San Francisco's Chinatown is the largest and oldest of its kind outside of Asia, and its culture is so vibrant that visitors may have the sensation of stepping through a magic portal from America to China when they cross into this neighbourhood from adjacent North Beach. Most visitors head straight to Stockton Street, with its famous bustling produce market, and to Grant Avenue, which is bursting with a multitude of Chinese shops and restaurants. Some of the best shopping, however, is found in the alleys of Chinatown such as Pagoda Place, Ross Alley, and Waverly Place.
- Explore Chinese and Chinese-American culture and view fascinating art exhibits displaying work by Chinatown artists at the Chinese Culture Centre.
- View the multitude of shining lanterns at the Taoist Tin Hau Temple and the breathtakingly ornate gold altar in the Norras Temple, which is the oldest Buddhist temple in San Francisco.
- Shop for obscure literati titles in San Francisco's historic City Lights Book Store, located in Jack Kerouac Alley, a fascinating east-meets-west walkway that connects Chinatown to North Beach.
Chinatown is only 24 kilometres from San Francisco International Airport using US-101, and the public transit options at the airport include hired cars, taxis, shuttle buses, and BART light rail trains. Amtrak and Caltrain operate rail stations in the city, and visitors can get around easily using the Muni buses, trolleys, and cable cars. The best ways to get around in Chinatown are on foot or by trolley. Driving can be a challenge as parking is limited, but the main parking garages are on Kearny Street, Vallejo Street, and Clay Street.
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