Holy Cow! What to Do in Cow Hollow, San Francisco

One of the cutest neighborhoods, Cow Hollow in San Francisco is known for its shopping and its healthy, fit residents. This is the epicenter of young, professional San Francisco, and you'll find boutiques, restaurants, and cafés catering to this urbane crowd. With its perfect mix of upscale fashion and hipster food, Cow Hollow has some of the best restaurants and stores in San Francisco without all the tourists and crowds you might find downtown in Union Square.

Wander down the central Union Street for a sense of what makes Cow Hollow so unique — boutiques, fitness & yoga studios, and cafes abound. In addition to the yuppie scene, you'll also find a number of historic buildings and quaint parks in Cow Hollow. Near to the Marina, Pacific Heights, and the Presidio, Cow Hollow is ideally located for a walking tour or weekend brunch. The locals are extremely friendly, so don't be shy to ask for recommendations.


7 Great Things About Cow Hollow in San Francisco

1. Union Street

Union Street

The main attraction in Cow Hollow is trendy Union Street, which is filled with designer ladieswear boutiques, top-notch restaurants, outdoor cafes, and hip bars. Cow Hollow has a reputation for attracting yuppies, hipsters, and hippies, and Union Street is their ground zero. Here you can find smaller boutiques selling designer and vintage clothes with personal shopping and closet consultations.

There are also chains like the Nike store, which offers free classes to those seeking to get active and fit. Sauntering down Union Street makes for the perfect afternoon and if you need to refuel you can stop into Urban Remedy for a locally sourced juice.

2. Urban Remedy

Urban Remedy

Stop by this healthy food bar and you might bump into Cindy Crawford, she's a partner in the business. With the belief that food is healing, the founder of Urban Remedy seeks to provide its client and patrons with healthy, sustainable juices and food. With everything from raw snacks to full-on meal plans, Urban Remedy uses knowledge of contemporary nutrition blended with traditional Chinese medicine to create balanced foods and drinks.

The first Urban Remedy shop opened on Union Street, believing it to be a fitness epicenter of the city. Walk in to the shop and you'll instantly be transported into a world where you feel vibrant and glowing. You'll probably leave with a healthy snack or a cold-pressed juice to help you take on the rest of your day with ease and style.

3. McElroy Octagon House

McElroy Octagon House

This historic house has been preserved by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America because its octagonal shape makes it an architectural treasure. Since being built in 1861 by William McElroy, the house's quirky blue design has charmed all visitors to Cow Hollow. It was moved across the street to its current location in 1951 and restored over the following years.

Nowadays this little gem is one of only three remaining octagon houses in the city. You can stop buy and admire the house from the outside or on alternating Sundays you can also go inside and visit the small museum housed there. McElroy Octagon House is San Francisco Landmark 17, so be sure to add it to your Cow Hollow bucket list.


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4. Allyne Park

Allyne Park

If you're looking for a tranquil oasis among the hustle and bustle of the big city, look no further than Allyne Park. Right next door to the McElroy Octagon House, this small park is just a quarter of an acre large. Although small in size, this park makes up for it with a serene atmosphere that is welcome to both dog-walkers, sunbathers, and small children.

The park is neatly manicured with many trees casting a cool shade over the lawns. This is the perfect place to break out your picnic basket, have lunch and do some people-watching of the locals. And luckily for you, Blue Fog Market is right across the street so you can buy some artisan sandwiches and coffee for your picnic.

5. Blue Fog Market

Blue Fog Market

Blue Fog Market is the quintessential neighborhood joint serving up-grab-and-go coffee, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and any other of your everyday needs. They effortlessly blend convenience and class into a little shop that locals and tourists love. While you're here, grab a San Francisco favorite breakfast burrito which is a warm tortilla with scrambled eggs, spicy Italian sausage and melted cheddar cheese inside.

6. Vedanta Temple

Vedanta Temple

The Vedanta Temple was built in 1906, making it the first Hindu temple in the whole Western world. If you're familiar with the 1906 in San Francisco history, that's the year of the great earthquake and fire that destroyed much of the city. Almost miraculously, the Vedanta Temple survived without incident.

The Temple now hosts a wide variety of events such as meditation and yoga classes. It's also the first permanent home of the Vedanta Society which promotes Hinduism in the west. All people are welcome to the lectures and classes, and they even have retreats. Come and get in touch with your spiritual side right here in Cow Hollow.


7. Lyon Street Steps

Lyon Street Steps

It's time to get your heart pumping at the Lyon Street Steps, a steep staircase leading up to Presidio Park. After you climb to the top, you'll be able to see Alcatraz and the Palace of Fine Arts. On a sunny day, you'll be able to practically see the entire bay. The Lyon Street Steps are a popular workout spot for the young professionals from Cow Hollow to race up and down in hopes of staying that way. Consider yourself warned — these steps are hard to climb, but the view at the top makes it totally worth it.

  • 2460 Lyon St

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