A few weeks ago I posted a photo on Instagram with a list of all the Northern California spots I want to visit this year. I made the list because I realized how long it’d been since I’d been to San Francisco. When I was hanging out with my sister Andrea a few weeks ago, she mentioned that she had a random Friday off. We made plans to hang out in San Francisco that day if the weather was nice.
I was giddy leading up to our little day trip. The day before our visit, I found out that Andrea had never been to Haight-Ashbury. Her style is so flowerchild inspired I couldn’t believe she’d never been!
I don’t know if you guys know this, but I’m kind of the designated travel planner in my family. My claim to fame was finding a cute, clean and affordable hotel in Midtown of NYC for my 18th birthday trip out there. Ever since then I get tapped for “where should we go” information. I made sure my parents visited Versailles on their first trip to Europe last year and they’re still not over how great it was. With that background, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I immediately dove into figuring out what to see in San Francisco.
I’ve been to Haight-Ashbury once before. In my experience, it’s a cool place to visit to do some thrift shopping since that’s like 80% of what lines the streets. I’ve stuck to the side closest to Golden Gate Park each time I’ve visited. My sis and I took public transit to get there so we wouldn’t have to worry about parking and it went smoothly, despite us getting off at the wrong MUNI stop.
PLACES TO VISIT IN HAIGHT-ASHBURY
Flywheel Coffee Roasters
What? Coffee is at the top of my list? Weird. It wouldn’t be a Tinted Green trip without a designated coffee stop. Flywheel is so close to Golden Gate Park, I seriously don’t know how I missed it last time I visited. It’s dark and moody in there and it seemed like there were a lot of folks working remotely or having meetings which would makes sense since we visited on a Friday. We didn’t stay and hang out but the coffee was really good. Something to know, they don’t seem to offer tea (they definitely don’t have Chai, Andrea asked) so if you’re not down with coffee or hot chocolate, I might skip this place.
This place will probably show up on every list of things to do in Haight-Ashbury, and for good reason. This place is iconic and is a total mecca for records, CDs, movies, zines and so much more. We wandered through the aisles talking about music and flipping through the collections. They also have stores in Berkeley and Hollywood. If you like music, you’ll love this place.
Loved to Death
This place was c-r-e-e-p-y. It’s a shop full of taxidermy, skeletons, specimens and dark monster inspired things. They don’t allow photos in the store but it’s worth checking out if you’re into the heeby jeebies.
Maybe the biggest, brightest thrift store ever. This spot has high end vintage and secondhand pieces. Any store that quotes The Devil Wears Prada on its display window is OK in my book.
AKA my favorite thrift store ever. I have all the love for Buffalo Exchange because it’s where I scored the best items in college. I bought my vintage tartan wrap skirt that I wear every Christmas from the Buffalo Exchange in Haight-Ashbury two years ago, too!
Love on Haight
A tie dye store through and through. The gals here were so friendly and nice. Basically all the tie dye in the store is done by hand. The styles range from that traditional rainbow tie dye (my personal favorite) to other funky colors. There’s also free glitter!
Golden Gate Park
OK, so we might have only walked through the park to get from our MUNI stop to Haight-Ashbury, but I’ve been to Golden Gate Park enough to tell you it is absolutely worth a visit. If you get tired from all the walking and thrifting and getting asked if you want to buy drugs (which will happen, by the way), go take a nap in the grass near the carousel in the park. You’ll probably run into a drum circle while you’re there. It’s cool.
FOR MY NEXT TRIP
Buena Vista Park
This was on my list of places to see in the Haight but we just didn’t make it there. It’s one of the oldest parks in the San Francisco and is supposed to a cool urban hike with good views of the city. It’s for sure on my list for next time!
Have you been to Haight-Ashbury? Where do you like to go when you're there?