8.0 out of 10

Marina

Ranked 17th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.8043330697043 -122.43830625348
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Pest Free
  • Clean & Green
  • Safe & Sound
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
Jul 26, 2015

"It doesnt get better than this"

Incredible neighborhood! Very clean for San Francisco, beautiful homes and apartments, nice blend of young families and singles galore. By far the best outdoor neighborhood in the City. Views of the City and the bay are amazing.
Pros
  • great for singles
  • great for 20-40 age group
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
  • great night spots
  • great restaurants
  • great shopping
  • very cosmopolitan
Cons
  • Expensive, scarce parking
  • High Rents
  • not for the shallow
  • not for the uptight
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Live here if you can"

The Marina is the kind of area that reminds you why you live in San Francisco. It has beautiful homes, a quiet atmosphere, and a great waterfront area. There is a paved path that runs the length of the water for people to use for walking or jogging. You will see a lot of very fit people jogging here! In fact, this area is known for its attractive residents. It's a running joke that everyone looks beautiful even in the grocery store after hitting the gym.

As for things to see and do in the area, take advantage of the water! There are two swim clubs in SF and they both use the bay as their swimming pools. There is also a small beach along the water (the water is not warm though). Exercise in the green space or sit on a bench and watch the waves. You can kill hours here.

There are also some shops along Chestnut that are fun to browse. For the kids (and adults), there's the Exploratorium, which is a really fun science museum. They have hundreds of exhibits and it's a place that never gets old.
Pros
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
Cons
  • Expensive, scarce parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"Popular among yuppies"

Located along the northern tip of San Francisco, the Marina is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city. Its home to some of the most beautiful architecture, expensive homes and quaint apartment buildings. It also offers sweeping waterfront real estate with small businesses peppered throughout the community. Most residents in the neighborhood are upper class, white and easy on the eyes.

During the afternoon, hundreds of people gravitate towards the waterfront (and why not). The attractive area offers a large recreational park and a long cement path that follows it all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Those who take advantage of the waterfront parkland, are out jogging or bicycling after work to keep from paying a hefty gym membership. However, most bring an extra layer of clothing considering weather conditions can get mighty windy.

On weekends, Union street is humming with trendy young singles bouncing from chic bar to chic wine bar. Many locals like to frequent Bar None. The popular destination among the young and trendy crowd offers fun bar games such as pool, darts, video games and beer pong. However, many can be of the smug yuppie type. During the day, the street is buzzing with window shoppers, upscale eateries, shoe stores, health and beauty spas and fashion boutiques.

The area also hosts the Union Street Festival. In the past few years, the event has decreased in size, but the festival still consists of a myriad of booths promoting local businesses and local artists. Others just come for the ethnic food and sunshine. Travel to the northwest corner of the Marina and you’ll hit the Exploratorium. The museum offers a collection of science and art exhibits attractive to both children and adults.

Those that use public transportation have a couple options considering that parking is rarely convenient in the district. The 41 and 45-lines run just south of its limits and can take one all the way down to San Francisco’s financial district.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"The Most Naturally Beautiful SF Neighborhood?"

With Fort Mason on the East, the Presidio on the West, and the bay on the north; the Marina District is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in SF. It is flatter than a lot of neighborhoods in the City and has a really distinct look to it. The houses here are not really expansive for the most part, but they are really, really attractive.

Part of it is older architecture and part of it is just how well-kept the streets are—it just exudes wealth—a very, urban tightly packed wealth but wealth never the less. In some ways it looks like a lot of other neighborhoods in SF—especially in the Richmond area (which is also flatish like the Marina) but houses really have a different quality to them—from the beautifully kept topiary to the long second story bay windows that look out onto the narrow streets, you can tell that you are in the Marina on virtually any street, even if you couldn’t feel and smell the ocean breeze.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Kid Spots
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
Cons
  • High Rents
  • Climate Change Threatened?
  • Expensive, scarce parking
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
2yrs+

"An SF Favorite"

Simply put, I really wish that I had discovered this neighborhood sooner. With an abundance of shopping and beautiful homes around every corner, the Marina is one of the most quaint areas in San Francisco. It is close to all of the major attractions in the eastern part of the city, but far enough that it has its own neighborhood character and is not overrun with tourists.

