Wentworth Place

North Beach & Chinatown

Dragons bring this shadowy brick byway roaring to life. The narrow entryway is illuminated with 'Dragon Boats Chasing Moonlight,' a new mosaic mural composed of 30,000 shimmering iridescent tiles. Incredibly, the artists behind this dazzling artwork are neighborhood kids from the Chinatown Community Development Center's youth program, working with mosaic mentor Margarita Soyfertis.

Follow Jeremy Novy's signature coi fish stenciled on the pavement, and emerge at the other end of the alley at another dragon mural. Multimedia artist Justin Hoover collaborated with Gold Mountain Calligraphy to illustrate this poignant duai lien (14-character) poem about Chinatown history: 'Digging for gold, (we) experience bitterness and tears. Building the railway, (we) are credited for its success.'

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby North Beach & Chinatown attractions

1. Chinese Telephone Exchange

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California's earliest high-tech adopters weren't 1970s Silicon Valley programmers – they were Chinatown switchboard operators c 1894. To connect callers,…

2. Ross Alley

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Colorful murals hint at the colorful characters who once roamed SF’s oldest alleyway – known during the Gold Rush variously as Mexico, Spanish or Manila…

3. Portsmouth Square

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Chinatown's unofficial living room is named after John B Montgomery's sloop, which staked the US claim on San Francisco in 1846. SF's first city hall…

4. Chinese Culture Center

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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 contemporary…

5. Chinatown Alleyways

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If you look close today at the clinker-brick buildings lining these narrow backstreets, past the temple balconies jutting out over bakeries, acupuncture…

6. Columbus Tower

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If these copper-clad walls could talk, they'd name-drop shamelessly. The tower's original occupant was political boss Abe Ruef, ousted in 1907 and sent to…

7. Waverly Place

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Grant Ave is Chinatown's economic heart, but its soul is Waverly Place, lined with flag-festooned, colorful temple balconies and family-run businesses…

8. 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…