7.0 out of 10

Geary St, Downtown

Ranked 9th best street in Downtown
37.7875608209147 -122.406644810993
Great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Lack of Traffic
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"A Touch of New York, SF Style"

If you want to get San Francisco’s version of New York, this is the street to try.

Near Market, you find SF’s top theaters. For starters, you have the ACT where you can see outstanding performances in one of those great old theatres that gives you a great excuse to dress-up and disregard the California casual style for a night. All of it so ornate that you feel you just stepped into the 19th century. The Curran next door is on a par with it, offering great Broadway shows without the plane ticket fair east.

The shopping experience goes along with the big city feel as well. Geary skirts Union Square and around Christmas, you can almost fool yourself into thinking you are on 5th avenue. With stores like Saks and Macy’s in the vicinity, and nice old time hotels like Drake’s, there is a definite New York vibe. The art galleries along the street also have an east coast sophistication that seems somewhat alien to its laid back California surroundings.

If you are more into the dirty, dingy concrete jungle sort of a New York experience, you just need to follow the street farther west. Soon you will find yourself well within the Tenderloin. Hold your wallet close and stay alert the whole time or you might make an easy mark—there is a reason why Dashell Hammett set the Maltese Falcon in the area—the crime statistics match the Tenderloin’s reputation.

There is generally, however, something very un-San Francisco about this street. It is about as flat and straight as an SF street gets and the architecture here is decidedly east coast urban—not a single Victorian for block on block. Many of the buildings—you even get brown stones for a stretch—just seem like the type found in other, older cities—though by California standards, SF is no spring chicken, being as old as the country itself.

Even the bars on this street don’t seem like the kind you would get here. Edinburgh Castle just doesn’t sound like the sort of establishment that usually crops up in SF. Or the Outsider. These bars lack that campy sort of gay bar aesthetic that pervades many of the best known bars in the city. And there is a certain world weariness to these places that seems better suited to Brooklyn than the “soft” west coast. So, if you are from the Big Apple—or just spent some time there like me—you should definitely give Geary a try.
Pros
  • The Live Theaters
  • The Great Stores Around Union Square
  • New York Feel
Cons
  • Criminal Element
  • Terrible Parking
  • Always Crowded
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A convenient place to live"

Geary Street is a hub for the entire city, and you can find whatever you are looking for on its long span. Affordable living in safe areas, shops, medical care, schools, parking, and just blocks from Chinatown and upscale shopping (Macy's and boutiques, ice rink and transportation, Kaiser and the main library).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"Everything's On Geary"

San Francisco's longest street, Geary encompasses just about everything that makes San Francisco, San Francisco. Coming out of downtown, it forms the south side of Union Square, in the middle of San Francisco's shopping district (and is crossed by Grant Street, right before Grant Street turns into the main drag of Chinatown). As it continues west, you see the Union Square Theatres, then it crosses into one of San Francisco's tougher areas, the Tenderloin. It continues, touching the Western addtiion, and running right past the infamous Fillmore as well as St. Mary's Cathedral. Just another couple of blocks out, you see Japantown on the north side of the street, and then Kaiser Hospital (America's first HMO) on the south. As you cross into the avenues, Geary becomes more of a shopping street, and crosses Park Presidio. As you approach the beach you pass through a Russian district, a Jewish district, and end up at Sutro Heights park, just a block over from the street to the Cliff House. Geary also enjoys double-length bus service and is a major arterial.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"The place to be"

Geary St in San Francisco is connected to Geary Blvd, which is mostly residential, but this doesn't compromise the amount of places to go. The restaurants here are a bit more like typical city style eateries. The stores are also typical but if you just want to be in an area of the city where you can be just that - another part of the city - this place is great.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5
2yrs+

"Excellent Place to go!"

Union Square Park is a beautiful square in the heart of San Francisco. In the winter you can enjoy the skating rink they put up temporarily as well as the Christmas tree. During the year there are events you can enjoy -- The Congo Line during Bay Area Dance week is lots of fun (http://www.bayareandw.org/).

You can even enjoy fire dancing there. 2 times per year Temple of Poi does a show. In the late fall (typically first Monday of December) as part of the San Francisco Food Bank's Canned Food Drive (http://www.sffoodbank.org/) you can see one show. And as part of Bay Area Dance Week you can enjoy another show (http://templeofpoi.com/events/expo09.php).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Geary is happening"

Geary is a pretty happening place. Although it’s long, I typically spend most of my time near Geary and Arguello, where the Bevmo is. The street is always busy with cars, and there are great bars by Geary and 3rd. You have to be REALLY careful when crossing this street, as cars are always speeding around. And if you’re driving on Geary, be sure to be on the lookout for cops that have set up a ticket trap. Just make sure you let pedestrians cross, otherwise you might get pulled over!
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"Can be quiet but can also be loud."