Restaurant options are aplenty, as are every retail shop you can imagine. Around Christmas time, you can even obtain free samples of food from just about every vendor around.

To say that I am envious of the nearby residents is an understatement. Modern, roomy, loft-style apartments comprise the real estate just north of the shopping district, where one can even park a car on the street for free (shocker!) Residents really get the best of both worlds, with a great downtown-style area within walking distance of their comfortable, lovely homes. Like much of San Francisco, the biggest drawback is the need to make a San Francisco salary in order to live here.

For visitors in their vehicles, the biggest challenge remains the parking situation; one-hour (strictly enforced) meters fill the major streets, although one can often find free parking in the residential areas nearby. Additionally, drivers will have to fight San Francisco traffic just to get here, as the Marina is not really near any major interstate (which could be a good thing or a bad thing).

This neighborhood isn't for people who like crowds. But it could very well be for just about everybody else.
Pros
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
  • great night spots
  • great restaurants
  • great shopping
  • very cosmopolitan
Cons
  • Expensive, scarce parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Great view of the waters and home to the Exploratorium!"

I visited the Marina quite often in my childhood days and I enjoyed every bit and single moment of it. I visited the Marina a lot mostly because home to the Exploratorium, probably THE best interactive science museum ever. It’s quite hard to give it a genre of a museum since the Exploratorium is just so amazing. If you’re not from San Francisco and are deciding which museum to go to first, then I’d suggest coming to the Marina to the Exploratorium, you’ll have a blast (that is if you’re with the family and kids). But for those who enjoy a quiet museum then the Exploratorium isn’t the place, kids run around screaming and there’s never a single moment where you stop to take a break. The Marina lies between the Presidio and Fort Mason, both places that hold historical landmarks of San Francisco. The great thing about the Marina is that the neighborhood lies right next to the bay. You’ll feel a great breeze as you drive down Marina Boulevard with your windows rolled down. Along Marina Boulevard is a long green field, great to bring your pets. Right next to the waters is a little boardwalk and a parking lot. It’s always relaxing to just sit on a bench looking out into the waters. The Marina neighborhood is just great, it doesn’t contain the city life as much as other parts of San Francisco, it feels bit more peaceful, or rather, just different in some ways.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Marina - Family friendly, yet hip and trendy"

The Marina is one of those places that if you don't live there and are just visiting, you might think of it as a quaint little neighborhood. Located at the north edge of the city, it feels like you are living in San Francisco suburbia. The Marina consists of mostly twenty to thirty-something urban professionals. The main strip is Chestnut Street and you'll find everything from Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and Papyrus to local eateries, wine bars and cafes. Parking is extremely tough with only two parking lots in addition to street parking. The DPT is anal about double parking and you will get a ticket, so be careful.

Looking for something good to eat, try A16, Isa or Luisa's. For the single scene on Friday or Saturday nights there's the Ottimista Enoteca-Cafe, the Tipsy Pig or Mamacita. Or for the eager twenty-something crowd, there is the "Triangle" (Fillmore at Greenwich) made up of 3 bars on the corner, hence the name. On nice days, outdoor seating is available but get there early to secure your spot.

For fun things to do there is the Palace of Fine Arts, Exploratorium, Crissy Field, or nearby Fort Mason (which has a cool farmer's market on Sundays). Plus there is a ton of shopping, both boutique and commercial stores. From the Gap to local Ambiance, there is something for everyone. Plus there's also a Crunch fitness and an Apple Store for you die-hard techies.
Pros
  • great shopping
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
  • great restaurants
  • very cosmopolitan
  • great night spots
Cons
  • not for the uptight
  • not for the shallow
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Fascinating monuments and optimal recreation"

I love this neighborhood! You are right on the water, directly east of the Presidio. This part of town is really lovely and you get the true San Francisco experience. The Marina district is home to a lot of yuppies; you will see lots of sun worshipers and joggers along the bay. There is a very popular pedestrian path in this neighborhood that you can use for walking or running. Plus, you will get fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge from The Marina, which is always a plus.

I went to the Exploratorium even though it’s a kiddie museum. Seriously, this is one of the best children’s museums in the world. There are more than 700 exhibits. I recommend a trip to the Exploratorium to children and adults alike.

