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Category: Isabelle Kaplan (7)

The weather is cooling imperceptibly as ‘Karl the fog’ has began to coat the city in a blanket of mist. The leaves are turning from their summer green into a pinwheel of warm hues. San Francisco college students don their Uggs and sweatpants and retreat to their San Francisco dorm rooms, like a bear to its cave, only with the intention to hibernate alongside hours of Netflix binge watching. Just like the annual cyclical ritual of a bird’s flight South in the Winter, so does your stomach promptly begin to crave Starbucks’ PSL and candy corn at the stroke of midnight on the first morning of October. Ghouls and ghosts, witches and spiders deck store windows all up and down Union Street, and some stores already have Christmas decorations up. Instagram has become flooded with photos of artfully foamed lattes with #sweaterweather punctuating a caption about ‘Falling for Fall’.

There is no doubt about it: Autumn is upon us.

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Now while you may fret and bemoan the change of season, Fall in your San Francisco housing is a beautiful time of the year. The large selection of San Francisco’s amazing coffee beverages sound extra warm and comforting, and absolutely nothing sounds better than turning on those twinkle lights and settling in for a Harry Potter movie marathon in your San Francisco room rental.

But perhaps best of all, Autumn in San Francisco means pumpkin everything – pumpkin spice lattes, a million pumpkin inspired goodies at Trader Joes, cute pumpkin decorations in every window of the city, pumpkin pie, and, best of all, time for your annual trip to the pumpkin patch! Often, living in a city means few local farms and pumpkin patches to get the full pumpkin picking ~experience~. Luckily for you, the Bay Area has dozens of local farms, farm stands, and seasonal pumpkin patches where you can go to pick out your perfect pumpkin pal! Many of these pumpkin farms patches offer so much more than pumpkins – seasonal fun activities like petting zoos, corn mazes, hay rides, and haunted houses! So whether you are a Bay Area parent taking your child or a student living in San Francisco, grab your ghouls and gals, your PSLs and LOLs,  and head on over to one of these fun little pumpkin patches to get spooky season off to a great start!

 

ABC Tree Farms & Pumpkin Patches

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A few locations – Hours: varies by location – Phone: 408-393-6303

This pumpkin patch chain operates 18 pumpkin patches across the Bay Area, mostly in the city!  This pumpkin patch has a ton of fun games and activities, inflatable carnival rides, photo areas, and a variety of beautiful pumpkin varieties grown on farms in the Pacific Northwest. This pumpkin patch runs from late September through October 31st. Admission is free, but there is an admission fee for children ages 2-12 that wish to play on the inflatable amusements.

 

Arata Pumpkin Farm

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185 Verde Rd., Half Moon Bay – Hours: Monday through Friday, 9am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 8pm. – Phone: 650-726-7548

Arata Pumpkin Farm is the oldest working farm in San Mateo County, and features a ton of fun activities including the 2-acre Minotaur- inspired Labyrinth Hay Maze, a train ride, and a petting zoo. You can pack your own lunch and enjoy it in the picnic area! Admission is free, but the corn maze and other activities have varied fees.

 

Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch

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850 North Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay – Hours: Monday through Friday 9:30am–5:30pm; Saturday and Sunday 9:00am–5:30pm.- Phone: 650-726-4980

Half Moon Bay is the unofficial pumpkin spot, home to the world-famous Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch is best known for their wide range of pumpkins and squash – Over 60 varieties! This farm is also one of the only local pumpkin patches that wis dog friendly, so you can bring your canine best friend along for the fun! The pumpkin patch is open mid-September through Halloween.

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

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If you really, really, really love pumpkin season and you live in the Bay Area, you won’t want to miss this landmark local festival in Half Moon Bay. Now in its 46th year, the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival is one California’s most famous fall festivals. The event features the world-championship winning biggest pumpkin of the year, a parade, fall food and activities, live music, and kid-friendly rides, games, and activities. All proceeds from the festival benefit the Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee which funds local community service organizations and civic improvements.

 

Lemos Farm

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12320 San Mateo Rd. (Hwy 92), Half Moon Bay – Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9:00am-5:00pm. – Phone: 650-726-2342

This farm is best for kids or forever young adults, including a variety of fun activities including hay rides, pony rides, a spooky Ghost Train, a bounce house, a petting zoo, and, best of all, the Scare Zone haunted house! The haunted house has a ‘Halloween Fun’ version for the easily spooked, and a super spooky Scare Zone for the scream enthusiasts. The farm is open every day in October. Admission is free but the activities have varied fees.

