Cheap hotels in North Beach, San Francisco
Wedged between Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach has a palpable buzz. If the flags painted on the light posts here don’t tell you that you’re in Italian territory, the cheery “ristorantes” and frozen-in-time caf&eactue;s should do the job. From Grant Avenue (the city’s oldest street) to iconic Coit Tower keeping watch from Telegraph Hill, North Beach's many historic landmarks tell its lively and checkered history.
There’s a curious mix of lively and quaint here. Frenzied Broadway is lit up by popular nightclubs and neon girlie signs that recall the area’s days as the infamous Barbary Coast. But head down to Washington Square Park, in the shadow of Saints Peter and Paul Church, and the feeling is altogether serene. And amid various literary hangouts and homages to the 1950s Beat movement, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Bookstore shines like a beacon on Columbus and Broadway (just off Jack Kerouac Alley).