Downtown San Francisco is the focal point of the city, especially from the tourist’s perspective, which is who Downtown is geared toward.

At its southeastern edge is Market Street, a melting pot of all things San Francisco. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stops here at Powell Street, carrying tourists, local residents, and Bay Area commuters and visitors to the mecca of Downtown. Street performers rouse the crowds while the Cable Car turnaround gathers people in its line that loops up Powell Street.

Shopping is one of the main attractions of this area, luring in locals and visitors alike to the nexus of Union Square. This year-round gathering spot allows visitors a respite and a chance to take in all that the city has to offer. Making your way around the historic public square, you can see Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Niketown, Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, and Macy’s (which is famous for elaborate holiday window displays starring puppies, kittens, cats, and dogs available for adoption through the SPCA).

Hotels and restaurants also dominate the classic Downtown neighborhood and include the renowned and sophisticated St. Francis Hotel as well as the trendy Sir Francis Drake boutique hotel among many other accommodations. And dining leaves nothing to be desired with options from pizza slices and hot dogs to urban organic farm-to-table cuisine and celebrity chef destinations.

Downtown is a great hub for visitors, and an ideal neighborhood to call home for those who thrive on the racing pulse of big city living.