Also this neighborhood is home to the Palace of Fine Arts. This cool historic building is truly picturesque due to the Greek and Roman architecture. You see a lot of couples get married at this spot. In fact, when you see The Palace of Fine Arts in person, you will think it looks oddly familiar. That is because you see this backdrop used in many films. Also Chestnut Street is in The Marina and offers a lot of great little stores.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Lots of fun ways to spend a day here"

The Marina district in San Francisco puts a heavy emphasis on outdoor life to let residents take advantage of the natural beauty of the area. There are walking, jogging and biking trails in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. For rainy days, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Hespe Gallery and the Hourian Fine Art Galleries have hundreds of works. When you're hungry, there is a huge variety of restaurants, from Asian to tapas to steak to curry. The shopping is excellent as well, with most of the shops walkable for pedestrians, including a cashmere only store that's excellent.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"A change of heart"

Everyone I know who lives in the Marina really has a lot of love for it. Sure, people occasionally complain about the frat brodeo vibe, but most people say that scene is limited to certain stretches of Fillmore and Chestnut streets. Like many San Franciscans who do not live there, I have made a point of avoiding the area—until recently. While house-sitting for a friend, I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced. First off, the view along the Bay is spectacular—especially on the weekends when the sailboats are out in full force. One can see Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island and Alcatraz. There are many wonderful restaurants and bars in a variety of prices ranges. Parking is relatively easy. I would not say getting their by public transportation is convenient or fast from other parts of the city. This part of the city also seems to get a lot of sunshine and the air, blowing directly off of the ocean, is sweet and crisp.

This is a great place to live for those who appreciate exercising out-of-doors. There is a wonderful bike/walking trail along the bay and quick access to many epic bike rides and hiking trails across just across the Golden Gate Bridge near Sausalito and the Marin Headlands. You don’t see as many babies and puppies in the Marina like you do in other parallel-rent districts such as Noe Valley or Ashbury Heights. The neighborhood seems to be populated mostly by single and upwardly mobile working professionals. On the weekends the area sees a large influx of bridge-and tunnel suburban partygoers out for a big night in the city.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"The Un-San Francisco"

When you’ve tired of hills, of hubbub, of trash and panhandlers and all the other urban irritants that San Francisco can inflict, the Marina District provides an antidote. It has no hills, little traffic outside of Lombard Street, more or less litter-free sidewalks and a code of behavior that discourages unseemly activity like panhandling. In short, it feels a bit anomalous: the neighborhood that doesn’t quite belong to the rest of the city.

Yet it’s very much a part of San Francisco, and its differences explain its appeal: wide streets with Spanish names (Cervantes, Alhambra, Mallorca, Rico, Prado, and Retiro) and houses with terra-cotta tile roofs that conjure towns farther down the map, in Southern California; easy access to the bay, which laps at its northern border; and a swank, upscale commercial street (Chestnut) paralleled by a gritty, downscale one (Lombard).

How this unique neighborhood came to be has an only-in-San-Francisco flavor. Originally a series of bay shallows, sand dunes and tidal lagoons, 19th-century settlers developed it haphazardly, cutting it into a warren of roads and lanes and throwing up wharves, warehouses, and small factories. By the turn of the 20th century, it was a mess of smelly manufactured-gas plants and light industry. And then it all came tumbling down with the great quake and fire of 1906. As the city rebuilt, the marina became a landfill for debris. Then, when the area was chosen as the site for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exhibition, mud and sand from the bay were dredged and deposited over the landfill where the legendary fairgrounds rose. After the exhibition, it was time for another tear-down and rebuild—incredibly, only the signature Palace of Fine Arts and the hall that became the Exploratorium were saved. From the 1920s on, the Marina District grew as an intentionally planned neighborhood, different from anything else in San Francisco, with boulevards and greenspaces and a distinctly Spanish/Moorish/Mission revival architecture and a physical layout that sets it apart from the surrounding areas.

Because it sits on landfill, the neighborhood takes a beating in earthquakes. Images of the area after the devastating 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, several rowhouses and apartments pancaked and burning, played across the national media (and contributed to the initial false impression that much of the city was ruined). Today, it’s impossible to discern where the damage occurred and how extensive it was, for the neighborhood merchants and residents rebuilt quickly, reinforcing the stucco buildings with seismic retrofits that have left their exteriors’ architectural details intact.

