The home to San Francisco’s hipster scene and the hub of the city’s Latin community, the Mission District is one of the city’s most interesting neighborhoods. It’s known for its outstanding and diverse food scene, buzzing nightlife hot spots, and a scenic park that’s a popular weekend hangout for locals.
The Mission typically offers the sunniest, warmest weather in San Francisco, so if you’re looking for a break from the fog and cooler temps, head to the neighborhood for a food tour, bike tour, or walking tour of the district’s colorful murals. You’ll definitely want to make a stop at Dolores Park, where you can admire a view of the San Francisco skyline while picnicking on the grass with locals. The best way to explore the neighborhood is to simply walk it, admiring the architecture and trendy shops.
Things to Know Before You Go
Mission Street and Valencia Street are the main thoroughfares, running north-south from Duboce Avenue to Cesar Chavez.
Bars and restaurants are mostly concentrated between 16th and 22nd streets.
There is a lot of metered and free street parking available, but pay attention to posted signs about prohibited parking during street cleaning or other times.
How to Get There
The neighborhood offers two BART stations—16th Street Mission and 24th Street Mission. The J-Church light rail runs along the western side of the neighborhood, while bus route 33 stops along 18th Street.
When to Get There
The Mission District is lively at night, when locals gather at some of the city’s best bars and restaurants. If you’d rather browse the shops or enjoy a more relaxed dining atmosphere, explore during the afternoon. For people-watching, head to Dolores Park on a sunny weekend. Carnaval San Francisco is a 2-day multicultural festival that takes place over Memorial Day weekend.
Mission San Francisco de Asís
Founded in 1776 and the oldest structure in San Francisco, Mission Dolores is often overlooked by visitors who go to the Mission District to frequent the shops, bars, restaurants, and park. But it’s worth a stop to see the historic architecture and learn about a piece of California history.