Attractions Near Hilton San Francisco Financial District

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The San Francisco Chinatown, the San Francisco Financial District, the Embarcadero are the three main attractions that you can walk to when staying at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District!



We live about 1 hour and 45 minutes to San Francisco and we visited this beautiful city so many times and yet we never had the chance to explore Chinatown and the Financial District.


Whenever we drive by these parts of the city we always wonder what its like to walk around there until Jorge and I decided to spend our 18th year Anniversary, just the two of us, in San Francisco.


Hilton San Francisco Financial District as the name suggested is in the Financial District, and it is also at the edge of Chinatown which makes it the perfect location for our planned city exploration.


 Its close proximity to other San Francisco attractions allowed us to just park our car at check-in and retrieve our car at check out. 



The bridge connecting the hotel to Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square over Kearny Street.

The top view of the bridge connecting Hilton Financial District to Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square.



Chinatown is just across the street and we spent our first day looking for Chinatown landmarks to give us a sense of direction than just wandering about, and of course, we did not pass up on the authentic  Chinese food and delicious pastries.



The touristy Grant Avenue.


The San Francisco’s 24 city blocks Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. We stroll along Grant Avenue which runs the full length of Chinatown and browses the gift shops for souvenirs.


Grant Avenue is considered the tourist section lined with Chinese shops and restaurants and Chinese architecture.



Some of the shops in Grant Avenue.



Then we went looking for the Dragon Gate which is the official entrance to Chinatown at the intersection of Bush Street and Grant Avenue. The Dragon Gate is an authentic entry gate like that of Chinese towns in China which was a gift from The Republic of China in 1969.



Behind us is the most photographed Dragon Gate, the official entrance to Chinatown in Bush Street.

It is weird that the picture of the woman with us at the stairs came out the way it is!



We also walk along Stockton Street which is considered the real Chinatown like what you see in Hongkong with its produce market, small Chinese eateries, and bakeries with most vendors who only speak Chinese. 



Stockton Street with produce market and plenty of Chinese eateries.



We spent a whole afternoon roaming most of the main streets and we even came across the colorfully painted balconies of Waverly Place.



The Waverly Place.


To our regret, the Golden Gate Bakery was closed with a sign ” closed for three weeks, staff on vacation” and we missed trying their famous egg custard tarts! I think it was cool for the workers to have 3 weeks vacation, I do hope it was a  paid vacation though!


We then looked for the famous Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in 56 Ross Alley. This small fortune cookie factory started in 1962 producing thousands of fortune cookies every day and with different flavors. And we got a free taste of the cookies!



The Fortune Cookie Factory



And finally, we set out to find the Old St Mary’s Cathedral at 660 California Street/Grant Avenue. The Old St. Mary’s Cathedral was built in 1853 and it is the first Asian church in North America. It survived the fire that destroyed Chinatown after the earthquake in 1906.



The Old St. Mary’s Cathedral 


After stopping by at a Chinese bakery for pastries and snacks, we went back to the hotel passing by the Portsmouth Square, to get ready for our night time entertainment which was to see a stand-up comedy show at the Punch Line Comedy Club.


The present-day Portsmouth Square is the location of the first public square established early in the 1800s and is considered the birthplace of San Francisco and the San Francisco community branched out to what it is today.



The children’s play area in Portsmouth Square.

The public parking under the Portsmouth Square.



The Portsmouth Square is known as the “heart of Chinatown” and is a one block park where people come to meet and spend time with their friends and families.



The Portsmouth Square, where you can see people pass their time playing chess.



The Punch Line Comedy Club in 444 Battery Street is only 0.3 miles and is about 6 minutes walk from the hotel and we chose the late show so we will have enough time to rest from our Chinatown exploration.


We had a lot of good laughs from the opening act leading to the main act who was Tony Hinchcliffe.


We booked the general admission for $24 each and we were early in the line and when it was time to go inside the venue, we had the option to choose where to sit even in the front row but we chose to sit towards the back to prevent being singled out by the performing host. Lol!





So if you are on a budget, there is no need to book a more expensive premium seat as long as you get in line at least 15 minutes early of the show time.




There was a 2 drink minimum requirement, meaning all guests has to order at least 2 drinks, it can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage, otherwise, you will be charged anyway.


This practice is common in most comedy clubs and there is no way around it I guess.





It was an enjoyable evening and when the show was over, we were just too eager to go back to the hotel and rest for the night to get ready for the next day’s adventure. 


The walk going to and back from the comedy show was short with enough street lights to make us feel safe.


But of course, as always, practice common sense precaution for your utmost safety.


We had a good night’s rest and slept in until about 8:30 AM with the comfortable Hilton Serenity bed and the plush bedding.





In the morning we enjoyed our complimentary continental breakfast at the 750 Restaurant with their bold and delicious fresh brewed coffee.


After breakfast, we set out on foot to explore the Financial District and the Embarcadero towards the Ferry Building which is about 10 minutes walk.


 It was a pleasant Sunday morning walk towards the Ferry Building Marketplace because there were only a few cars and a few tourists in the streets.



The Transamerica Pyramid Building behind the Hilton San Francisco Financial District.

The Transamerica Redwood Park is half an acre park with Redwood trees, benches and fountain in honor of Mark Twain.


We were in awe walking around the Financial District under the shade of the tall San Francisco Skyscrapers. We passed by the Embarcadero Center, tall buildings of hotels, businesses, banks, and residents.





The Financial District is the main central business district in San Francisco also known as the South Financial District.



The Vaillancourt Fountain



Our walk took us to the Justin Herman Plaza with the beautiful Vaillancourt Fountain with its unique abstract design as the centerpiece, across the iconic Ferry Building.



The Ferry Building

View of the Bay Bridge!


There were vendors at the Sue Bierman Park selling crafts and things! There were weapons made of Dragonglass!





We did not cross the street to the Ferry building, instead, we headed back to the hotel taking a different way for more sightseeing.





And we had one last meal in Chinatown before heading home to our many children.





There is so much to see and to do in Chinatown and the Financial District that a day trip will not be enough to experience the culture and enjoy this vibrant part of San Francisco!


When are you going to explore these parts of San Francisco?


Click this link to learn more about my honest review of the Hilton San Francisco Financial District



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