SF Neighborhoods | Pacific Heights | Things to see in San Francisco

San Francisco Pacific Heights

San Francisco Sightseeing Attraction

Pacific Heights, on the northern side of California Street, is a scenic neighborhood offering panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the Presidio. Pacific Heights is home to an interesting class of San Francisco denizens, from yuppies to the elite.

Pacific Heights extends from Presidio Ave. to Van Ness Ave., and from California Street to Broadway Street. The area of San Francisco that Pacific Heights occupies is one that provides a clearer, though not necessarily warmer, microclimate. At its peak, Pacific Heights is 370 ft. above sea level, and a breeze to match is often felt. All in all, this upscale neighborhood takes up over 130 city blocks. Several of its streets, Jackson, Broadway, and Pacific most prominently among them, offer stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, Marina District, Golden Gate Bridge, Marin, Oakland, and even part of North Beach. The section of Pacific Heights from Lyon Street to Divisadero is known as the Gold Coast. Pacific Heights also features two well-kept parks for its inhabitants and their dogs: Lafayette and Alta Plaza Parks both come replete with beautiful views, a children’s play area and lots of space for those who want to give their dogs or children some exercise.

Pacific Heights was first created in the 1870s. Comprised of small Victorian houses at first, with the turn of the century came period architecture. Still predominantly residential, Pacific Heights is very much characterized by its Victorian houses, interspersed with Mission Revival, Edwardian, Chateau, and Modern style homes. The majority of Pacific Heights was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake. Pacific Heights is the chosen locale for a few international consulates, including those of Italy, Greece, the Russian Federation, Egypt, Vietnam, Germany, France, and the Kingdom of Norway. Not to mention the highest echelon of San Francisco elite, among its number San Francisco’s “First Families”, successful entrepreneurs, and artists.

Most of the shopping in Pacific Heights itself is located on Fillmore, California, and Divisadero Streets, and Van Ness Ave. However, there is also a great deal of shopping in nearby neighborhoods, like in Lower Pacific Heights, Japan Town, Polk Gulch, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, and the Marina. Pacific Heights is also home to California Pacific Medical Center, one of San Francisco’s prominent hospitals, and one of the best hospitals in California.

Transportation in Pacific Heights is a relatively simple matter. For buses, one can take the 1 California, the 3 Jackson, the 12 Folsom/Pacific, the 22 Fillmore, and the 24 Divisadero. For drivers, one can take Franklin or Gough as alternates to Van Ness, and Pine and Bush can be taken instead of California. It is an easy matter to get from Pacific Heights to almost anywhere else in San Francisco.

Pacific Heights also contains a surprising number of schools. Five middle schools, including Hamlin Middle School and Stuart Hal for Boys; six high schools, among them Convent of the Sacred Heart, Stuart Hall High School, Drew, and Metropolitan Arts and Technology School. Three colleges call Pacific Heights Home: Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, The Academy of Art, and University of San Francisco.

Some of Pacific Height’s more famous residents include Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, designer Jessica McClintock, entrepreneur Gordon Getty, author Danielle Steel, musician Lars Ulrich, athlete Barry Zito, and porn star Joel Sanders Balboa. Some former residents of the neighborhood include Mayor Gavin Newsom, director Francis Ford Coppola, actress Sharon Stone, musician Kirk Hammet and actor Nicholas Cage. Judging by this prestigious list, a great many people, famous or not, find there to be a great deal of charm and convenience in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. From sprawling mansions to tasteful apartments, and from breath-taking panoramas to neighborhood ambiance, Pacific Heights is an example of San Francisco’s beauty and success. A gorgeous neighborhood that provides its inhabitants with inspiration on a daily basis, it will inspire even the most casual and skeptical of visitors. Its elegance and accessibility lend to its atmosphere of good taste and local pride. One would be hard pressed to find a neighborhood like this anywhere. Pacific Heights is beautiful, but it is also in proximity to down to earth, gritty parts of San Francisco, lending it a dignified, substantive aspect that many wealthy neighborhoods in other cities don’t have.

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