San Francisco skyline

San Francisco Neighborhood Guide: Trendiest Hoods

May 7, 2013 | Best Cities and Neighborhoods, Best Neighborhoods

By Maggie McCracken

Looking for a San Francisco apartment? I’m jealous. San Fran is arguably the country’s most beautiful city–boasting charm, hilly terrain, ocean access, unique architecture and the distinction of being the second most walkable city in the United States. As if that wasn’t enough, living in San Francisco will give you immense street cred: Trendy like Portland or Austin, yet densely populated like Chicago or Houston, San Francisco is hard to beat. If you’ve got the cash and the desire to live in one of the world’s coolest cities, check out our San Francisco neighborhood guide.

SoMa

Looking for lots of urban character close to all the excitement of downtown? Consider shacking up in SoMa. This area’s name comes from its location–South of Market–which is unbeatable. From lofts and artist studios to upscale nightlife, SoMa has been the focus of redevelopment over the past few years. Windy City natives (like me) might equate it with something similar to the West Loop, thanks to its industrial vibe and proximity to the city’s financial district.

North Beach

If nightlife is important to you, you’ll love painting the town red in North Beach. Though this locale is popular with tourists, it also has a lot to offer locals. Italian ristorantes and locally owned boutiques dot the landscape, as do some of the city’s most lively bars and clubs. This ‘hood has plenty of historic clout, as it was once home to both Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. North Beach is also a great neighborhood for those who want to live a car-free lifestyle, as it was given a walkscore of 95 (a “walker’s paradise”) by Walkscore.com.

Union Square

If your San Francisco apartment must come with easy access to great shopping, you’ll want to be rooted near Union Square. This neighborhood is indeed home to Union Square, a park bordered by Stockton, Post, Powell and Geary Streets, but it is also home to world-class shopping.

The Mission District

There’s a certain type of “trendy” that characterizes San Fran’s Mission District, and it has nothing to do with big-box shopping. I love the Mission District’s diverse population, plethora of markets and dining options, and unique sense of offbeat fashion. This recently gentrified area is home to a variety of immigrant communities, but it is also popular with young professionals, artists and–you guessed it–hipsters. This diverse area’s many exciting attributes combine to make it one of the trendiest neighborhoods in SF.

Nob Hill

Known for its upscale character, Nob Hill is both beautiful and classy. This unique locale is close to a variety of other desirable neighborhoods, including Union Square and Chinatown. There are plenty of great dining options here (where in SF are there not, though?) and a variety of nightlife options perfect for young professionals and unapologetic snobs.

 

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