San Francisco Neighborhoods
Popular Neighborhoods in San Francisco
The Mission District (lovingly called "The Mission" by residents) is a traditionally Latin neighborhood named for the historic Mission San Francisco de Asis, which still stands in the area. This area is trendy and quickly gentrifying, thanks to the influx of tech folk in San Francisco. It's home to some of the best Mexican restaurants in the world, as well as beautiful street art and lots of live music.
Downtown in San Francisco is usually considered the heart of the city. That’s because this urban area is constantly bustling with activity, and it has tons of attractions, shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations. Downtown is home to Union Square -- a landmark plaza lined with stores and hotels -- and the Tenderloin, a historic, still gentrifying neighborhood, where you can experience some of San Francisco’s grit, as well as its colorful and diverse population.
Nob Hill is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in San Francisco, located in the city's bustling downtown. The area is packed with historical buildings and landmarks, and it's also a good place to spot beautiful mansions. Nob Hill has maintained its historic charm, and you can wander in and out of vintage mom and pop shops there.
The Embarcadero is the part of San Francisco that borders the Port of San Francisco and San Francisco Bay on the city's eastern edge. The Embarcadero has tons of stuff to do and places for eating and drinking. It's definitely one of the busiest areas in the city, but also sure to keep you entertained if you stay there.
History abounds in North Beach, one of San Francisco's oldest neighborhoods. North Beach was once a bohemian mecca, and traces of its once thriving Beatnik culture still remain there. In North Beach, you'll also get a taste of the area's Italian heritage with endless choices of coffee shops and espresso bars.
Haight–Ashbury is a neighborhood in San Francisco once associated with the Flower Power, hippie culture of the 1960s. Today, Haight–Ashbury is a diverse neighborhood, where locals and tourists spend time. At night, Haight Ashbury draws a crowd of people who love the alternative nightclub scene, and electronic music thrives here.
The Castro District
The Castro District, or "The Castro," is one of the most culturally vibrant areas in San Francisco. It is a prominent LGBT neighborhood, and there are activist events held all year long. In addition to the world-famous Castro Theater, the area is home to tons of bars and restaurants -- as well as a yearly street fair (the city's longest running).
Originally, the Dogpatch was considered to be a gritty, industrial neighborhood in San Francisco on the central Waterfront. However, today, the Dogpatch has experienced somewhat of a renaissance, with new buildings, renovated housings and businesses moving in. Despite its gentrification, the Dogpatch still has an industrial feel, and it attracts indie writers, artists and musicians.
SoMa stands for South of Market, and this San Francisco neighborhood is one of the biggest and busiest. SoMa is home to many of San Francisco's most popular tourist attractions, and it also has a good mix of residential property, businesses and accommodations for tourists. If you come to San Francisco to see its most famous sites, there's a good chance you're going to be spending time here.
Pacific Heights is an affluent neighborhood in San Francisco, and its scenic streets are mostly lined with beautiful houses and apartments. Set on a hill, Pacific Heights offers beautiful views of much of the rest of the city. Pacific Heights is somewhat synonymous with elegance -- and it's a good place to go for upscale shopping, dining, and nightlife.
If you're looking for one of the most "neighborhoody" neighborhoods in San Francisco, look no further than Noe Valley. Many families live in this area in town, and it's also packed with friendly restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Expect strollers on the street here, and also tons of friendly faces who greet you as you pass by.