17 Amazing Things to do in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco

The Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco is world-renowned for its hippie culture, bohemian lifestyle, and colorful history.

From the Summer of Love to the present day, this storied district continues to be a mecca for free spirits and creative minds.

If you’re looking to tap into your inner flower child, there’s no better place to do it than Haight Ashbury.

Haight Ashbury History

San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood is best known for its counterculture movement and bohemian history.

Here’s what you need to know about this iconic neighborhood.

Haight Ashbury, San Francisco is where the hippie movement developed as a powerful counterculture in 1967.

Several popular artists including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, and Jerry Garcia all lived here.

Even today the neighborhood retains its unique vibes and continues to attract aspiring artists and musicians, making it a must for those visiting San Francisco.

More San Francisco Travel Guides
24 Best Things to do in San Francisco, California
4 Days in San Francisco Itinerary
Bike Across the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Best Things to do in Haight Ashbury

This historic neighborhood is home to some of San Francisco’s best shopping, dining, and nightlife, all with a distinctly bohemian vibe.

From smoke shops and costume shops to hip cafes and gastropubs, there’s something for everyone in this colorful corner of the city.

Come explore Haight Ashbury and see why it’s one of San Francisco’s most unique neighborhoods!

Enjoy the neighborhood’s flower power vibes

One of our favorite activities!

Visitors can take a walk around the trendy, vibrant SF neighborhood to enjoy its hippie vibe.

You can find several landmarks and historic buildings including the house where the famous band Grateful Dead band lived in Haight Ashbury. 

You can even see the infamous Charles Manson home!

And of course, there’s the famous Haight Street itself, lined with colorful murals and graffiti art.

Take a picture with the iconic sign

Located at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets, you will find the famous ‘Haight Ashbury’ sign.

This is from where the neighborhood got its name.

This is a popular Instagram spot in San Francisco and as famous as the Golden Gate bridge!

Marvel at the colorful houses

There’s more to this neighborhood than just its place in history; it’s also home to some of the most beautiful and interesting houses in the city.

The streets are lined with beautiful Victorian mansions, many of which were painted in bright colors during the Flower Power era.

The Victorian houses are incredibly ornate, feature striking architectural details, and are worth a look.

The most colorful houses can be found on Central Ave between Haight and Page.

Spot the Grateful Dead House

The Grateful Dead House at 710 Ashbury Street is a must-visit spot.

The house was originally built in 1883, and it was here that the iconic rock band lived and wrote some of their most famous songs.

Today, the house is a popular tourist destination, and it’s still filled with the spirit of the 1960s.

If you’re looking for a taste of counterculture history, this is the place to be.

Other famous houses in Haight Ashbury include the house of Charles Manson (636 Cole Street), Sid Vicious House (32 Delmar Street), and the house of Janis Joplin (122 Lyon Street).

Check out the local music scene and nightlife

The music scene in Haight Ashbury is as colorful as the neighborhood itself.

You’ll find a variety of live music venues showcasing everything from rock to jazz to funk.

Step into Club Deluxe for live jazz or the Alembic for its craft cocktails.

Enjoy a meal at one of the many hip restaurants

Haight Ashbury is home to some of the best food in San Francisco.

You will find a wealth of great restaurants serving up everything from vegan fare to hearty comfort food.

Our favorites include Blue Front Cafe, Ginza Sushi & Sake, and Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery.

Browse the shelves at Booksmith

If you’re a fan of books, then you’ll love Booksmith, a popular independent bookstore with a steampunk vibe.

Located at 1644 Haight, this bookstore has been around since 1976 and is known for its wide selection of titles.

Whether you’re looking for the latest bestseller or a rare find, Booksmith is sure to have what you’re looking for.

It also sells literary journals, souvenirs, collectibles, and more.

Drink coffee at Coffee to the People

If you’re looking for a really really great cup of coffee, then Coffee to the People is the place to go.

This popular cafe has a nice ambiance, books, board games, as well as breakfast fare.

It’s the perfect place to relax and take a break from all the sightseeing.

Check out the records at Amoeba Music

Music lovers should make a beeline for Amoeba Music, one of the largest record stores in the world.

It’s a music fan’s paradise!

In addition to contemporary music, visitors can find long-lost tapes and cassettes, dusty vinyl records, movie posters, indie albums, and more in this Haight Street Store.

The huge record store is great to discover new and upcoming artists and search for hidden gems and classics.

See the ‘Legs’ at Piedmont Boutique

While the neighborhood has everything weird and wonderful, one of the most striking attractions of the area is the famous Haight Ashbury legs poking out through the window!

You will find them at 1452 Haight St at Piedmont Boutique.

Step inside to shop colorful masks, wigs, leggings, jewelry, and more!

Enjoy eclectic shopping on Haight Street

Head shops, vintage clothing stores, funky shops selling ‘collectibles’, high-end boutiques – Haight Street has it all!

Take a stroll down the street and explore all the interesting shops that line it.

You’re sure to find something unique to take home with you.

Also Read: Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide

Spot the street art and murals

The walls of Haight Ashbury are covered in street art and murals, adding to the neighborhood’s colorful vibe.

Take a wander down the streets and see some of the best examples.

You might even find some street artists at work!

Stay at the iconic Stanyan Park Hotel

The Stanyan Park Hotel is a pretty Red Victorian mansion that has been converted into a hotel.

It is an extremely photogenic and striking building.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and makes a great place to stay during your visit!

Admire the views from Buena Vista Park

Last but not least visit Buena Vista Park.

This is the oldest park in San Francisco and has great views of the city due to its location on a hilltop.

It’s also a great place for a picnic or to just relax and take in the sights.

Attend the annual Haight Ashbury Street Fair

The annual street fair is one of the best times to visit the neighborhood.

The street festival is held between Masonic Avenue and Stanyan Street.

It features several events and vendors including concerts, live performances, food carts, and more.

Visit a local smoke shop

Haight Ashbury is also home to some of the best smoke shops in San Francisco.

You’ll find a wide variety of cannabis strains, concentrates, and paraphernalia at stores like Puff Puff Pass and Pipe Dreams.

Step back into the past at Hippie Hill

Located at the eastern end of Golden Gate Park, you will find Hippie Hill.

It is a haven for peace, love, and activism.

On 420 Day, it is a veritable mecca of tie-dye shirts, hemp necklaces, and free spirits – taking you straight back into the 1960s!

It’s hard to believe that a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of downtown is this San Francisco neighborhood that’s world-famous in its own right.

Eclectic art galleries, independent bookstores, boutiques, music stores, coffee shops, and eateries: you never know what you’ll find here!

So if you’re looking to experience some true San Francisco soul, head to the Haight Ashbury!

Road Trips from San Francisco
PCH1: San Francisco to Big Sur Drive
San Francisco to Yosemite National Park Road Trip
West Coast: San Francisco to Portland along Highway 101
San Francisco to Denver, Colorado Road Trip Planner