San Francisco’s Neighborhoods: Pacific Heights
If you want to see San Francisco as it is portrayed in the movies and on TV, then make your way to the Pacific Heights neighborhood. Here you will find the city’s famous streets lined with Victorian mansions, not to mention the very best views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. The neighborhood today remains rather residential and has a tendency to favor all things luxurious. That being said, it is a great day destination for those looking to do some upscale shopping and people who simply like to eavesdrop on ‘how the other half lives’.
Where it’s At
Pacific Heights is bordered by Van Ness and Presidio avenues and Pine and Vallejo streets. However, the main attractions can be found around Fillmore Street.
What to See
For a Hollywood moment all to yourself, head to the public steps located at Broadway and Lyon. As you descend you will be treated to a promenade of Victorian houses that ends with a grand view of the Palace of Fine Arts and the sparkling San Francisco Bay.
On sunny summer days, the neighborhood has several nice parks perfect for a picnic. In particular Alta Plaza Park and Lafayette Park are popular choices. And if it’s those famous Victorian mansions that you seek, a visit to the Haas-Lilienthal House – complete with turrets and gables – is not to be missed. The pre-World War I Spreckels Mansion, which is the current home of romance novelist Danielle Steele, (2080 Washington St) is also worth a visit.
Where to Eat
For brunch, there’s really no question that the place to be is Ella’s (500 Presidio Ave). Although the wait tends to be long, the fresh baked sticky bun makes it more than worth it. Garibalidis on Presidio is unique in its California cuisine served with a Mediterranean twist. Perennial favorites include the chicken breast Milanese, asparagus with pancetta and the chocolate budino (347 Presidio Ave). To satisfy your inner-hipster, Solstice is popular for its live DJ sets and ‘home cooking’ menu that includes such staples as macaroni and cheese and chicken pot pies.