 

Perry Farms

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34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont – Hours: Monday through Friday, noon to 7pm. Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 7pm. – Phone(510) 793-6658

Perry Farms is unique in that it is located on the historic Ardenwood Estate in Fremont, which is now an organic farm. All of the pumpkins are grown on site! The farm includes a kids-size corn-maze, character cutout photo ops, a hay pyramid and hay rides.  The pumpkin patch is open every day in October. Admission is free Monday through Friday, $1.00 per person on Saturdays and Sundays. Children under two enter for free.

 

Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch

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Santa Teresa Blvd. at Bailey Ave., San Jose – Hours:  Sunday to Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm,  Friday to Saturday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.  – Phone: 408-763-1093

Every fall, the cute family-owned Spina Farms opens their pumpkin patch in San Jose. This pumpkin patch features more than 60 varieties of pumpkins and a beautiful bounty of other fall produce, all grown locally in the Coyote Valley! The pumpkin patch includes a train ride, pony rides, a hay ride, and a petting zoo. This patch lets you pack your own lunch and enjoy it in their adorable picnic area, so grab some of Fall’s bounty and a piece of pumpkin bread and enjoy!  The Pumpkin Patch is open starting on the 28h of September and through the month of October.

 

Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park

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14485 Monterey Rd., San Martin – Hours: Open at 9 a.m. ; close times vary between 5-9 p.m. – Phone: 408-778-7225

This local Coyote Valley farm has so much more than pumpkin picking to offer! This local farm has a large variety of fun activities for kids and San Francisco students of all ages, including petting zoo, butterfly garden, train rides, hay rides, a corn maze, ‘pumpkin blasters’,  the famous Pumpkin Pyramid (a stack of 4,000 pumpkins!), and ‘the Great Pumpkin Weigh-off’, where pumpkin farmers from throughout the west coast can enter their big orange beauts to compete for over $25,000 in prizes. Open October 1-31. Admission is free and parking is free on weekdays. On weekends, there is a parking fee of $5. Cash only.

 

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We hope we helped kick off your pumpkin spirit this October! Happy Fall to all!

Want to read about more fun things to do in the Bay Area? Check out our other blog posts exploring SF here!

Need Fall Housing? Check out all of our San Francisco rooms for rent on our website, www.urbanest.com.

 

Post written by contributor Isabelle Kaplan

 

 

We pride ourselves in our diverse, worldly, and dynamic team here at Urbanests, and we want you to get to know us better!

Today, we are profiling Nathan K. Nathan is an artist, a martial arts enthusiast, and a kick-ass Resident Manager who is living in our San Francisco student housing at the Yale Hotel while being a full-time student, and loving every minute of it. Let’s get to it!

 

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Name: Nathan K.

How are you involved at Urbanests?

I’m the resident manager at the Yale Hotel.

Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Wichita, Kansas.

Why are you in SF?

I’m in San Francisco because I’m going to Academy of Art University for 3D Modeling.

How did you find Urbanests?

I was looking for a cheap place to live while in San Francisco, and happened to stumble across a student room in San Francisco that was owned by the company! I was living in Geary Residences, and moved to the Yale Hotel once I accepted the position as Resident Manager. I really enjoy living in the building – it’s been interesting to say the least, and I’ve really seen the colorful side of San Francisco.

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Do you have any hobbies, talents, or interests?

I have been called an extreme martial arts nerd a fair amount. I love to study history and mythology, and I love coming up with stories, going on adventures, and reading comics (particularly anything Green Lantern or Superman related!)

Tell us an interesting fact about you.

Like I mentioned before, I am a bit of a martial arts enthusiast. One time, I was training a nightclub security team that my brother was a part of. I was doing a demonstration with my brother and we got a little competitive while sparring. Well, I kicked him, he caught my leg and tried to throw me but ended up tripping. He fell on top of me as he went down, and that force made me hit the cement floor so hard that it made the ground shake – a guy over 50 feet away even said he could feel the force of my head hitting the concrete! Needless to say, I had to go to the minor emergency room.  Luckily no major damage happened, just a little bit of a headache.

Do you know any secret spots in the city we should know about? What is your favorite spot in SF? 

My favorite part of the city is the northern tip of Baker Beach at sunset. There are some high rocks that you can climb up on and get a great view of Golden Gate Bridge to the north east, the sun setting on the ocean to the west, and the cliffs and greenery of Land’s End to the south west.

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What is your favorite activity to do in the city? 

I love walking to the beach, around Land’s End, or to the Presidio.

Do you have any favorite restaurants or cafes you can recommend?

