The Ulitmate Art Lovers Guide To San Francisco

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art lovers guide to san francisco

San Francisco is a city of high-tech and startups, diverse restaurants and fun little neighborhoods, each with their unique spin. But, you can’t do it all. So what to do? Read on to my ultimate guide to a week in San Francisco.

Where To Stay

Hotel Diva is in the center of the city surrounded by theaters, shopping, nightlife, casual and fine dining, and steps away from Cable Car line. I also enjoyed to complimentary champagne each evening with the other hotel guests and the high speed WiFi.

Where To Go

The Japanese Tea Garden is a four-acre refuge in Golden Gate Park featuring Japanese architecture and gardens and it was originally built as part of a sprawling World’s Fair, the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894.

The Color Factory is a collaborative interactive exhibit that debuted in San Francisco in August 2017. What was intended as a month-long run unexpectedly flourished as a celebration of color and creativity that lasted for more than a year.

the color factory san francisco

Alamo Square AKA the park across the street from the painted ladies featured in the show, Full House.

Chinatown

San Francisco is home to the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in America, boasting an impressive display of markets, specialty shops, and restaurants. If you’re lucky enough to be there in the fall, don’t miss the beautiful Autumn Moon Festival, a celebration of harvest, bazaars, dancing, and mooncakes.

With beautiful Chinese architecture, a wonderful atmosphere and the beautiful Chinatown Gate this is a great area to explore.

Pier 39

Named for the generations of fishermen who sold their catches at the harbor back in the day, the Wharf is now a tourist attraction. It is a great hub in the city where shopping, restaurants and entertainment venues are brought together to make for excellent areas for visitors. Make sure to keep your eye out for the famous Bushman street performer!

Street Art Tour

San Francisco’s Mission District has one of the highest concentrations of street art of any neighborhood in the world. Over 500 murals from the early 1970s through to today touch upon a variety of themes from the social and political, to the historical and fun. Down alleyways, on main streets, in full view on large buildings and hidden in unassuming spots, there’s fantastic street art everywhere in the Mission District.

Balmy Alley

Balmy Alley has been home to street art murals since 1972 and is today home to the most concentrated collection of murals in San Francisco. The art here focuses on womanhood, beauty, and socio-political change, indigenous Central American cultures and a protest of US intervention in Central America, and topics like gentrification and police harassment.

Clarion Alley

Clarion Alley is one of the best places for street art in San Francisco‘s Mission District due to the important messages told by the many murals. The art here supports and conveys political, economic, and social justice messaging and gives visitors a real sense of some of the issues facing the community.

Other Alleys

Mace and Peak WOD street art on Cypress Alley in San Francisco

Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley are by far the two most well-known spots for street art in the Mission District, but there are plenty of other alleys in the area featuring a wealth of street art. Caledonia, Cypress, Lilac, Osage, and Horace Alleys all features artwork from artists like Musk, Nekst, MAGS, 7Seas, Hyde, Zore, Twick, Dvote and more. Beyond the alleys, also keep an eye out on the main streets – you never know what you’ll find.

The Women’s Building MaestraPeace Mural

The MaestraPeace Mural covers the entirety of the Women’s Building and dates back to 1994 when it was painted by seven local female artists. It was created as a symbol of the contributions of women from around the world throughout history and fiction.

Carnaval Mural

The Carnaval Mural above the House of Brakes on 24th and South Van Ness streets was created in 1983 by muralist Daniel Galvez and a team of local artists. It’s based on local photographer Lou Dematteis’ photos of the inaugural Carnival celebration in 1979 and is a celebration of the event. Also known as “Golden Dreams of the Mission”, the Carnival Mural was restored in 2014 and is an important part of the mission’s history.

Precita Eyes Mural Arts And Visitor Center

Precita Eyes are a not-for-profit based organization who work to enrich and beautify urban environments and educate the public about the process and history of community mural art. They are involved in the creation of new murals, preservation, and restoration of old murals, and offer tours that educate visitors about the history, process, impact, and preservation of mural art. At the center itself, you’ll find several works by local artists and can enroll in art classes.

How To Get Around

Trolley

Lyft is very affordable here due to the city size and headquarters being local.

Where To Eat

Pinecrest Diner offers fresh and delicious American diner food 24 hours a day.

Pizzeria Delfina serves Neapolitan-style pizzas plus seasonal antipasti, salads & Italian wines in a modern atmosphere.


Nob Hill Cafe: Grab dinner at the authentic Italian restaurant, a staple for nearly 20 years. Local favorites include the creamy pesto pasta, roasted eggplant, veal cutlets, and sautéed sole.

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