San Francisco’s Little Italy, North Beach is so much more than that- it’s a cultural pastiche of Old Italia, Barbary Coast bawdiness, and beatnik cool. And all that ruckus is just a short (albeit very steep) hike from the quiet outlook of Telegraph Hill.
History: A neighborhood that wears its history on its sleeve, North Beach is the old stomping ground of Joe DiMaggio, the birthplace of the Beat movement, and the home of the world’s first topless strip joint, the Condor Club.
Don’t Miss: City Lights Bookstore is best known for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, but it’s still unquestionably one of the best bookstores in town. Across from Washington Square Park, Liguria Bakery has been making focaccia (and only focaccia) for over a century, while nearby Caffe Trieste is a caffeine-dispensing institution. Grab a cup- it might give you just the kick you need to trek up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower, whee the view outside is as amazing as the recently restored Depression-era murals inside.