"Haight-Ashbury Neighborbood" Haight District Tip by MDH

Haight District, San Francisco: 58 reviews and 105 photos

  The Red Victorian--once a popular love-in hangout.
by MDH

The intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets in central San Francisco was once a derilect zone, filled with old, crumbling Victorians housing the city's lower class. In the 1950s, students from then-nearby San Francisco State College took over the neighborhood because of low rents. The Beatniks followed from their old haunts in North Beach, claiming that area was becoming far too expensive. In the late 1960s, when the Vietnam War waged on the other side of the world and anti-establishment opinions were gaining popularity with San Francisco's youth, this neighborhood absolutely exploded with Flower Power.

The neighborhood became the virtual headquarters to iconic bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. People dropped by on visits (some of them permanently) for free drugs, free love, the Be-In and the 1967 Summer of Love. But by the early 1970s, Flower Power had become rotten. Once celebrated, drugs became a scurge. The artists left. Charles Manson gave the neighborhood a bad rap. Plus the sour economic 70s didn't help either. The 1970s left Haight-Ashbury much like it was in the '40s and early '50s--a ghetto.

But revival began in the late '70s and continues to this day. Today, "the Haight" as most Californians know it, is one of the most fashionable areas of San Francisco. Rents are shockinly high (no respectable hippie could hardly afford it today). Shops as diverse (and corporate) as the Gap and Ben & Jerry's are here too, plus Amoeba Records, one of America's largest independent record stores. Plus you won't find many hippies here either; instead, you'll find more punks, goths, cell-phoned yuppies and tourists here than hippies. The '60s are gone forever, and so are many of this area's previous inhabitants.

Although you won't find the '60s alive and well here, you will find various historical spots that contributed to counterculture movement. Also, the shops here are also very interesting to go through.

The Haight overall is a cool place to check out and hang out for a few hours

Address: Haight Street from Stanyan to Lyons
Directions: Located in the central part of the city. Take Market south near the Castro District and turn off onto Haight St. It'll lead you there. *Beware! Parking is a nightmare!
othercontact: http://www.lovehaight.org
Phone: +1 415-391-2000
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/traveler/guide/sf/neighborhoods/haight.shtml

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 12, 2003
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