Washington Square, San Francisco

4.2
#22 of 46 in Parks in San Francisco
Washington Square is a park in the North Beach district of San Francisco, California, and is one of the city’s first parks, established in 1847. It is bordered by sidewalk cafes and restaurants such as Mama's (restaurant) and the Liguria Bakery as well as the Sts. Peter and Paul Church. The Square is a natural community gathering place with a long history. Festivals, free movie nights and other special events are hosted there throughout the year.HistoryJasper O’FarrellWashington Square Park, now the heart of North Beach, has been many things over the years. Juana Briones grew potatoes and raised cattle here, before Jasper O’Farrell laid out San Francisco’s street grid in 1847, and designated this block a city square. Later, neglected by the city, it was used as an unofficial dump bordering a cemetery. Improvements came slowly, but by the 1860s, it was used for Fourth of July celebrations, and later the square hosted Columbus Day celebrations and Italian festivals.Originally, it was a complete rectangle, all the way to Powell Street. But in 1873-1875, the City built Columbus Avenue, then known as Montgomery, cutting through the Square. The avenue was built, evidently, because business and banking interests in the Financial District wanted greater interaction with North Beach, which was isolated, geographically, by the hills, the Barbary Coast, and Chinatown.Ben FranklinThe Base of the statue is a Temperance fountain donated in 1879 by Temperance crusader Henry D. Cogswell
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
101 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    I found this place, we reached a little fortuitously, rather nice and relaxing place for residents. It was Sunday and many people were on the turf to sunbathe or picnic as we were riding by noon. The area of the square is full of ovens, Italian restaurants and bars. On the square facing Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Church, the Church where they married Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, local baseball champion. The Church has a neo-Renaissance façade and is also called the "Italian Cathedral" because the area was originally inhabited by Italians. Has no particular architectural aspects of interest anyway.
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  • July 5, 2017
    Piazza practically insignificant. Unfortunately here you have, like Union Square, the pulse of the many poor homeless living in San Francisco. Poor people and it's really unfortunate that tourists make repeated photos to people who would and should be left alone with their dignity.
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  • May 2, 2017
    This small city park is located on Columbus Street at Union. This is a popular place to visit. We found locals and visitors alike lounging in the grass and people watching on the day we visited. Lots ...  more »
Google
  • May 18, 2017
    Nice shaded square and open green space in the heart of North Beach. Popular with families, dog lovers and couples or city tourists looking for a place to rest and relax. Can be also popular with homeless, beggars and less desirables from time to time as well, so take caution.
  • March 27, 2017
    Washington Square Park is within five minutes drive from my place. This is were I come to vent and relax when I want to be myself. On warmer​ days kids and dogs take over the grassy area. People go about their day from reading, resting, laying in the sun, socializing. A kids area with obstacles and swings nestled in corner. Restrooms are always clean and doors are closed nightly by 8pm. It's located steps from St. Peters & Paul.
  • June 22, 2017
    Nice pic nic spot, a ton of nearby food. Dogs always around in the grass. There's some historical sites near, and a children's playground.
  • April 3, 2017
    Great place to people watch! Weekends and sunny days = crowds. Mornings = tai chi / dance ladies. If you're gonna picnic - be sure to bring a blanket - the place is visited by a lot of dogs! You can pickup food at any of the nearby places​ and then grab a spot on the grass or bench and enjoy!
  • June 9, 2017
    Superb place to hang out with family, kids and you can come with your girlfriend and enjoy surely not a quiet place & if you are person enjoys quiet place where no one disturbs then this is not your kinda place...also enjoy street food which is awesome

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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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