Best SF Neighborhoods Guide

This San Francisco neighborhood guide describes some novel, interesting, and colorful neighborhoods in the City … and fun things to do in them.

No other city has so many diverse, entertaining locales so close together. It’s like walking around in a Disneyland made for adults!  Click the links or read on further below to learn more:

North Beach map Italian! Great for walking. Ranked as one of America’s top 10 neighborhoods.
Chinatown map Oldest Chinatown in North America.
Fisherman’s Wharf map See the things even jaded locals will enjoy.
Union Square One of the largest shopping areas in the U.S.
Russian Hill map A beautiful neighborhood to live in near North Beach.
The Presidio map Almost 50% bigger than Golden Gate Park and in several ways better.
The Marina map Nice area to walk the shoreline. Between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Presidio.
Golden Gate Park map A San Francisco classic. Many consider it to be the best city park in the U.S.
Ocean Beach map The longest beach in SF, the best parts of which you have probably never seen.
Outer Sunset-Judah map Another hip area with nifty things to do. Some locals call it “‘little Santa Cruz”.
The Mission map A long Mexican heritage shows here but many restaurants are becoming gentrified.
The Castro map Famous and interesting Gay neighborhood.
Hayes Valley map Hayes Street is turning into a great little shopping & eating area.
SoMa map SF’s fastest changing area with many new things to do.
  Embarcadero map Only locals really properly enjoy the City’s eastern shoreline.
  MissionCreek map A nice new park near the SF Giants Stadium.
  Dogpatch map Hip new area that is attracting interesting restaurants and coffee shops.
  Portrero Hill map Nice place to live with good access to south bay as well as the City.

North Beach & map— Unique Italian atmosphere with outstanding food & coffee shops. One of the best places to start a walk and one of the very best neighborhoods in America.

Fisherman’s Wharf & map— Fishermans Wharf has plenty of things locals enjoy too.

Union Square—  One of the largest shopping areas in the U.S.

Chinatown & map— The oldest in the U.S. and worth every tourist seeing at least once. Take Grant St south from North Beach and explore from there.

Russian Hill & map— Beautiful views, steep hills, and one of the best places to live in San Francisco.

The Presidio & map— Besides being San Francisco’s biggest and possibly best park it definitely qualifies as a unique SF neighborhood. One of the most beautiful parts of the City is the Lyon Street Steps to The Marina area along The Presidio’s eastern border.

The Marina— & map  Borders the northern shoreline of San Francisco. Nice for biking through to Golden Gate Bridge and general relaxation near the water.

SoMa & map— South of Market area. Home of the San Francisco Giants, Yerba Buena Gardens, and the San Francisco convention center. This well located formerly “industrial” area is changing into nice public attractions and expensive condos.

Special SOMA neighborhoods include: The Embarcadero is a pleasant esplanade along the Bay where locals enjoy walking, biking, or driving, the up-and-coming Dogpatch historic neighborhood (see map), and Potrero Hill (see map).

Outer Sunset-Judah St & map— The funky beach end of Judah St.

Haight Ashbury district — A neighborhood East of Golden Gate Park which was once famous for its hippies. Not so exciting now but still a bit down and dirty.

The Castro district — This is the Gay capital of the U.S. and also one of the safer neighborhoods in SF. Along 18th St., between Delores Park and Mission St., are some of the tastiest foods in town.

The Mission— A large diverse neighborhood including some the very oldest parts of SF (e.g., Mission Delores, est. 1776, & Mission Delores Park) and the Mexican commerce along Mission St.  It is definitely starting to get gentrified by young renters who enjoy the atmosphere, lower prices, weather and often outstanding food. Tourists should be a bit careful at night.

We hope this Guide opens the door to some of the hidden and most interesting ways to spend time in the City. It is simple, just hang around one of these great neighborhoods.

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