San Francisco is one of those cities that presents some place to suit almost any traveler’s hopes—high hopes even. San Fran is one big series of neighborhoods sidled up to each other, each exhibiting unique character and flair. Unlike bigger cities such as NYC, you can travel by taxi from any neighborhood to another in 10-20 minutes so where you stay doesn’t have to depend on where you want to visit. We’ve put together a list of San Fran’s best neighborhoods but if there’s time, Berkeley, Noe Valley, North Beach, and Marina would complete an even larger list.
5. Hayes Valley
Skip the tourist crowds and head to cool Hayes Valley to rub shoulders with the locals. Plenty of people love Hayes Valley because the vibe is very London-esque, with a large collection of bars and pubs, cafes, and European influenced boutiques. Once a hotspot for symphony and opera, Hayes Valley saw some rough times during the years it mostly exhibited the city’s not-so-attractive elements. Fast forward two decades you’ve got an haute couture haven, a neighborhood where fashions shops, funky galleries, award-winning restaurants, and trendy nightclubs replaced the dimly lit, seedy buildings. There is a true sense of community throughout Hayes Valley; the laid back locals of Hayes Valley keep the neighborhood’s feet on the ground and prove that even among fanatic shoppers there’s quite a bit more to do than load up bags. Find Octavia’s Haze Gallery, Mexican folk art at Polanco, and the all-American eats at Rickybobby.