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Sunset District:
It's easy to imagine that it's still 1940 when you're walking down a residential street in the Sunset. Row after row of two-story homes with garages underneath the living room march across the former sand dunes toward the ocean. Many of these tidy houses have been remodeled but the neighborhood has retained its middle-class, family atmosphere. The San Francisco Zoo and Golden Gate Park provide entertainment for the kids, and local mom-and-pop restaurants and bars offer distraction for adults. Named after its spectacular sunsets, this district features affordable housing and a quick commute via bus or car.

Nob Hill/Russian Hill:
"Snob" Hill was home to Stanford, Crocker, Hopkins and Huntington, the railroad magnates, and now hotels have been built on the former sites of their mansions. A conglomeration of homes and apartments with great views of the Bay can be found on Russian Hill, a slightly more accessible, but still very exclusive, neighborhood with steep streets and lush landscaping. The Financial District and North Beach are both within walking distance.

North Beach/Chinatown/Telegraph Hill:
A new generation of Italian immigrants is revitalizing the restaurants and shops in North Beach, but Lawrence Ferlinghetti still holds court at City Lights. Old Italian men still hang out in Washington Square Park as young apartment dwellers walk to their jobs in the Financial District. Tourists are everywhere, from Chinatown to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. Housing is sought after, the nightlife is exciting, and downtown is five minutes away.Numerous paths and stairways lead up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower, the famous landmark built in 1933. There are panoramic views from Pioneer Park at the base of the tower as well as from the single and multi-family homes hidden among dense foliage along the hillsides.

Richmond District/Seacliff:
The palatial estates that border the cliffs just west of the Golden Gate Bridge are in the Seacliff neighborhood, one of the most exclusive areas in The City. The Richmond District, between Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, offers a much wider range of mostly middle-class housing. The area is dominated by well-kept, single-family homes built in the early and mid-1900s. Originally settled by Russian refugees, the Richmond is now one of the most diverse areas in the city and offers a nice mix of ethnic restaurants and shops. It's also home to the University of San Francisco. Geary Boulevard, lined with every imaginable kind of business, takes you directly to downtown for a quick commute. You'll find additional shopping on Clement Street. Golden Gate Park offers acres of beautiful green space plus museums and activities galore. With its proximity to the Pacific, the Richmond sees its share of fog - but that's the price you pay for a short walk to the beach.

This middle-class district in the southwest corner of The City includes a mix of apartments, condos, and single-family homes. Residential developments were built around Lake Merced just after World War II to house students at San Francisco State University. The Park Merced complex, originally built for senior citizens, is now open to all ages. Recreation of all kinds can be found at Lake Merced's shoreline park and there are two golf courses in the district. The Stonestown Galleria mall provides ample shopping, and freeways are easily accessible.

Next door to the Lakeshore District, this middle-class enclave of modest single-family homes has great views of San Bruno Mountain and Mount Davidson. Home to a mix of families and City College students, this district is ethnically diverse and affordable. Public transportation and Interstate 280 are nearby, as are the ocean, the zoo, and the mall.

Twin Peaks/Mount Davidson/Diamond Heights:
"The Breasts of the Indian Maiden" (what the Spanish explorers called Twin Peaks) compete for your attention with the Mount Davidson Cross and the Sutro Tower in this district. The 900-foot hills offer spectacular views and are covered with townhouses and single family homes. Some of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city can be found in this district.

Forest Hills/West Portal/Forest Hill Extension:
The Forest Hills and West Portal neighborhoods are very community-oriented. Most homes are owner-occupied and residents take care to patronize locally-owned businesses. Lots of trees, Tudor architecture, and manicured lawns can be found in this popular area.

St. Francis Wood:
St. Francis Wood, with its Beaux Arts fountain and gateway designed by architect John Galen Howard, offers large single homes with generous yards and a prestigious address. Shady streets and beautiful, mature landscaping dominate this beautiful community.

Noe Valley/Glen Park:
The secret is out - these formerly quiet, secluded, working-class neighborhoods on the east slope of Twin Peaks are now two of the most popular areas in The City. Twenty- and thirty-somethings have moved in and renovated the old Victorians and apartments, and young parents have discovered that this is a great place to raise kids. Trendy new restaurants and shops are opening up beside the older neighborhood businesses. The 24th Street BART station and buses make the commute to downtown a breeze.

The Haight remains a cultural icon, despite its upward mobility. Flower children and power brokers cohabitate in its lovely old Victorian apartments and lofts. Older independent book and record stores and hip new boutiques line the streets. Renters are moving on and homeowners are moving in, as the charms of this little neighborhood become apparent. Downtown isn't too far away and Golden Gate, Buena Vista, and Corona Heights parks are right next door.

