North Beach got it’s name a long time ago when it used to actually be a beach on the northern end of the city. The neighborhood became known as Little Italy and today it still has a strong Italian community and presence. This is a popular neighborhood for tourist since it is filled with so much history and charm. North Beach was home to poets of the Beat Generation like Jack Kerouac who spent much time at Vesuvio Cafe. North Beach is also famous for being home to the legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio. There is a children’s playground named after him on Lombard between Powell and Mason Street. Other historical neighborhood landmarks include St. Peter and Paul Church, Coit Tower, and the Filbert Steps.
North Beach is a quaint neighborhood with Victorian and Edwardian homes that give it a classic San Francisco feel. It is bordered by Columbus Ave, Broadway Street, Bay Street and Telegraph Hill. The majority of the homes are multi family units, condos, and apartment buildings. It is the ideal location for someone who commutes downtown for work.
Washington Square park is the center where everyone gathers on a sunny afternoon. During the summer they have several events in the park. The biggest event of the year is the North Beach Festival. They block off the streets and have several beer gardens, food vendors and live music. The streets are lined with gourmet Italian restaurants, homemade gelato shops, bohemian cafes, and boutique retail stores. The ambiance is very european with al fresco dining at many of the restaurants and it has authentic Italian charm. Most of the shops and restaurants are along Grant Avenue and Columbus Avenue. There is easy access to public transportation if you need to get around town. The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at Columbus Avenue and Mason, and the #30 Muni bus runs down Columbus Avenue. Parking is almost impossible here so make sure where you live has a parking spot or you don’t have a car.
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