Clarendon Heights/Twin Peaks
From both Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights spread some of the most dramatic views San Francisco has to offer. A mix of low-rise apartment and condo complexes and single-family homes comprise this city-center location. Diamond Heights was developed primarily in the 1960s and 1970s and contains a number of sizeable apartment complexes. The Diamond Heights shopping district supplies the area with a newly renovated Safeway, Burger King, dry cleaners, restaurant and cash machines. There are plenty of hiking and dog walking trails in both Twin Peaks and Glen Canyon Parks. Heading west up 17th street off Market and Castro you begin the ascent to an area known as Corona Heights. Exclusively residential this area of the City is anchored on the north by Buena Vista Park, on the East by Corona Heights Park and on the southwest by Clarendon Heights. Clarendon Heights is the gateway to twin Peaks on one side and West of Twin Peaks and the Sunset on the other. All of these areas offer unique vistas with amazing views offering up a different aspect of the City for residence to enjoy. Homes in the area range from Victorians and mansions to family homes, flats and apartments.
Eureka Valley/Mission Dolores
This Upper Market district, which includes Duboce Triangle, Mission Dolores and Eureka Valley/Dolores Heights, offers a rich variety of attractive homes, many of them Victorian that are very well maintained. This hilly area offers a variety of dramatic city views. The many amenities on and around Market and Castro Streets make this one of the City's more self-contained neighborhoods. Buses and light rail make commuting downtown and elsewhere within the City easy. It's a vibrant, walkable neighborhood and a great place to people watch. Upper Market houses a progressive population with trendy Castro Street being its hub. The Duboce Triangle is a transition zone, being strategically located between the Lower Haight and the Castro. This former enclave underwent a personality change in the 1970s, when business and home-owners began renovating the area's Victorians, a trend that quickly spread to other parts of the city.
Glen Park's prosaic name stems from the dramatic canyon park at its heart. Nestled up against the east face of Twin Peaks, it's a cheerful hillside neighborhood with narrow streets and turn-of-the-century homes that often sit high above curbside. Sunnyside sits just to the southwest above and below Monterey Boulevard as it heads out to the Westwood neighborhoods. This corner of San Francisco offers a wide range of housing stretches of arts and crafts bungalows on streets like Hearst and Staples along with contemporary view homes and the occasional Victorian on the streets above Monterey. Glen Park's architecture is predominantly Victorian although it boasts some dramatic newer construction with arresting architecture above and below Laidley Street on its east side.
An eclectic cultural mix defines this almost-perfect rectangle known as Hayes Valley/Alamo Square. Restaurants and boutiques, from funky to high-end, flourish in the Haight-Fillmore and Hayes Valley neighborhoods. Nightlife options range from hip-hop clubs in the Lower Haight to the Civic Center's symphony, opera, and ballet. To get back and forth, take a bus - there are 14 Muni lines, and a BART Station sits at the foot of Grove Street. Easy access to downtown and the freeway via Gough and Franklin Sts. shorten commute times considerably. Most of this area is covered with San Francisco's celebrated Victorians - the most famous being the Postcard Row homes at Alamo Square. You can also find contemporary lofts and condos springing up around the Hayes Valley area. This area also has one of city's highest concentrations of residential income properties. Its new status as a growing, changing, and progressive neighborhood has given it an air of dynamic sophistication. There are 2 commercial centers in this popular neighborhood of elegant Victorian homes and flats. The better known is the Haight district, where people can wander and enjoy the vintage clothing stores and good restaurants. People that are looking for a little quieter neighborhood might enjoy the Cole Valley neighborhood. It has small grocery stores, a health club, a hardware store, and coffee shops. The area's central location provides reasonable freeway access and excellent public transit via the N Judah rail. The closer you are to Haight Street, the less expensive the housing. Condominium and apartments can be found just above and below Haight along Page and Waller. Once you get above Frederick Street, your options widen with more single-family homes. Cole Valley is where you can find a quintessential San Francisco Victorian home.
Universally known for its 1960s flair and the "Summer of Love", Haight Ashbury is still recognized for its creativity and diversity. It is home to colorful Victorians, eclectic shops, sidewalk cafes, and popular night clubs, and is also famous for its residents of the past, including Jerry Garcia, the Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin, to name a few.
The Mission is a colorful neighborhood in San Francisco that is surrounded by Valencia Street on the west, Hwy 101 on the east and north, and Ceaser Chavaz Street on the south. This neighborhood is full of colorful Victorians and converted warehouses. A stroll through its heart will take you down 24th Street where Latin music and the smell of Mexican food floats through the windows of colorful eateries and shops. Valencia Street and 16th Street, the area's others retail corridors, have taquerias, noodle shops, and creperies that line the streets. You can find charming pockets of Victorian cottages and flats on 22nd and 23rd street, along alleys like Lexington between 18th and 22nd, or on Shotwell between 20th and 23rd. Loft lovers have a choice between crisp new construction and converted warehouse lofts. New construction is exemplified at 2875-21st. The converted warehouse lofts are at 720 York in the Mill Building or at 728 Alabama in the Alabama Lofts.
