With so much to see and do in Chinatown, your senses will be alive and kicking, and do keep an eye out for these historic points. The ornate Dragon’s Gate, a traditional stone archway, and one of the most photographed spots in Chinatown, marks the southern entrance to neighborhood and has been greeting visitors since 1970.
Portsmouth Square, where the first private residence of the city was built, is now a park in the center of Chinatown and is home to many historical markers and statues. Unfortunately, the original house no longer stands, but today Portsmouth Square serves as a meeting place for locals to enjoy the sunshine, and play chess and practice Tai Chi, and is a great place to discover San Francisco Chinatown and history watch the local culture unfurl around you.
The Tin How Temple in Waverly Place is the oldest Chinese temple in the United States., dating back to the 1050s and is still an active place of worship.
Waverly Place, aka the Street of the Painted Balconies, is now one of the prettiest and most charming alleys in Chinatown. However, it is also the site of one of Chinatown’s most notorious gang fights in 1879, when 50 men from two tongs fought in the small alley, leaving four men dead, a dark moment in the history of Chinatown.
If you are keen to gain a unique insight into San Francisco’s Chinatown, book onto our Best of California premium guided tour.