Geary is a fairly even sloped street. Although it is right next to Clement street, it is often very quiet. Street lights vary from street to street. The 38 bus line runs on this street; connecting two of the California Pacific Medical Centers. Other than that, shops such as car repair, fast food restaurants and big companies line the entire Geary street. For those who drive, Geary is a pretty wide road and runs 3 lanes in each direction. Geary Street stretches horizontally from east to west in the city of San Francisco. Heading west on Geary, I find it eventually turns into Point Lobos Ave and then into the Great Highway. Heading East, Geary eventually stops after hitting Kearny Street.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Busy, fun street."

Geary Street is one of the longest and busiest streets in San Francisco. It literally spans across the city in one straight line. The 38 and 38 Limited buses will take you directly to any part of Geary you need to get to when you’re on that street. This street gets progressively busier once you are closer to downtown, it’s quieter when you’re closer to the beach because there are less businesses. Once you reach around the 20’s in avenues, you will see an increase in businesses. There will be familiar stores like Ross, Best Buy, and Office Max. There are also some bars and some palm reading stores. You will find Kaiser Hospital on Geary Street. This street has terrific night life because people love dining out. This street can get fairly traffic-heavy sometimes, and parking can sometimes be difficult, so public transportation is highly recommended.
5/5
2yrs+

"A very busy street that you have to visit."

Geary St. is located in downtown. It runs right by Union Square. Don’t get confused when it turns into Geary Blvd. at Van Ness though. There are many, many stores in this area. Not to mention a very big hotel, the Westin St. Francis. It is almost always filled with people. And in the winter there is an ice skating rink inside of union square so it would be especially busy. There is access to public transportation like cable cars or bart. A great place to spend a day at. One of the streets you must visit while in San Francisco.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"The Street with a Thousand Faces"

Geary Street has a thousand different identities. It spans almost the entire width of San Francisco, from east to west, beginning at Kearny and Market and continuing straight out to the Pacific Ocean. Its most well-known identity is the Union Square retail district, with many upscale department stores and prominent designers operating stores there. There are a lot of great restaurants here, too, although most of them are expensive. It continues through the rough-and-tumble Tenderloin (the Mason/Leavenworth area) which, although scary, has quite a few Vietnamese restaurants, many of which I've heard are quite good. As it continues further into the Richmond, you will notice many upscale Asian restaurants of every kind, and again, there are many here that are quite popular and supposed to be excellent. Going even further out into the Richmond, it becomes less commercial and more residential, and actually kind of desolate. Approaching the ocean, it loops down the hill and turns into the Great Highway, which provides a dazzling view, so be prepared for it.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5
2yrs+

"CLOSE to Union Square...but no cigar!"

Geary St. is busy. Pretty tight quarters seem to be the theme, from hotels to restaurants. It's an easy walk to Union Square, which is its redeeming quality. If you happen to be staying at one of the hotels, it's a great base camp with easy access to the major pedestrian attractions of cable cars, shopping, conventions and decent restaurants. The street beggars know the area well, as they work the hot spots of the city. Geary St. near Union Square is filled to the brim with folks who are highly skilled at making their living in that fashion. At first I had a tendency to give and give, but after a while when it became obvious that there is a schtick involved, I simply offered a meal. When that was not good enough, I simply said .....Close enough..but no cigar!!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Excellent shopping and dining..."

Geary runs through the heart of Union Square. There are a lot of wonderful restaurants and stores, including upscale places like Tiffany and Saks. If you are on Geary during dinnertime, we recommend the Daily Grill. If you have room, try the Fruit Cobbler of the day. Unbelievable! Anyway, this street is also in the hub of the theater district and steps from the Powell Street trolley line.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Gateway to Downtown"

Geary Street reaches the Avenues and heads into downtown. Along its long path you can find amazing restaurants and shopping, but perhaps the best places along Geary are downtown and Japantown. If you hop the 38 you can get to the heart of downtown, Union Square. It passes right by Niketown, the St. Francis hotel, Neiman Marcus, and the downtown Macy's with the Cheesecake factory on the top floor. It is a critical street if commuting from the avenues and has many a time saved me from long freeway drives; you don't even need to drive, just take the bus and a sense of adventure with you.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"Come Visit San Fancisco's Hotel Row"

In my Opinion Geary St. Between Jones St. and Powell St. is San Francisco's Hotel Row. This Short strech is just full of Classic San Francisco Hotel. In addition, all of these hotel's have fine resturants. Heading east on Geary you'll find the Savoy Hotel, the Hotel Adagio, the Cliff Hotel, the Warwick Regis Hotel, the Hotel Diva and finally the Handerely Union Square. In my opinion all of these hotels bring to mind the optimism that world travelers must have felt when first arriving to San Francisco.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"A mostly nice street near Union Square"

This street is mostly pleasant, especially towards the east and Union Square area and has plenty of places to go for a drink at night, or places to shop around Union Square during the day. I wouldn't recommend going too far west, but that's true for most streets in this area, and it's a nice street for the most part.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

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