Jordan Park/Lone Mountain
This corner of San Francisco consists of 3 distinct residential areas including Jordan Park, Laurel Heights and Lone Mountain. It's a quiet neighborhood that was even quieter long ago when it was covered with cemeteries. Now it's a secret part of San Francisco that people who are new to the housing market don't find out about right away. That's because there's little turnover and people who are lucky enough to live here tend to stick around for awhile. Housing types and amenities will vary here depending on which part you go to. Around the USF Lone Mountain campus, you'll see elegant homes and flats from the 1920s and 1950s on cul-de-sac streets like Hemway and Ewing. Jordan Park, north of Geary, is a delightful find with its broad tree-lined streets and spectacular 1920s mansions. it is adjacent to Children's Hospital and home to many doctors. Finally, the Laurel Village Shopping Center on California Street anchors a neat little pocket of 1950s homes and apartments set on curving streets with front lawns.
The Marina was originally the site of the Pan Pacific Exposition, of which The Palace of Fine Arts being the only remaining structure. The operative word for this scenic corner of San Francisco is "fun." Besides excellent shopping and dining, there is a palace-style movie house, live theater, museums, and miles of gorgeous paths and trails inside the Presidio and along the Marina Green. If you live here, you can wake up on a sunny Sunday, take in a latte with your paper on Chestnut Street, stroll to the Palace of Fine Arts, rollerblade on the Marina Green, and finish with dinner and a movie on Union Street. The Marina and Cow Hollow are separated by Lombard Street, a six-lane thoroughfare that whisks Marin commuters towards Downtown. Below Lombard in the Marina neighborhood, are 1920s "Marina-style" homes and apartments with practical layouts and lovely features like high-coved ceilings and bay windows. Above Lombard Street in Cow Hollow, you'll find older architecture with quaint cottages, dramatic mansions, and elegant, turn-of-the-century apartment buildings.
Nob Hill was settled in the late 1800's by four mining and railroad industrialists known as the "Big Four": Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins and Collis Huntington. Their once huge mansions have now become some of the most well known hotels including the Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court and The Huntington. A number of doormen high-rise apartments, condominium, and co-op buildings grace its windy streets. In 1843 the cable car line was completed and led to the residential development of Nob Hill. Today it remains one of San Francisco's most desired and tony addresses, highlighted by elegant hotels, Huntington Park, Grace Cathedral, tremendous views and easy access to the Financial District, the Theatre District, and Union Square.
Long ago, Noe Valley's fertile land was covered with cattle and sheep. Now the real estate here enjoys some of the fastest appreciation in San Francisco. This neighborhood is a hit with families and young couples who stroll down busy 24th Street or amble about the outer Church area. There's good access to the freeway and light rail, warm weather, nice views, and great shopping. Noe Valley is best known for its grand turn-of-the-century single-family homes. Its true housing stock is quite eclectic but always charming. Examples are tiny garden apartments on alley streets like Elizabeth and Vicksburg, Edwardian flats on Sanchez or Church Street, peaked-roof hillside cottages above Diamond, and contemporary view homes that sit where Castro Street dead ends in the neighborhood's southwest corner.
Italian can still be heard in the coffee houses that dot the commercial zone of North Beach. On Saturdays at the Cafe Trieste you can hear opera sung by ameteurs and espresso consumed in frightening quantities. Italian restaurants are in great abundance and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul borders Washington Square, usually filled with people of all nationalities doing Tai Chi, a form of marital arts that is slow and graceful to watch, but deceptively difficult to master. Known as the "Little Italy" of the West, it abuts Chinatown with Chinese eateris and shops, Barbaray Coast saloons, and boutiques.
Pacific Heights/Presidio Heights
Known as one the most prestigious neighborhoods in the City, with some of the most expensive housing, Pacific Heights is famous for its elegant mansions with stunning views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, boarding schools, foreign consulates and luxury condominiums, co-ops and apartments. It offers many pleasures including numerous parks and the fashionable restaurants, shopping and theaters of Fillmore Street. Located just west of Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights is a small enclave of elegant homes with virtually no apartments. Close to the Presidio, one can enjoy the plentiful space, jogging trails, golf course, etc. Sacramento Street has upscale shops and dining, and Laurel Village on California Street offers the convenience of two grocery stores, banks, a Starbucks, and a GAP kids - this is an area where you will see lots of strollers.
Just south of SOMA lies the community of Potrero Hill, a quiet, laid-back neighborhood with sunny weather, a variety of architecture, and incredible downtown views. The commercial centers on 20th and 18th are magnets for residents on the Hill. On weekends, locals take their kids to the library, meet and greet each other at the ice cream parlor, or bask in the sunshine at cafes and coffee houses with outdoor seating. Potrero Hill's architectural profile is slowly shifting as its Victorians are renovated into spectacular view homes. The Hill's north side is expensive and highly sought-after because of its views and proximity to shopping and dining. By contrast, the Hill's overlooked southwest corner offers some good opportunities among its rustic older homes, with modern condominiums and lofts on streets like Kansas and De Haro.
