While the Castro is not officially considered a district, residents would argue that it is one of the most cultural centers in the entirety of the city. I would not disagree. Centered between Corona Heights, the Mission District, Noe Valley, Twin Peaks, Duboce Triangle and Haight-Ashbury, the Castro gets a distinctive blend of cultures while retaining its own sense of uniqueness. The Castro has a very strong LGBT presence that is symbolized by rainbow flags flying from many of the homes and businesses.
A movie at the Castro Theater is a must-see. The beautiful interior design and the mighty Wurlitzer Organ make the experience so much more than just catching a quick flick. Across Market St. from Harvey Milk Plaza is the Pink Triangle Park, a shining symbol of the LGBT community’s dark past.
The Castro offers a very warm and inviting sense of community all year round, but in the fall the area is really brought to life during the Castro Street Fair and Halloween festivities. This is a great time to really experience the neighborhood’s exciting, colorful culture
The Marina District, which sits on the site of the 1915 Pacific-Panama International Expo, is one of the most desirable to live, in all of San Francisco. The Marina gets its name for the large marina full of luxurious yachts and boats that sit along the north shore of the district. The Marina offers beautiful views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge as well as trails that run along the water and the Marina Green. The most noticeable structure in the Marina is the Palace of Fine Arts, which features a massive Romanesque dome (pictured here) surrounded by a small lagoon and park where visitors can sit and relax while taking in the impressive edifice. On weekends, the neighborhood’s trendy bars are flooded with a lively, youthful crowd.
Homes in the Marina are not priced as high as some of its neighboring districts like Pacific Heights and the Presidio, but they are typically priced above the San Francisco average. This is not to say you don’t get your money’s worth. Along with its prime location, homes in the Marina are beautifully constructed and perfect for just about any lifestyle.
Nob Hill, one of San Francisco’s original “Seven Hills”, is home to some of the city’s most affluent families and professionals. Nob Hill is littered with elegant hotels and impressive estates. The district even showcases, Grace Cathedral, a grand stone structure that offers an outdoor labyrinth where passerby’s can stop and enjoy a moment of peace to walk its footpath.
Homes in Nob Hill range from single-family homes to luxurious high-rise condos. However, the neighborhood is somewhat dominated by the later as well as co-ops, attracting a predominately young, professional demographic.
Nob hill’s central location makes it a very walkable district. Residents enjoy close proximity to Union Square shops and Polk Street nightlife, as well as the Financial District and Downtown San Francisco. If walking the steep streets are is not your cup of tea, several Muni buses and a cable car run directly through the district, providing access throughout the city.
South of Market, or SoMa, is a large neighborhood in San Francisco on the eastern end of town and contains several sub-neighborhoods including South Beach, Mission Bay and Rincon Hill. SOMA is a thriving city center that is home to a large number of the city’s museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Zeum to name a few. SOMA is also home to the Moscone Center, a large convention and exhibition center, which is always bustling with life. The Yerba Buena Gardens and Metreon, a shopping center and 16-screen IMAX movie theater built on top of two of the Moscone Center’s underground halls, also provide San Francisco residents and visitors alike, endless entertainment.
If SOMA didn’t already have enough to offer, a majority of the Big-box stores located in the city proper reside in this neighborhood. Numerous tech companies have headquarters located south of Market, including Yelp, Linkedin, Foursquare, Airbnb, and Dropbox, which also add to the ever lively SOMA lifestyle.
Several new high rises in SOMA are transforming the city’s skyline. In recent years San Francisco has seen the development of massive towers like One Rincon Hill, 300 Spear Street, and Millennium Tower in addition to many new apartment complexes which comprise a large percentage of the area’s housing.
True to San Francisco eccentricity, SOMA is host to several street festivals throughout the year that welcome all walks of life. The Folsom Street Fair, Up Your Alley Fair and the How Weird Street Faire display a number of The City’s sub-cultures.