If you're visiting San Francisco, Powell and Market Streets is a good location to drop by. It's a beehive of activity. Our rapid transit service (BART) is centrally located here.
Here you have a very popular cable car turnaround, some places to grab a quick bite, a major shopping mall (with public restrooms= hard to find in SF), hotels, and lots of tourist activity. Often you'll see a street musician playing here or a highly energized, toe-tapping dancer entertaining the crowds waiting to hop on a cable car. It's a great place to people watch. There's usually a sidewalk hot dog vendor here. Don't know what it is, but hot dogs, to me, always taste better eaten outdoors. "I'll have a kraut dog to go! Thank you very much sir!"
The lines at Powell and Market at the cable car turnaround can be very l-o-n-g. Tourists come to San Francisco and their vacation is not complete unless they ride on a cable car. Here's a tip: If you walk up Powell a bit, you'll see some cable car street signs up the line where you can hop on. The operators of the cable car usually leave a little space for a few pickups along the way. It'll save you a very long wait in line back at Powell and Market streets. Not guaranteed, but worth the try. And if you're traveling with a group of five or ten, there's not going to be enough room to hop on. This is for one to two folks max.
A little bit further up Powell is Union Square. Almost always there's something going on at the plaza. In winter, an ice skating rink! For folks who live in the snowy areas, an ice skating rink is no big deal. But here in the Bay Area, it's a fun experience for many, especially around Christmas time.
The city has installed some very contemporary benches along part of the Powell sidewalk where you can take a break and watch the cable cars come and go.
On a visit to have breakfast and walk through Chinatown on a Saturday, I spotted this new piece of artwork on Powell.