I would have to say that my favorite restaurant is called Hamburger Haven Restaurant out in the Inner Richmond. It has a great small dinner feeling,and is a great place to grab breakfast and a cup of coffee. You should check it out!

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Want to get to know other members of our team? Check out our other blog posts here!

Interested in living in San Francisco? Check out our open San Francisco room rentals, San Francisco temporary housing, and SF furnished apartments here.

Welcome, you poor uncaffeinated soul. You have wandered out of your San Francisco housing and are desperately seeking coffee, but in such a big city, where do you start? (And do NOT say Starbucks.) Don’t worry fellow caffeine fiend, we have you covered. Below are the best coffee shops in SF for every type of person. So whether you are the type of fellow who just wants to grab-and-go a cup of joe to take back to your San Francisco student housing to get studying, or you feel like spending the day dilly-dallying away in an airy cafe, listed below is your dream coffee shop. Make haste, your coffee awaits.

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Sightglass Coffee: For the Wi-Fi Wanderers.

270 7th St, San Francisco, CA

Calling all college students, freelancers, iPhone aficionados, and ‘the world is my office’ free spirits. If you are uninspired by your San Francisco corporate housing, you are desperately seeking caffeination and even more desperately seeking Wi-Fi, this is the spot for you. Not only does this coffee shop offer some incredible java, this spot easily boasts the best ambiance. High ceilings? Check. Natural light? Check. Wood Floors? Check. Great People watching? Double Check. Plus, it has Wi-Fi for days. So all you tech-savvy coffee-guzzlers can settle in, get one of their incredible espresso-based drinks and a nice pastry, and zone in on your screen in peace.

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Blue Bottle: For the Minimalists.

66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

When you go to a coffee shop and there are more food options than coffee options, the minimalist knows they have found their haven. At Blue Bottle, they do not sweeten, garnish, or shake. Blue Bottle is famous in San Francisco for its extremely high-quality coffee, yet very basic menu. Best of all, the lack of options does not speak to the lack of flavor, because this coffee surely packs a punch. The biggest choice you may have to make is whether you would like the Hayes Valley House Espresso or the Guatemala Single Origin Espresso, which is great, because you hate choices. In fact, I’ll make the choice for you: get the New Orleans iced coffee. That way, you can sit back and admire the minimalist ambiance as you sip your minimalist beverage without having to ponder too hard about anything at all.

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Elite Audio Systems Coffee & Wine Bar: For the Insta-Inclined.

966 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Free up some memory and head on over to the most unassuming yet rewarding coffee shop SF has to offer. Elite Audio is a teeny spot with barely four tables to its name, in the midst of an unassuming street in the middle of SoMa. Here, you will find the most beautiful and intricate latte art you could ever imagine. The barista is a verifiable artisan, and in the swirl of steamed milk her mochas become masterpieces. For the Insta-inclined, order the mocha and prepare to liven up your feed, because prettiest cup of coffee award easily goes to Elite Audio.

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Andytown Coffee Roasters: For the Espresso Extras.

3655 Lawton St, San Francisco, CA 94122

I’ve been there. When you order your “grande half-caf blonde vanilla latte with just two pumps of syrup, steamed almond milk, and one raw sugar please” and the barista looks at you like you’re from outer space. But don’t worry, if you like your coffee with 25% milk, 25% sugar, 25% espresso, and 25% extra, this is the spot for you. Andytown is known for their Snowy Plover, a must-try iced drink involving espresso, Pellegrino, and brown sugar syrup, topped with house-made whipped cream. Otherwise, they offer all of the regular accoutrements, and are more than happy to help you concoct your own coffee creation – with a smile, believe it or not. Andytown offers an excellent variety of pastries and some superb Irish soda bread, and they choose and roast their own beans, so you know your coffee is legit. But the best thing about this place is that they get it. You aren’t extra, you just know what you like … Down to every specific detail.

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Philz: For the Go-Getters.

5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA

I know, you have already heard of this coffee shop. But this one had to be listed for the jet-setters and grab-and-goers, because they know that convenience is key. Boasting over 14 locations in San Francisco alone, Philz is the spot to get your fix on wherever you may be. The Bay-native business has excellent coffee, original drinks, and great food options, set at a decent price point. My favorite libation is the Mint Mojito, but if you are more of a traditionalist, their menu boasts extensive options for a regular cuppa. All of their coffee beans are also available to purchase, just in case you might fall in love. And the best news for those of you who are one-stop shoppers? They have a wide variety of food options, ranging from pastries to some pretty delicious avocado toast! Because you have better things to do, so you can take your joe straight back to your San Francisco room rental and proceed to your day with haste  – ain’t nobody got time for lunch.

