8.1 out of 10

Powell St, Downtown

Ranked 1st best street in Downtown
37.788676185766 -122.408482415577
Great for
  • Shopping Options
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Gym & Fitness
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"A Tourist and Local Excursion"

Powell Street is fantastic! It runs from Fisherman's Wharf where you can catch the cable car, through North Beach and then on through Chinatown and ending at the tale end of Union Square just before Market Street.

Powell Street through Union Square you'll find lots of shopping and places to eat. Through Chinatown, some restaurants and some residential. Through North Beach, a couple of cafes, and then mostly residential the rest of the way until you hit tourist central at Fisherman's Wharf (Bay & Powell).

If you want an experience, ride the cable car to go shopping down town. It's fun. If that's not your style, you can also take the bus. MUNI runs straight through also.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
2yrs+

"Tourists, Come Here"

If you want hot nightlife or cool parks, Powell Street may not be the spot. But if you want to be in the center of downtown San Francisco, with access to Union Square, shopping, and cable cars, then Powell Street is the place to be. Home to the Sir Francis Drake hotel (an old, but somewhat charming, joint), the much nicer Westin St. Francis, Union Square, and a myriad of shops and restaurants in the surrounding area, this is a true tourist stop.

Union Square, with Tiffany's, the skating rink, and shopping galore, is truly the center of this area. The abundance of hotels in the area are an indicator of the tourists/vacationers. As a result, the area is kept clean and pristine for those out-of-towners.

Come nighttime, the prevalence of homelessness is visible, as it often is in this city. You may also find the occasional intoxicated local passed out on the steps of your hotel (yes, this actually happened to me). If you can brave this, however, the surrounding neighborhood offers an array of bars and restaurants of every ethnicity to die for. From breakfast at the Fairmont to some of the best sushi on the planet, Powell Street and the surrounding Union Square neighborhood have an abundance of offerings for the local and tourist alike.
Pros
  • Plenty to do
  • Quintessential San Francisco
  • Great shopping
Cons
  • Homelessness
  • Loads of tourists
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Should be Called San Francisco Street!"

Powell is at the center of what people come to San Francisco for: cable cars, Union Square, great hotels, magnificent shopping, and the pleasant street feel of the city. We always visit the Disney store, and Macy's, and use Powell as our starting point. The streets are clean and safe, and the nearby parks and greenery make the shopping a special treat.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"pow.. pow.. POWELL"

powell street is a great area for visitors.. plenty of shopping, plenty of food, plenty of fun things/people to look at! you can take a classic cable car ride that takes you up powell street and around the city, showing you beautiful sights of the city. union square is a great area to bring food and eat among many other visitors of SF!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"A nice section for visitors with children"

I stayed here at the Weston St. Francis with my daughter on a business trip and this was a nice combination of down-town and kid-friendly. There is a park across from the Hotel, a Disney store at the intersection of Powell and Post Street. There are a couple of coffee shops and bookstores as well as upper scale shops more interesting to grownups. Walking North from the intersection with Post was fine, but South to market got a little scary and I wouldn't go that direction at night.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"A very popular street that is always busy"

Powell St. is one of the most well known streets in San Francisco. It has very popular stores at downtown. It is right next to Union Square. And across the street is the Westin St. Francis Hotel. It has access to Muni trains, Muni buses, BART, and Cable cars. The cable cars are very popular for tourists and run through downtown to fisherman’s wharf. It is always a place filled with many people. There is the Westfield mall down the street with a Century Theater in it. There are many public performers on the street corners. Overall a great street that should be visited.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5
2yrs+

"Where do we start?"

If you had to list five streets in San Francisco, chances are, Powell St would be one of them. And for good reason.

Powell St is North-South thoroughfare taking you from Market St through to Fishermans Wharf. For me, there are some quintessential stops along the way:

Lori's Diner. - If you want to experience a '50s diner in all its glory, then look no further. Good food, excellent atmosphere, sensible prices and a good time to be had all around. Bobbie socks and Brylcreem are optional.

Union Sq. - Okay, so this is where I asked my wife to marry me. Who wouldn't do the same? The city lights at night, the valentines art display surrounding us in the square, an unusually warm February evening, and buskers music while walking off a fantastic meal. That aside, it's an icon in itself. Who am I kidding? I'm really very biased about it :)

The Sir Francis Drake Hotel. - I'm not recommending you stay here. Far from it. We stayed there once and it was horrible. Tiny, cramped, dark room with heavy linen and an ancient AC unit that was louder than the cable cars outside our window. You do need to go see the doorman so that you can truly appreciate the clothes you get to wear to work. Unless you are one of the doormen there, in which case I apologize to you and hope that they're more comfortable than they look.

