Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Inner Mission - Shopping

While you're strolling through the Inner Mission, you'll pass a number of interesting shops. My favorite is 826 Valencia, which claims to be "San Francisco's only independent pirate supply store." After all, who wants to shop at a chain pirate store. Actually, the pirate store is part of a program to help children improve their writing and to encourage teachers to get children excited about writing.

Next door to 826 Valencia is Paxton Gate, an interesting garden store. Just up the street at 766 Valencia is the newer Paxton Gate's Curiosities for Kids.

Independently owned bookshops are an increasing rarity. However, three call Valencia Street home: Borderlands Books at 866, which specializes in science fiction, horror, and fantasy books; Modern Times, a progressive bookstore, at 888, and Dog Eared Books, an eclectic bookstore that reflects the neighborhood, at 900. In addition, Adobe Books, which sells both new and used books is nearby at 3166 16th Street,.

Good Vibrations, the legendary sex toy store, is at 603 Valencia Street.

The area is home to a good number of art galleries. One of my favorites is the City Art Gallery at 828 Valencia.

There are many other interesting shops to stroll in and out of. So take BART to the 16th Street Station. Walk west on 16th Street, south on Guerrero, east on 18th Street, and then north on Valencia Street. You can also walk further west to Dolores Street if you want to visit Mission Dolores or Dolores Park. You can easily spend a half day, if not a full day, wondering around the Inner Mission.

If you would like to take a private San Francisco tour that includes a visit to the Inner Mission, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 or

No comments: