St. was home to Jefferson Airplane starting in mid-1968. Soon after, the address become a hub for musicians, fans, drug dealers and anyone wanting to party hard. Later the address would be the name of the band's greatest hits album.

Jefferson Airplane made its debut at a San Francisco... More