With its central location near other popular neighborhoods like Haight-Ashbury, it’s easy to visit Hayes Valley during a day of sightseeing. Bigger city coach tours don’t visit the neighborhood, so opt for a small-group guided activity like a bike tour, food tour, or walking tour to get to know the area. There’s no major landmark to see; visiting Hayes Valley is mostly about eating, drinking, shopping, and enjoying the hip yet relaxed vibe.
Things to know before you go
- Hayes Valley is ideal for those looking to get off the tourist track and get a feel for local life in the city.
- The main drag is Hayes Street from Laguna to Franklin.
- The corner of Hayes and Octavia is home to a small green space popular with kids and dogs.
- Metered and non-metered street parking is available throughout the neighborhood; read the street signs to check time limits and street-cleaning days.
How to get there
Hayes Valley is bordered by Webster, Franklin, Fulton, Market, and Hermann streets. It is accessible via MUNI bus lines, such as the #7, as well as the light rail via the Market and Gough stop.
When to get there
For shopping and lunching, go in the late morning to give yourself time to stroll past the shops before settling on a location. The evening scene is also lively, with many early dinner options for those taking in a performance at the nearby War Memorial Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall, or SFJAZZ.
Walk just half a mile (750 kilometers) west along Hayes Street to reach Alamo Square and the Painted Ladies. Made famous in the late 1980s by the opening credits of Full House, this candy-colored stretch of Victorian homes, also known as Postcard Row, is one of the city’s top photo ops. The houses stretch uphill, fronting a view of the downtown skyline beyond.