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Four Barrel Coffee: For the Hipsters.

375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA

This place is for the true hipster coffee connoisseur. Four Barrel Coffee boats a pour over and espresso bar, in which the friendly barista will allow you to scent-test the various roasts and help you select your favorite. The coffee is phenomenal, so be sure to mention your opinion on its country of origin. There is no Wi-Fi, because assumably the clientele would prefer sketching, writing poetry, or simply observing a songbird atop a branch outside. The atmosphere is gorgeous, and will make your original latte photography even more aesthetic. Minimal food options, but that is ok, because you prefer consuming literature to food anyways.

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So there you have it folks! Next time you chose to wander out of your single room in San Francisco, be sure to stop by one of these spots and get your fix on.

Did we find the perfect coffee shop for you? Like and share this blog post, and let us know what you think of our choices!

Want to live in San Francisco? Check out our open San Francisco room rentals, San Francisco temporary housing, and SF furnished apartments here.

Like this post? Check out our other blog posts here!

Post made by contributor Isabelle Kaplan.

It can be hard to get settled in your new home, especially when you are living in a shoebox. As a college student, I struggled with homesickness in my first few years living in San Francisco student housing. I missed the comforts of living in a ‘real’ home – most notably, the thoughtfully decorated interior that made the space so much more than just a building. Here at Urbanests, we want to help you find San Francisco room rentals that are both affordable, functional, and that feel like a real home. Therefore, in this new blog series, I am going to talk about a few tips and tricks that I use to make my small dorm room in San Francisco feel like a real home! These decorating tips are easy, affordable, and help make your temporary housing feel as cozy as possible, on a dime.

Today’s Small Space Decorating Tip: Using Everyday Objects to Bring Your Decor to the Next Level

This week, I want to talk about a few unorthodox things I did to decorate my dorm room in San Francisco for very, very cheap. I used everyday objects to create a beautiful and unique interior, and it cost me near to nothing! Here are a few ideas:

• Using Your Clothes as Statement Pieces:

You spend hours picking out the pieces that go in your wardrobe, and when you put on that special shirt or dress, it makes you feel like the best version of yourself. So why can’t that same concept apply for your room? Putting one of your more intricate pieces on display by hanging it in a windowsill can be an easy and affective way to make your single room in San Francisco feel like the lounge at your favorite boutique. I would opt for something light colored and breezy, and hang in in a windowsill so that the light can stream through it just so.

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• Using Your Jewelry as Statement Pieces:

For jewelry, the same concept applies. In my myriad of small dorm rooms and shared housing over the years, I have found that you have to maximize on space with your decorations. You need to put your jewelry somewhere, why not put it on display. Then you can let those sparkling trinkets adorn your walls and have an organized place to put them! One of my favorite ways to display my jewelry is by nailing a few nails into a large piece of driftwood, hanging it on my wall, and arranging my necklaces and bracelets so that they hang down. The wood gives the room a very earthy feel, and as I mentioned in my last blog post, bringing nature indoors is one of the best ways to open up a space.

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•Creative use of mirrors:

If you go to the dollar store, you can purchase small, flat geometric mirrors for just $1. Mirrors are the best way to open up a space, since they reflect light and give the illusion that the space is much larger than it actually is. You can hang the mirrors on the wall, place them in a mosaic on the ceiling, or put them under candles or flowers to add that extra flair. I use my small mirror as a tray to place my little bottles on, and they make my vanity area look very fancy!

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• DIY a Poloroid Wall (Without a Polaroid Camera):

Nothing is cuter than a wall full of polaroid pictures, but we can’t all afford a polaroid camera or the very expensive film. But luckily, you can edit photographs to have a polaroid effect very easily! Use an editing app or a free editing service online, and up the brightness, use a ‘fade’  effect or decrease the contrast, and increase the saturation and the black point just a smidge. Crop the photograph into a square shape, and take your phone of a flash drive to your nearest drug store – You can print a ton of photos for a very low price. Once printed, purchase a few thick creamy pieces of paper, and cut them out in short rectangular shapes. Glue the photographs on top, and voila! You have polaroid pictures! You can hang them on some twine with clothespins, or on fairy lights to add a little pizazz. Just like that, you have a whole wall beautifully decorated, and you barely spent $20.

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• Plants

We covered this extensively last week, so check out this post to read about all of the ways you can use plants to beautify your San Francisco housing!

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Tune in the next few weeks for another post on how to freshen up your small space!

Don’t have a San Francisco room rental to decorate yet? Check out our open San Francisco room rentals here.

