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Maiden Lane, San Francisco

Maiden Lane is a pedestrian mall located in San Francisco, California, United States. A former section of the city's red light district, Maiden Lane is now home to high-end boutiques and art galleries. The street also serves as the location of San Francisco's only Frank Lloyd Wright designed building.HistoryPrior to the 1906 earthquake, the street was called Morton Street and was the center of San Francisco's red-light district. Historically, the street reported one murder a week. The earthquake, which leveled much of the city, rendered this two-block stretch rubble, and the brothels were destroyed. It was renamed Maiden Lane by an enterprising jeweler who wanted to conjure the Maiden Lanes of London and New York. In 1955, on the initiative of local merchants, cars were prohibited from the lane during certain times of day, an unusual measure at the time.In 1958, Jane Jacobs described the street, in an essay that was later characterized as a "spirited rebuttal to the antiseptic urban renewal that was gospel at the time": In 1961, the San Francisco Chronicle's columnist Herb Caen praised Maiden Lane as "a busy little block of intriguing shops."
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  • Some good architecture and nice outdoor cafes, but otherwise just tourist-oriented shopping. Pedestrian aspect is a plus as it is peaceful.  more »
  • This is a very nice pedestrian street with cafes and high end boutiques. Great place for a stroll and window shopping.  more »
  • Maiden Lane is a pedestrian mall located in San Francisco. It used to be part of the city's red light district. The pedestrian mall stretches two blocks, between Kearny and Stockton Streets. The stree...  more »

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Where to stay in San Francisco

From inexpensive hostels in quiet residential areas to high-end hotels near the city center, San Francisco has accommodations for every budget. Key consideration is what kind of neighborhood you want to stay in. You'll find luxury hotels in Union Square, which has prime shopping, is near theaters, and is on the cable car line. Many hotels are in the northeastern portion of the city, near the tourist-driven neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, both easily explored on foot. To get away from the tourist crowds, consider the smaller inns and family-run bed and breakfasts in some of the city's more charming neighborhoods, such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights. There are also boutique hotels scattered around town. Avoid staying in the Tenderloin. If you plan to have a car with you, ask about parking availability and fees. Parking is often difficult and expensive.
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