San Francisco Neighborhoods
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’.
When most visitors to San Francisco think about The Marina, sometimes called the Marina District, they think of the Presidio, which borders this neighborhood to the west. However, when Bay Area residents think about The Marina, they think of the neighborhood’s incredible dining options, the day spas that pamper and please, the spectacular sightlines on the city’s waterfront, the trendy and chic shops and the easy rhythm of life here.
If the name “Deco Ghetto” seems more off-putting than enticing, then this funky, weird and eclectic San Francisco neighborhood may surprise you. Deco Ghetto, also called the Hub and Mid-Market depending on your demographic and how long you’ve lived in San Francisco, is a part of the city very much in transition. What were once empty storefronts are now trendy cafes, bars, coffee shops and trendy shops selling all sorts of things. The neighborhood derives its name from the profusion of furniture stores in the area selling, you guessed it, Art Deco furniture. Drawn to the area by cheap rents and a new crop of homeowners seeking nouveau home furnishings without the nouveau sticker shock, furniture retailers here have thrived, and the new name evolved with the neighborhood.
For many travelers, a big part of their travel experience is seeing, smelling, tasting and experiencing the same things that the locals see, smell, eat and experience every day. Rather than join the crowds in the touristy areas, they seek out sights and experiences that are off the beaten path and authentic. Travelers who want more than a t-shirt and an overpriced lunch seek out places like the San Francisco neighborhood of Cole Valley. Cole Valley is primarily a residential community within San Francisco. A small town within a world-class city, Cole Valley’s unofficial borders are Stanyan Street and the Sutro Forest on the west, Tank Hill on the south, Clayton Street on the east and Frederick Street on the north.
Haight-Ashbury, or simply “The Haight,” is another San Francisco neighborhood with a reputation that extends far beyond city limits. Generally considered the epicenter of the counterculture movement in the mid-to-late sixties, The Haight was the ultimate destination for thousands of disaffected youths who Timothy Leary encouraged to tune in, turn on and drop out. The first hippies were drawn to The Haight by a surplus of housing and cheap rent.