Want to know more small space decorating tips? Check out our other blog posts here!

Post made by contributor Isabelle Kaplan.

So you are traveling to San Francisco. You are looking for the perfect place to stay, a short stay apartment in San Francisco that feels like home. You are not the type of traveler that wants to visit Alcatraz Island or take a picture in front of the painted ladies. You are kind of traveler that only wants to go to a place if you can have a genuine experience. You want to encounter the food, the music, the people, the art, and the culture that is genuine to the city you are in, and you want to stay in a place that resides in the heart of the city. If you are staying in SF, you want a short term room rental that makes you feel like you are a local, even if it is only for the weekend.

Lucky for you, I have just the spot. The Adrian is a beautiful art deco hotel located right in the heart of San Francisco. I recently had a chance to visit the Adrian and explore its fascinating history and the up-and-coming neighborhood in which it resides, and I cannot recommend it enough! If you are traveling to the bay and looking for temporary housing or a short term rental in San Francisco, you should look into staying at this hotel.

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History:

Lucky for me, the man at the front desk walked me through some of the Adrian’s incredible history. From what I understand, the Adrian was one of the first of the hotels that were established in 1907 shortly after the earthquake of 1906. Throughout the years The Adrian and the Tenderloin neighborhood has been through a number of tremendous changes and an evolution similar to those of Chelsea and Brooklyn, NY. Therefore, the hotel has been through it all, from the nightlife of the roaring 20s and 30s, the economic downturn of the 70’s, to the fringe neighborhood it is often referred to as today. The Tenderloin neighborhood is a must-see if, like me, you enjoy exploring the genuine hart of a city. The Tenderloin neighborhood has recently seen a transition from a downtrodden and impoverished area to an up and coming and trendy community. Local businesses, unique cafes, and strange shops grace every corner alongside newly constructed big businesses. Surrounded by nightlife, the Theater District, shopping in Union Square, tourist attractions, and the world’s best dining, the Tenderloin neighborhood stands right alongside the more visible and popular spots in the city, but maintains its quirky and unique charms.

More information on the Tenderloin’s history can be found here.

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The Hotel:

Apparently, the Adrian is one of the first residences in the Tenderloin to be completely transformed from its former state into a modern, warm, and welcoming building that is affordable, beautiful, safe, and clean. Today, the Adrian is a beautiful art deco style hotel, with all of the modern trappings of twenty-first century extravagance alongside that air of history that makes a place so interesting. I loved the hotel because while the recent renovation has transformed it into a gorgeous all-black and gold trimmed, safe, clean, and almost luxurious building, you can still detect the almost nostalgic air of its former charms. Here are some pictures we took around the gorgeous building:

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The Neighborhood:

The Adrian is located in the Tenderloin neighborhood, what many would call the heart of San Francisco. If you do desire to see popular tourist attractions, the Adrian is only minutes away from many of San Francisco’s most desired and sought-after hot spots. The hotel is right next to the Civic Center and the Bill Graham Auditorium. The Tenderloin neighborhood is close to SOMA, Market Street, and about a 10 minute cab ride to Fisherman’s Wharf, three of the most popular areas in the city. It is great for traveling, because it has excellent access to public transportation: It is about a five minute walk to the nearest BART station and is close to a number of bus stops.

The Tenderloin is right by Little Saigon, so the area is surrounded by delicious and unique Vietnamese Cuisine! If you want to explore the local flavor, check out Turtle Tower for a fresh take on pho, or Chairman Bao for delicious Bao steamed buns. If you are looking for something easy, stop by Lee’s sandwiches for counter-service Vietnamese staples and classic deli sandwiches. The flavors in the area are not to be missed!

If you want to go out in the area, the Tenderloin offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with a number of unique bars in the area hat can not be missed. If you enjoy street art, taking a walk around the neighborhood will reveal hundreds of tagged street corners, stunning murals, and one-of-a-kind designs – the area is a verifiable museum of street art!

You can check out some other cool things to do in the Tenderloin here.

The Adrian:

The Tenderloin is a treasure-trove of interesting spots and activities that offer a peek into the true heart of San Francisco: a vibrant and bustling city in which people of all walks of life have come together to make their own. If you are traveling to San Francisco, the Tenderloin is not to be missed, and if you are looking for temporary housing or a short term room rental in San Francisco or in the Tenderloin, check out the Adrian for a truly special experience.

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Thanks for reading! We update the blog every week, so check back for more SF travel tips! You can read our previous posts here.

Want to browse other amazing places to stay in SF? Check out our open San Francisco room rentals here.

Post made by contributor Isabelle Kaplan.