Attractions

Top Choice Area in North Beach & Chinatown

Chinatown Alleyways

The 41 historic alleyways packed into Chinatown's 22 blocks have seen it all since 1849: gold rushes and revolution, incense and opium, fire and icy receptions. These narrow backstreets are lined with towering build…
Top Choice Historic Building in North Beach & Chinatown

Coit Tower

The exclamation mark on San Francisco's skyline is Coit Tower, with 360-degree views of downtown and wrap-around 1930s murals glorifying SF workers – once denounced as Communist, but now a landmark. For a wild parro…
Top Choice Landmark in North Beach & Chinatown

City Lights Bookstore

Ever since manager Shigeyoshi Murao and founder and Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti successfully defended their right to print Allen Ginsberg’s magnificent Howl and Other Poems in 1957, this bookstore has been a fre…
Top Choice Cultural Center in North Beach & Chinatown

City Lights

Free speech and free spirits have flourished at City Lights since 1957, when founder and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and manager Shigeyoshi Murao won a landmark ruling defending their right to publish Allen Ginsberg'…
Museum in North Beach & Chinatown

Chinese Historical Society of America

Picture what it was like to be Chinese in America during the Gold Rush, transcontinental railroad construction or Beat heyday in this 1932 landmark, built as Chinatown's YWCA by Julia Morgan (chief architect of Hear…
Museum in North Beach & Chinatown

Beat Museum

The closest you can get to the complete Beat experience without breaking a law. The 1000+ artifacts in this museum's literary ephemera collection include the sublime (the banned edition of Ginsberg's Howl) and the r…
Church in North Beach & Chinatown

Old St Mary's Cathedral & Square

California's first cathedral was started in 1854 by an Irish entrepreneur determined to give wayward San Francisco some religion – despite its location on brothel-lined Dupont St. The 1906 earthquake miraculously sp…
Gallery in North Beach & Chinatown

Chinese Culture Center

You can see all the way to China from the Hilton's 3rd floor inside this cultural center, which hosts exhibits ranging from showcases of China's leading ink-brush-painters to XianRui ('fresharp') cutting-edge instal…
Church in North Beach & Chinatown

Saints Peter & Paul Church

Wedding-cake cravings are inspired by this frosted white, triple-decker 1924 cathedral. The church holds Catholic masses in Italian, Chinese, Latin and English and pulls triple wedding shifts on Saturdays – Joe DiMa…
Temple in North Beach & Chinatown

Tin How Temple

There was no place to go but up in Chinatown in the 19th century, when laws restricted where Chinese San Franciscans could live and work. Atop barber shops, laundries and diners lining Waverly Place, you'll spot lan…