Eureka Valley/The Castro:
Ground zero for the City's gay population, The Castro has a colorful history and continues to attract both gay and straight tourists and activists. Gentrification has marched onward in this centrally-located, desirable neighborhood full of renovated Victorians and popular restaurants, theaters, and book stores.

Hayes Valley:
Today's Hayes Valley was reborn from the rubble of the 1989 earthquake. This tiny neighborhood came to light after the damaged freeway was removed and has been a popular destination ever since. It's full of quaint homes and businesses and it's just a stone's throw from downtown. The opera house, symphony hall, and main library, along with several great restaurants and bars, are nearby.

Western Addition:
Also known as the Fillmore District, the Western Addition has an increasingly diverse population, both in terms of ethnicity and economic status. It is home to both the Japanese Cultural and Trade Center and a host of jazz clubs and African-American churches. Restored Victorians, new apartment buildings, and everything in between can be found in this neighborhood just west of Downtown.

Despite its problems, the Tenderloin is benefiting from the real estate boom and the development South of Market. This neighborhood is home to the Civic Center complex and the theater district, as well as numerous low cost apartments and flats. Major hotels and the shopping mecca of Union Square are minutes away and public transportation is abundant.

Pacific Heights/Presidio Heights:
Real estate in these neighborhoods is owned by the old money and sought after by the new. Palatial homes and stately apartment buildings are the type you see in Hitchcock movies and dotcom ads. Views of the Golden Gate, the Bay, and the city stretching out below are exceptional. Pacific Heights offers beautifully maintained Victorians and stunning Art Deco apartments, with a few condos and small flats tucked in between. The area is largely residential, with quiet, tree-lined streets and several nearby parks. Shopping and nightlife are to be found in abundance, however, on nearby Fillmore, Union, California and Sacramento streets in the Marina District. Commuting is a snap; both bridges and downtown are just minutes away. Presidio Heights features lovely single family homes and panoramic views. San Francisco living doesn't get much better than this.

Marina/Cow Hollow:
Unprecedented opportunities for people-watching compete with the picturesque views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the lush Marin headlands as you stroll or jog down Marina Green. This district is a microcosm of San Francisco: old Victorians and Edwardians, new apartment buildings, tourist attractions like Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz, and arguably the city's best nightlife and shopping boutiques. Cow Hollow, now the area bordered by Chestnut and Union streets, was a dairy farm in the 1800s but is now home to watering holes of another sort. These neighborhoods are ground zero for newly stock-optioned 20- and 30-somethings who can't get enough of the renovated Mediterranean-style flats and condos and the convenient location. Commuting to the Financial District or Multimedia Gulch is painless and freeway access is easy, too. Cultural attractions abound in this district: Fort Mason, the Exploratium, and the Palace of Fine Arts are within walking distance of many residences.

Bernal Heights:
A middle class neighborhood with strong community activism, Bernal Heights has great views and lots of sunshine. Residences are mostly remodeled, single-family, owner-occupied homes with well-kept yards. Bernal Heights Park offers recreational activities and Cortland Avenue provides a number of shopping opportunities. Commuting to downtown is a snap.

Mission District:
Home to Mission Dolores, the Mission District is a thriving, friendly, and diverse community of predominately Latino families mixed with artists, activists and immigrants. Affordable housing is still available, although many of the Mission's old Victorians and apartment buildings are being renovated as newcomers discover this vibrant neighborhood. Shops and restaurants abound and you don't dare get a burrito anywhere but here.

Potrero Hill:
Most residents in this enclave own their homes, which have great views and are free from fog. Artists and professionals have moved in, attracted by the sunshine, views, and proximity to downtown.

South of Market (SOMA)/China Basin:
This is one of the hottest areas of The City, with development going at a breakneck pace. The museum district continues to grow, with the new Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Center recently completed. Pac Bell Park promises to make China Basin a popular destination. New apartments and renovated warehouses and lofts are in high demand. The nightlife in SOMA is already legendary, and shopping and restaurants are popping up all over.

Outer Mission/Crocker Amazon/Excelsior:
The Outer Mission offers small single family homes and a few Victorians, as well as a convenient commute via I-280. Crocker Amazon and Excelsior, two quiet, predominately residential districts feature a mix of rental units and tidy single-family homes. Prices are affordable and these blue-collar neighborhoods are slowly but surely being revitalized. Shopping can be found along Mission Street and BART and the freeways are nearby.

Visitacion Valley:
Townhouses, apartments and some single-family homes in this area appeal to a diverse mix of young workers and families. It's convenient to SFO airport, Candlestick Park, and the Cow Palace, and the commute to downtown is easy along 101. McLaren Park offers a golf course.

Bayview/Hunters Point:
This neighborhood has a strong community base and many longtime residents own their homes. Redevelopment efforts are ongoing and artists and entrepreneurs are moving into warehouse space near the old shipyards. Single-family houses and apartments are still affordable.

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