What it is:
Once an Italian immigrant neighborhood, North Beach is still steeped in Italian flavors: old-world bakeries, espresso joints, and pizzerias dot the streets and perfume the air. Joe DiMaggio grew up here and is said to have learned baseball hitting with a broken oar. Narrow streets, eccentric restaurants, and a leafy park lend this neighborhood an enduring charm. In the 1950s North Beach captured the nation’s attention as the center of beat culture: writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg made this area their home; poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti founded the renown City Lights Bookstore here in 1953.
North Beach is sandwiched between Chinatown and Telegraph Hill in the northeast corner of the city.
What to Do:
A great strolling neighborhood, North Beach is ideal for snacking, shopping, and sightseeing. Check out the Top 9 Things to do in North Beach.
When to Go:
Sunny afternoons are made for North Beach, when you can linger over coffee at a sidewalk café or on a bench in Washington Square park. Weekend nights are crowded with tourists who flock to the area’s (mostly overrated) restaurants and nearby strip clubs.
Take the #30 Stockton or #15 Third St. bus or the Powell Mason Cable Car line.