I visited San Francisco about sixteen years ago and it is on my list of cities I want to someday get back to. There’s just something about riding a cable car over steep hills, admiring the beauty of the Victorian houses lining the streets with the towering skyscrapers draped in fog sitting proudly in the background.
I didn’t know much about the city back then, but the things I remember best were visiting the Fisherman’s Warf, watching the majestic (yet comedic) seals on the docks, eating fresh seafood right off the fishing boats, and perusing the stores that lined the wide sidewalks downtown.
If you are considering the city on the bay, here are six super neighborhoods to check out:
Downtown: Leave your heart in the (heart of) San Francisco! As one of the most walker-friendly cities in the country, you can get to just about anywhere on foot. Don’t want to tackle the hills? Hop on a cable car, take MUNI, or for longer commutes, try BART! Or, use your own two wheels – San Francisco is also one of the most biker-friendly cities in the country.
North Beach: Find your inner flower child and head to the place where the Beatniks were born! With an arty flair and a diverse population, North Beach is famous for book stores, festivals, street-side cafes, and a laid-back bohemian flavor.
Chinatown: The Pagoda Gates are probably familiar to you from all of the movies filmed here, including Rush Hour, Chinatown, and Lethal Weapon Four. Step into a different world with Chinese markets, restaurants, shops, and entertainment–such as the Chinese New Year celebration.
Japantown: From Japanese restaurants and shops to the beautiful Peace Pagoda, this amazing section of San Francisco is the flavor of Japan.
Nob Hill: Hobnob with the wealthy in this elite neighborhood. The views from Nob Hill are spectacular – it is, after all, one of the highest points in San Francisco. It is filled with gorgeous architecture, tons of shops, restaurants, and bars. Must-see sights include Nob Hill Masonic Center, the Cable Car Barn, and Huntington Park.
Pacific Heights: This is the quintessential San Francisco neighborhood. It is what comes to mind when we think of San Francisco because it has become synonymous with the city through its use in film. The steep hill lined with Painted Ladies and amazing views of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and even Alcatraz make Pacific Heights the perfect neighborhood. Because of the beauty and the view, it is one of the wealthier neighborhoods.