Party Earth Review Located in the city’s official Little Italy – and often called “North Beach’s Living Room” – the block-wide Washington Square is a popular oasis for everyone from artists, pet owners, and families to students, neighborhood... ... read full review
Between Stockton to Powell Streets
and Filbert to Union Streets
San Francisco, CA 94133
415-831-2700 (City Parks Department)
Daily 6am–10pm; Park doesn’t technically close, but these are the official hours
North Beach / Telegraph Hill, San Francisco –
Located in the city’s official Little Italy – and often called “North Beach’s Living Room” – the block-wide Washington Square is a popular oasis for everyone from artists, pet owners, and families to students, neighborhood locals, and groups of Tai Chi practitioners from nearby Chinatown.
Hourly chiming bells from the ornate Saints Peter and Paul Church remind lunching office types of the time, as camera-happy tourists appreciate the unobstructed views of the landmark Coit Tower and Pioneer Park to the east.
Frequently cited by movie lovers for its multiple appearances in Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, the tree-lined park also attracts history buffs, who are drawn to the 19th-century bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin at its center – which itself sits above a time capsule buried in 1979, slated to be unearthed a hundred years later.
Creative types often stake out a shaded patch of grass to work on their watercolors, though their artistic focus is regularly interrupted by long-haired college kids tossing Frisbees under the reproachful eye of old Italian locals quietly judging them.
Thanks to the park’s proximity to several sidewalk cafés and popular restaurants, diners can walk the grounds after a meal or join the barhoppers making their way to the always bustling nightlife spots along Columbus Street.
A bit of nature in a densely populated area, Washington Square is a small but scenic retreat from city life.
Diverse mix of university students, young professionals, pet owners, tourists, families, elderly Italian locals, and Tai Chi practitioners. All ages.
Artist displays, guitar players, Tai Chi groups, and people-watching. Occasional film nights.
Restaurants and bars abound on Columbus Avenue and Union Street. Street parking can be difficult, especially on the weekends. Public restrooms available.
Free park entry. Restaurant and bar prices run the gamut from $1 hot dogs to five-star meals.
Anything goes: business attire to swimsuits and fanny packs.
Lunchtime on weekdays for the young professional crowd, and any warm weekend for hordes of visitors enjoying the sun and the great outdoors.
Molinari Delicatessen (373 Columbus Avenue) is one of the most famous Italian delis in the city, and a popular spot for picking up some lunch to enjoy in the park.