Downtown San Francisco, or the Financial District, is known as the center of the city’s business industry. However, downtown isn’t just for the business savvy. In fact, downtown is far from it. There’s plenty of things to do in the heart of San Francisco for entertainment and pleasure.

Visiting Lombard Street

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Lombard Street. Photo: SFtourismtips

San Francisco landmark Lombard Street is an east-west street, famous for its highly steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. With borders of blooming flowers and other greenery, it’s said Lombard Street resembles a playground slide. Whether taking a car down the windy red-bricked road or taking a cable car that stops at the top of the hill, visiting Lombard Street is a must when exploring downtown San Francisco.

Shopping along the perimeter of Union Square

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Union Square. Photo: The Registry

While there are great options for shopping along the perimeter of Union Square, the little rectangle of concrete and grass is not worth stopping for. This tourist-ridden area is a good place to see tired fathers holding copious shopping bags of different sizes, kids screaming and running in circles, and homeless people trying to get some shut-eye. The views are only of buildings, and yet for some reason, you may experience many people with cameras, and bad physical awareness, stopping in the middle of the busy sidewalk to take a picture, according to The Culture Trips.

If you want to experience Union Square without all the senses that it engages, one might consider going to the top floor of Macy’s and eating at the Cheesecake Factory. While the restaurant is still full of tourists year-round, there are beautiful views from the 8th floor of the square and surrounding buildings, as well as partitions separating you from the screaming kids.

Going for Food & Walking Tours

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China Town is famous for its food tours. Photo: Eater SF

There is so much to learn about this neighborhood from its authentic foods to its long history in San Francisco. Luckily, there are a number of walking tours to give you an insider's look at this fascinating SF neighborhood.

You'll learn more about its community, top attractions, and role as one of the first settlements in the area, even before San Francisco became a city.

Exploring the Macondray Lane Historic District

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Macondray Lane Historic District. Photo: Eater SF

Another hidden gem in this SF district is the Macondray Lane Historic District. This small district (just 1.6 acres!) was added to the list of National Historic Places in 1988. It includes about a dozen buildings and the famous Macondray Lane, as cited in SFtourismtips.

Why is it so famous? This small pedestrian lane is featured in Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. He used this lane in his book but renamed it as Barbary Lane.

This two-block long lane is found between Leavenworth and Taylor Streets. It runs from east to west and you will find this pedestrian walking lane between Green and Union streets.

It's a quick stop, but a fun one to see while you are in Russian Hill San Francisco.

Attending a Theater, Opera, or Symphony Performance

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SF Opera House. Photo: San Francisco Opera

If you enjoy cultural events, you will love the variety of options in San Francisco. In the month of September, you can catch a theater, opera, or symphony performance.

The SF theater calendar often includes at least one large Broadway show such as The Lion King or Wicked. In addition, there are always dozens of smaller productions at theaters all around town.

The SF Opera also offers several performances this month. There are usually at least two shows in September including classic hits such as Madame Butterfly and Carmen.

There are more than a dozen SF Symphony performances every September. All shows are in the Civic Center District at Davies Symphony Hall.

Tips when visiting SF

The September events calendar in San Francisco is full of fun things to do. The biggest events this month include SF Giants Baseball games, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival, and theater performances. In addition, you can enjoy free Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park, Shakespeare in the Park, and the SF Improv Fest. Labor Day weekend activities include the Sausalito Arts Festival, Union Square Live, and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. You can also enjoy some free walking tours or head out on a special holiday cruise.

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