The Richmond District spreads across the northwest corner of San Francisco and is known for its orderly residential streets nestled around Russian cathedrals, Asian restaurants, and Mexican open markets. The commercial center of Clement Street offers a rich variety of dining experiences that draw people from all over the City. Public transit options are the Balboa and Geary bus lines, which run express buses during commute hours. There's also easy access to the Golden Gate Bridge by car via Park Presidio Boulevard. The majority of homes were built in the 1920s and 1930s, but the turn-of-the-century styles that San Francisco is known for are represented as well. If you find being near the beach appealing, you should check out the Sutro Heights area above Geary, which offers breathtaking views of the San Francisco shoreline. The fog tends to roll in a little earlier here than in other parts of the City.
Russian Hill is so named for the 1800s discovery of Russian tombstones, thought to be the final resting place of fur traders from a Russian fort north of
South of Market (SOMA)
SOMA's huge city blocks of residential and industrial buildings are the place to be for the new urban professional. There's easy freeway access and more top restaurants and bars than anywhere else in the city. SOMA draws people from other cosmopolitan cities because it has a true urban feel. Entertainment and culture abound at Yerba Buena and SFMOMA. Most are newer construction on busy one-way thoroughfares like Harrison and Folsom or old warehouse alleys like Clara and Ritch. If you buy here, it's likely your building will be flanked by light industrial businesses like auto shops and fabric wholesalers. An exception to this rule is the area right around Yerba Buena, where residents walk to movies, restaurants, and venues. Another pocket of SOMA with a more intimate feel is Langton Street, between Howard and Harrison, with its tree-lined blocks and slightly older architecture.
Adjacent to the Bay Bridge is a scenic stretch of waterfront property known as South Beach. One of San Francisco's newest neighborhoods, most of it didn't exist before 1989 when an earthquake toppled the overhead Embarcadero Freeway. Before the earthquake, South Beach was a warehouse district. Today, it is reaching the dramatic potential of its light and views with great restaurants and a spectacular waterfront promenade, which proudly hosted the America's Cup. Options in South Beach are plentiful, from brand-new luxury units with stunning views and celebrity-chef restaurants, to equally stylish LEED certified units, to converted brick-and-timber warehouse lofts.
St. Francis Wood
St. Francis Wood is a neighborhood that includes Sherwood Forest, Balboa Terrace, Mount Davidson Manor, Monterey Heights, Westwood Park and Westwood Highlands. In these areas, you will find some of the most architecturally interesting and best-cared-for homes and lawns in all of San Francisco. You won't find many rental properties here. St. Francis Wood residents enjoy easy access to both the West Portal shopping district as well as Stern Grove and Pine Lake Park. Stonestown Galleria, Hwy 280 and Hwy 1 are all accessed easily via 19th Avenue. Driving along Monterey Blvd. and Yerba Buena Avenue you're struck by the sense of a different San Francisco, with wide streets, grand homes, and spacious, lush landscapes.
The Sunset, San Francisco's largest neighborhood, is roughly 450 blocks laid out in a grid of numbered streets and alphabetized avenues. Most of it is quite flat, except for Golden Gate Heights where spectacular view homes sit on streets that twist and wind around Grandview Park and the Golden Gate Heights Playground. The homes in the Outer Sunset are generally post-WWII construction. The Inner Sunset is anchored by the UCSF Medical Center on Parnassus. The homes of the Inner Sunset are built in Victorian and Edwardian styles. The neighborhood has quite a few of the popular Doelger-built homes, known for their high-coved ceilings and gracious floor plans.
Lily Coit made the neighborhood of Telegraph Hill a landmark for the City when she had Coit Tower erected in thanks for the SF Fire Department, sitting on the top of Telegraph Hill where the views can't be beat. Located in the upper northeast part of San Francisco is the district of North Beach/Financial District, which also includes North Waterfront and Telegraph Hill. North Beach is located between Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf and was first settled by Italian immigrants in the 1870's. Today, the area is predominantly Italian and is often called the Little Italy of the West. At the heart of North Beach is Washington Square, a grassy piazza where the Church of Saints Peter and Paul sits. Located directly east of North beach is Telegraph Hill, which is known for sweeping 360 degree views and it's well known landmark, Coit Tower. Numerous high-end, high-rise condos and beautiful turn-of-the-century single family homes grace the summit and sides of the hill and offer beautiful views of the Bay.
West Portal/Forest Hill
The area west of Twin Peaks that stretches west to 19th Avenue and Highway 1 is made up of Forest Knolls, Midtown Terrace, Forest Hill and West Portal. This community enjoys cool breezes from the Pacific and spectacular sunsets year round. Though primarily residential, the neighborhood is also the home of Laguna Honda hospital, public long-term care facility. Midtown Terrace Park, Sunset heights and Hawk Hill Park are a few of the outdoors public areas. The West Portal commercial district is a thriving shopping and dining hub considered the area's centerpiece, with a mix of quaint and trendy boutiques, specialty shops, and cafes. The streets have a distinctively small town feel. It is conveniently located on the K or the M Muni lines - take Muni going south to get to San Francisco State University or Stonestown Shopping Center.