College Avenue stretches from deep within Berkeley to Oakland, and along this bustling boulevard numerous restaurants, boutiques, cafes, and much more are waiting for your enjoyment. Near the Rockridge end of the street you will find many eclectic restaurants serving an enormous variety of cuisines, as well as other small boutique shops selling anything from yoga mats to antique brass bedposts. Near the University, College Avenue takes on a funkier spirit, and incense shops allure you with their intriguing scents. Shopping is a major attraction of this East Bay hot spot, yet there are not many chain stores. Rather, locals prefer to support local businesses instead of national chains. However certain stores, such as Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, and Hot Topic, can still be found conveniently nearby. Great for a Sunday walk where you can leisurely stroll down this beautiful avenue - stop and have a coffee at one of many cafes, or buy a unique present for a special someone!
This independent North Beach icon, founded by Beat writer-mentor Lawrence Ferlinghetti, goes beyond your average bookstore by shelving beat literature, anthologies, and fiction from Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and much more. Experience San Francisco through the words written by some of the area's most famous, and sometimes hard-to-find, writers. The store has its own publishing house, City Lights, which has enriched the San Francisco community since 1953 by promoting emerging writers with an edge.
No music lover's trip to San Francisco would be complete without a visit to this warehouse-sized music store. The Upper Haight store bustles with hundreds of shoppers flipping through vast selections of CDs, records, tapes, videos and posters. The deals on used and yellow tag (cosmetically damaged, functionally guaranteed) items are the best in the city, as is the selection of obscure and independent-label titles.
Located on Piedmont Avenue, Rare Bird is one of the best store to shop for some quality antiques. Specializing in vintage products, the store has something for all. Apparels for women, accessories and more all are stocked under one roof here. You can also decorate the walls of your house with a range of quality home decor products available here. The staff here is quite friendly and knowledgeable about the products. The store also displays its products made in various workshops like candle making, block printing, painting and weaving. If you looking to treat yourself or your loved ones with some unique gifts, than head to Rare Bird.
Here book-lovers will find the romantic notion of shelves stacked up to the ceiling with books, so heavy they threaten to give way. The fading smell of bookbinding glue conjures images of ancient libraries. You could spend hours wandering the aisles like that kid in The Neverending Story. If you do not find what you are looking for, which is nearly impossible since Moe's has just about everything ever printed, you are sure to find something to appease you. For those looking for antique or rare books, check out the huge collection on the fourth floor.
Temescal Alley has emerged as a hotbed of activity. A lot of development has happened through the years and now a lot of independent shops, restaurants and artist's shops are open in the alley. There are restaurants and ice cream parlors also, which offer a wide variety of cuisine to the tourists. The architecture of the alley is of early 20th Century and due to this the shops which are located in this alley have maintained the buildings as they were. The owner's of the shops have formed small communities amongst themselves. This place has developed a lot over the years and has become a small sweet little alley for people to shop, eat and spend some time with their family.