Hayes Valley is close to City Hall and many of San Francisco’s finest cultural institutions, the Opera, the Symphony, the Asian Art Museum, and others. Over the years, I have visited Hayes Valley often, but mostly on the way to these fine institutions. However, over the past two decades, Hayes Valley has gradually become a destination for me.
To become a become a destination for a lifelong resident like me, a neighborhood must have enough bars, restaurants and cafe choices for all price levels, and some shopping to keep the eyes busy. Union and Chestnut Streets are examples of non-tourist destinations for local residents. Over the past few years, Hayes Valley has gradually attracted art galleries, clothing boutiques, and for home stores. Hayes Valley does not have the brand name labels, but rather independent businesses.
The transformation of the Hayes Valley began after the 1989 earthquake rendered the freeway. Since that time, Hayes Valley has steadily transformed itself into a thriving neighborhood, and a gradually a destination. Hayes Valley is well worth visiting if you are looking to expand your destinations within the City. I find something new or that I overlooked every time I visit Hayes Valley.