The Jimi Hendrix House
The best place to start your day walking in the footsteps of Jimi Hendrix is his old apartment. He lived at 1524A Haight St. — basically on the corner of Haight and Ashbury — for a few years in the 1960s. The Jimi Hendrix House is also called the Red House after it was painted red in the rock star’s honor. It’s located just above a tobacco shop and sits on a street filled with bright colors and vintage shops that any modern hippie would appreciate. The apartment itself is a private residence right now, so while you can’t go inside, you can admire the murals that were painted on the exterior walls to commemorate the legendary musician. NOTE: Be respectful of the residence. People still live here.
The Corner of Haight and Ashbury
You can't go to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood without stopping at the corner of the two streets to take a picture. This is one local attraction that hasn't changed over the decades, though the Ben & Jerry's on the corner is fairly new compared to the iconic street signs.
The Panhandle is the long, narrow strip of Golden Gate Park that flows just north of Haight-Ashbury. During the Summer of Love, this was the location of many free concerts put on by Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Grateful Dead and, of course, Jimi Hendrix. These days, it’s known more for its great walking paths than for free concerts, but you can always pretend you’re back in the Summer of Love by taking a stroll around the Panhandle while listening to a little “Purple Haze” through your headphones.
This is another part of Golden Gate Park that was an important spot during the Summer of Love. Located at the east end of the park, Hippie Hill was the place to be if you wanted to listen to live music by Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and others. It was also a great spot for drum circles. If that’s still your thing, the best time to visit is April 20, during the 420 in the Park celebration every year. For the most part, Hippie Hill is a peaceful place to relax and imagine yourself back in the days of the psychedelic Summer of Love.
Psychedelic History Museum
The Herb'n Inn is a local bed and breakfast that is also home to the Psychedelic History Museum, where you can find out more about how Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and other musicians from the 1960s shaped the neighborhood. The owners of this inn and museum also lead the Haight-Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tour, which will ensure you see all the local landmarks that were involved in the Summer of Love 50.
Buena Vista Park
Golden Gate Park may be the largest park near Haight-Ashbury, but it's not the only one. Buena Vista Park has been around for 150 years, which means it also lived through the Summer of Love. In particular, hippies considered this park a great spot to hang out and even live. These days, it's perfect for anyone who wants a great view of San Francisco while soaking up the Summer of Love spirit.
The Red Victorian
This is one of the few Haight-Ashbury businesses from the 1960s that is still open. Constructed in 1904, it was called the Jeffrey-Haight in 1967, and it was known as a place where hippies gathered to sleep, plan protests, discuss new ideas and generally build a community. Now it’s called the Red Victorian, and it maintains the same spirit it by offering shared meals, activities and conversation with other guests staying there. Janis Joplin and the other big names associated with the Summer of Love would be proud.
Although Jimi Hendrix never played here when he was in San Francisco, the Chapel was around when he called San Francisco home, albeit as something different. The Chapel occupies an historic 1914 building that was originally built as a mortuary and has now been stunningly renovated by veteran Bay Area commercial real estate developer and restaurateur Jack Knowles. The beautiful chapel with its 40-foot high arched ceiling has been converted to a music room with mezzanine, while the rest of the building has been remodeled to hold a restaurant, neighborhood bar, and an outdoor dining patio.
It may be too late for you to actually rub elbows with stars like Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia — unless you stop by the San Francisco location of Madame Tussauds to fool yourself with some wax figures! But you can still get a feel for the Summer of Love by visiting these locations. Visiting San Francisco during this special celebration should be on the itineraries of all hippies at heart.