Cable Cars! - You can't visit San Francisco without riding a cable car. There are several locations that facilitate this, Powell St being just one of them. Popularity of these noisy pieces of historical significance have never seemed to die in popularity. Squeeze inside or take your life in your hands by riding the running board in thrill seeker fashion!

Are we there yet?

Powell st is a terribly long street with an awful amount of wonderful places to visit as you make your way along it. I've mentioned but a few of the things that I like about it. It's simply another part of this wonderful city that makes it was it is. An incredible place to live or visit.

I <3 SF
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"High end shopping for tourists"

You can catch the cable car from one end of Powell Street to the Fisherman’s Wharf. If you have the time and money, you can meet with some friends at the grandfather clock and have a relaxing afternoon tea at St. Francis Hotel. Who knows, they might even give you some freshly washed change.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Get married on a cable car!!"

Go for the gusto! Take the whole tour from Market St. to Fisherman's Wharf. It's where the real action is, as you head up Powell St. at the Market St. turntable. Not to confuse you, pay close attention to which route you want to take. One heads up Nob Hill to Fishermans Wharf. Check with the conductor before getting on. We were lucky enough to be part of a wedding party taking place on the cable car as we headed up Powell. Talk about ringing the bells! Be prepared to squish, squeeze, and lean to and fro. Don't forget to tip the driver is he gives you a show.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"BART, MUNI, and downtown...what more can you ask for??"

Powell is and extremely accessible street. From Powell station you take MUNI or BART anywhere, o shopping in the heart of downtown, go to the Metreon to watch a movie, go to Yerba Buena to go ice skating or bowling, go to Chinatown, or take a nice walk in Union Square. The street is incredibly lively, it passes right through downtown has great food, hotels and sights. The traffic can get pretty bad during peak hours in the afternoon, so public transportation is usually a better option. If you want to see the sights don't pass up the chance to hop on the Cable Car at the Powell stop. If you're looking for a place to hang out I would say its best for teenagers, young adults and adults.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"One of the favorite destinations for tourist and locals"

Powell Street is one of the main streets near Union Square where there are many tourists, business people, and shoppers. There are many stores for teenage shoppers that are not too expensive such as H&M, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters. There is also Sephora where women can stock up on their makeup and DSW Shoes which is a huge shoe store. This street also has many places to get food such as Blondie’s Pizza. There are a few cable car lines that run on Powell which are very cool to see and ride (though it’s $5 a ride). Powell also leads to the San Francisco Westfield Mall which is huge and a bit overwhelming. I can easily spend an entire day at that mall.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"Powell St. - busy downtown shopping area"

On Powell Street in downtown, there are almost literally hundreds of things to do. One can walk around Powell and Market and go to the Westfield mall where there are tons of shops to purchase clothing, check out the huge Old Navy and Gap stores, or grab a bite to eat at the popular Blondie’s Pizza. Powell Street intersects with Union Square which is beautiful on a sunny day to relax on the many benches and look at shoppers all around you. The famous San Francisco cable cars have a turnstile stop on Powell where many tourists and locals line up in long lines to catch it.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5
2yrs+

"Great shopping and a lot of tourist"

Powell Street in downtown San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist destinations when they come to visit. Powell Street has stores right next door to each other. There are no houses around this area and usually hard to drive, because the streets are always filled with people. Usually people walk to around Powell street due to popular stores right next to one another. I think that a lot of people do not drive because of lack of parking. Of course there are parking lots, but usually they are filled up in the morning by employees that work in all the stores.
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"The whole package"

This street has many restaurants, stores, and facilities. The school is Francisco Middle School and the students rarely bother those who live around this area. There are bus stops in front of the school and across the street so transportation isn't a problem. The houses here are pretty nice and are mostly 2 stories. This is a really long street, it starts from the shopping district downtown to Fisherman's Wharf. For everyday uses, there is a decent sized shopping center, which includes Safeway and Walgreens. There are also many family owned shops for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. For those who live in San Francisco, the cable car is what makes the city special. Luckily, the cable car goes on this street and its great for sight seeing and transportation. There is a place for exercise too, with a playground, basketball courts, tennis courts, and swimming pools. This street is great for pretty much everyone and if one doesn't live here, one could always visit because of the various facilities.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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