A hot spot for dog boutiques, Lululemon and more coffee shops than you can count. Also home to beautiful people, gorgeous scenery, marvelous homes and fabulous dining. The Marina and Pacific Heights contain all of this and much, much more.
The Marina district is situated on the northern edge of San Francisco, with breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge on one side and Alcatraz on the other. One of the newer parts of the city, the Marina district was born after the chaos of the 1906 earthquake that rendered most of the city obsolete.
Major development on the district began when it was chosen as the location for the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. The city had to artificially fill and construct much of the area we now know as the Marina.
Out of the exposition and landfill work came landmarks for the Marina such as the Palace of Fine Arts, Crissy Field and the Marina Green.
Even before the exposition, the area around the Marina has always been a home for military activity. Fort Mason was once a Civil War outpost and has been used on and off for military purposes since then.
Plans to develop Crissy Field into an Air Coast Defense Station were approved in 1921 to complement the other military activity in the area. Crissy Field was also used as an air force base in the world wars.
No longer a hub for military activity, Crissy Field has become a wonderful place to have a picnic, ride a bike, or simply enjoy the view of the Golden Gate Bridge to the left of the field.
Over the years, Fort Mason has transformed into an arts and culture center. It is now home to places like the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and a site for San Francisco’s weekly food-truck event, Off the Grid.
Employee, Loren Balinton has been working at Friends of San Francisco Public Library in the Fort Mason Center for 10 years, but he said he hasn’t noticed much of a change in the time he’s been working there.
Balinton said, “The Marina District hasn’t always been affluent, but it’s always had a certain way about it.”
Fellow library employee Deborah Fischer-Brown described the Marina by saying, “It’s the young and beautiful neighborhood.”
Pacific Heights is not quite as young, but it is still just as beautiful. The neighborhood sits just above its neighbor the Marina. Both neighborhoods seem to attract the same affluent crowd.
Tiffany Klitzke, resident of Pacific Heights, mentioned that she feels very safe in her community, as it is more family oriented and also home to an older generation.
When asked about concerns she has about her neighborhood, Klitzke said, “I think one of my favorite things is that I don’t have concerns about it.”
In terms of the best places to eat around the neighborhoods, Fillmore and Chestnut streets are the focal points for food in Pacific Heights and the Marina.
Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights is home to a wide variety of restaurants. Options range from pizza and Mediterranean food for dinner to yogurt shops for dessert.
In the Marina, Chestnut Street has delicious eats like Tacolicious and popular baked goods chain, Susie Cakes.
If you’re looking for nightlife in Pacific Heights, concert venues The Fillmore Auditorium and Clay Theater have you covered. Clay Theater is one of the oldest theaters in San Francisco and still hosts many productions.
Down at the Marina, there are plenty of bars to keep the young and hip crowd busy.
There are many beautiful and unique facets to each neighborhood. The Marina is so rich in history yet houses a very young and vibrant crowd. Pacific Heights doesn’t shine quite as bright as its neighbor, but there are still many great attributes just waiting to be discovered.