Haight Ashbury Shops & Stops: San Francisco’s Most Colorful Neighborhood

by Erica

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Haight Ashbury and the Grateful Dead go hand in hand – so being huge deadheads… we had to make a pilgrimage to where it all started in 1965.

San Francisco is a city that I’ve been yearning to visit for years. Probably since my 7th grade history teacher taught us about the 60’s and the hippie culture that was blooming in the bay area. The epicenter of the hippie movement was the Haight Ashbury District, and even today it’s a colorful, fun neighborhood, full of shops, street art, restaurants, the Grateful Dead house (710 Ashbury St!) and of course… colorful San Francisco hippies (and crazy street people….lots of crazy street people).

If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco, make sure you add Haight Ashbury to the itinerary!

Haight Ashbury Shops

It’s no secret that my favorite part of any city is the shopping…. and the Haight was no different. All of the Haight Ashbury shops were so colorful and full of things I was dying buy. Along this famous street in San Francisco, you’ll find shops filled with rainbow fur coats, wigs, platform shoes, tie dye everything, and vintage treasures for days! I could have spent a week going through the Haight Ashbury shops… and spent my life savings (happily) – but my sidekick (Tim) was only willing to dedicate a single afternoon to shopping.

Here’s a few of the Haight Ashbury Shops that you need to check out on your next trip to San Francisco

Love on Haight - one of the most colorful haight ashbury shops. Their presence embodies the san francisco hippie movement!
Tim posing with our favorite Haight Ashbury shop! Love on Haight is a brand that embodies everything we love and stand for – so getting to experience it’s colorful presence on this famous street in San Francisco was pretty amazing!

Love on Haight

Love on Haight was definitely my favorite shop on Haight street! They are a tie dye company that supports and partners with other artists in the Grateful Dead community. They create and carry tie dyed everything!!! Dresses, shirts, bathing suits, tapestries, socks… seriously everything. They also carry other brands like OG Tie Dye Company and Warrior Within – two brands that also create dreamy, rainbow festival wear. The best part about Love on Haight is that it’s owned and operated by kind deadheads (My people!!) AND they donate a portion of their profits to Taking it to the Streets, which is a non-profit homeless youth organization based in the Haight Ashbury District. Love on Haight is a company that we love to support.. and you should too!

A rack of beautiful vintage dresses located in Held Over Vintage on Haight Street in San Francisco
A beautiful rack of vintage dresses in Held Over

Held Over

Held Over is a vintage store in the Haight Ashbury district that’s full of cool, reasonably priced vintage clothing. It was like that ultimate vintage store you dream of every time you walk into a consignment shop only to find ugly stuff you’d never actually wear. This place had a funky vibe and tons of beautiful retro dresses and other pieces that I had a hard time not taking home with me. If you’re a lover of those bold, colorful prints from the 60s – this is your spot.

colorful hippie store in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco.
A shot from inside The Love of Ganesha – a colorful Haight Ashbury shop that we enjoyed!

The Love of Ganesha

The Love of Ganesha is a store I’d heard about, and seen pictures of long before we actually made it to this famous street in San Francisco. When you enter the shop, the amount of cool stuff inside is almost overwhelming. This Haight Ashbury shop carries a wide variety of crystals, incense, bohemian home decor, clothing and so much more. My favorite part about this shop is that they have a beautiful little meditation space inside for customers to use. It’s filled with colorful pillows, and beautiful textiles that make you feel right at home. I can’t wait to go back to The Love of Ganesha the next time we make it back to San Francisco!

Storefront of Decades of Fashion in Haight Ashbury San Francisco
Decades of Fashion located on Haight Street in San Francisco – part museum, part vintage store. 100% worth the visit

Decades of Fashion

This Haight street shop had more of a museum vibe than a vintage store. Everything within the 4 walls of this retailer was old, striking, and of the highest quality. We passed rows of sequined gowns, vintage suits and so many cool hats and other accessories. Even if you’re not into wearing vintage clothing, Decades of Fashion is definitely worth the stop.

Haight Ashbury Musical Stops

The reason that the Haight Ashbury district is so iconic is in large part due to the thriving music scene in the 1960s. Bands such as the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Big Brother and the Holding Company (starring the queen, Janis Joplin!) played a major role in the counterculture movement during that time. Had these bands, their electric instruments, and the San Francisco hippies not been around – the Haight Ashbury district definitely wouldn’t have been the same

Girl standing in front of the house that the Grateful Dead used to live in. Located at 710 Ashbury Street in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco
The Grateful Dead house & I – located at 710 Ashbury Street in San Francisco

The Grateful Dead House

The Grateful Dead (our #1 favorite band ever!!) got together in the Bay Area in 1965. Between 1966 and 1968 they lived at 710 Ashbury Street in San Francisco. There’s an infinite amount of photos of the band and wild stories from this time period, which have turned this property into one of the most visited places in Grateful Dead history.

Storefront of Amoeba Music on Haight street in San Francisco
Amoeba Music storefront – located on Haight Street in San Francisco

Amoeba Music

Amoeba Music was founded in 1990 in San Francisco – and still stands today as one of the dopest musical emporiums we’ve ever visited. This place is HUGE! They had a wide variety of new and used CDs and Vinyl, as well as old show posters and other music memorabilia. Our favorite part of the store was the section that held the rare recordings. We recently got a record player, so finding rare vinyl is always a treat. This was another store that we had to exercise EXTREME SELF CONTROL in. We could have easily spent thousands on music in this place.

Colorful Rasputin Records storefront in Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco! I love the art on this one!
Colorful Rasputin Records storefront! I love the art on this one!

Rasputin Records

Rasputin Records was founded in 1971 in Berkley, California. Since then, they have grown to 7 different locations – one of which, being on Haight Street in San Francisco! This was another great stop for us because they not only carried new and used CDs and vinyl – but movies too! Our purchases included DVD copies of The Big Lebowski, Dave Matthews Band Live in Central Park, and Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds at Radio City Music Hall (can you guess my second favorite band?). What I liked most about Rasputin was the colorful exterior! This is an iconic Haight Asbury shop that you definitely don’t want to skip!

Tim and I posing in front of a Haight Street mural featuring Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix & Janis Joplin
Tim and I posing in front of a Haight Street mural featuring Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix & Janis Joplin

Haight Ashbury Street Art

This famous street in San Francisco has no shortage of amazing street art. Everywhere you look, there’s something colorful and interesting to lay your eyes on. Since a picture is worth 1000 words – here’s a few of our favorite pieces of street art in the Haight Ashbury district!

Cool Xray dog mural located in the Haight Ashbury District
Cool Xray dog mural located in the Haight Ashbury District
rainbow geometric art located on the side of a school in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco
Colorful art on the side of a school local to the Haight
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power – the world will know peace” mural located at the end of Haight Street in San Francisco

Haight Ashbury Rundown

Visiting the Haight was one of our favorite parts of our 20,000 mile road trip. This was a place we’d wanted to visit for so long, and it was just as colorful, and weird, and crazy as we’d hoped. We’ll be back someday soon!

Have you been to San Francisco – what was your favorite part? Leave a comment below!

Also – if you enjoyed this post, but live on the east coast… check out my rundown of our weekend Portland, Maine – another one of our favorite cities!

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