As one of the city’s newer neighborhoods, trees and other greenery are low-scale and have for the most part not been allowed to grow to heights that obscure streets and homes (the Marina Green is also deliberately devoid of trees). Given the light pastel shades of most exteriors, the vista down many blocks during the day is of sun-bleached facades, etched against the blue sky like the cliffs of a pink-white canyon. There’s a Disneyland quality to it all, as if this area were a set for some video of “California Dreamin’” or “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”

Though generalizations about people are necessarily fraught with pitfalls, it has often been said that many of the denizens of the Marina, particularly the young and restless, also have made-for-movies good looks and demeanor. (U.S. Census Bureau figures bear that out: its 23,000 residents are overwhelmingly white [86 percent], thirtysomething [median age: 35], and affluent [median household income: $130,000 annually].) Stroll down Chestnut Street (the hipper of the neighborhood’s two commercial sectors, the other being Lombard, a block to the south, with its cheesy motels and fast-food joints); the sidewalkers are generally youthful, spirited, upwardly mobile, and self-assured. Men range from Peter Pans wearing their baseball caps backward to Ralph Lauren Polo wannabes; women are thin yet curvy, with expensive ’dos and dye-jobs (enabled by the Pure Beauty franchise in the neighborhood) and tight, clingy clothes. Designer sweats on buffed bods of both sexes are common, too. And nearly everybody looks tan and rested, even if they’ve just run to the foot of Golden Gate Bridge and back (a popular jogging route). There are, of course, older longtime residents (many of whom have let their hair go gray), but they also tend to look sharp in well-tailored clothes and have that fresh-from-a-spa glow.

Unlike many other areas of the city where franchises are disdained, chain stores have found a comfortable home on and around Chestnut Street: Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, the Gap, Urban Outfitters. But there are also one-of-a-kind shops that bespeak San Francisco’s obsession with single-owner small business: City Clothing, Studio on Chestnut, Ocularium, Deleuse Jewelers. The same goes for food: for every Johnny Rockets and Starbucks, there’s a Bechelli’s, Izzy’s Steaks and Chops, Los Hermanos, Marina Meats, or Lucca Delicatessen (not to be confused with that other so-named Italian establishment in the Mission). And of course, even the Safeway here has cachet, made legendary by its prominence in Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” as the place heterosexual “swingles” could find a mate (or just a date) in the produce department. (And speaking of the singles scene, any number of bars caters to the seen-and-be-seen set—Circa, the Tipsy Pig, Monaghan’s, Horseshoe Tavern, Ace Wasabi’s Rock N Roll Sushi—the list goes on.)

Though most residents disdain Lombard (a six-lane strip choked with traffic and lined with motels for tour-bus out-of-towners), the street has a number of good ethnic restaurants (from Alegrias Food from Spain to Zushi Puzzle), Bobo’s, a steak-and-crab emporium, a sushi/karaoke bar called Silver Clouds, and Home Plate, a breakfast/lunch café with a 25-year history in the Marina.

As for public transportation, three buses pretty much cover all the bases (no trolleys or cable cars serve the area): the 30 goes east/west along Chestnut before heading through North Beach en route to Union Square and Moscone Center downtown; the 30X makes an express trip to the Financial District from Chestnut via Broadway; and the 22 cuts a north-south swath through Pacific Heights and the Fillmore before making its way through the Mission District and back. The neighborhood has a number of other options inbound/outbound via Golden Gate Transit (which runs buses down Lombard from and to Marin County). These limited options are understandable given that most residents apparently own cars (garages are a common feature of apartments and single-family units); the “M” residential permit is a necessity for those seeking an on-street parking place in the area.

Crime in the area flows along Lombard and Chestnut streets, in accordance with the businesses: the San Francisco Police Department reports that disturbing the peace violations are common in any three-month period, followed by assaults (both categories fueled no doubt by the alcohol that flows from Chestnut Steet watering holes), followed by robberies and burglaries (especially at the many motels that line Lombard). The residential streets remain relatively unscathed, although vehicle theft and break-ins are increasing, as is property damage from vandalism (tagging by graffiti “artists”) and the aforementioned burglaries. There have been no homicides in the last three years.

For the few children in the neighborhood, the Claire Lilienthal Alternative School offers committed parents who want to play an active role in their child’s schooling an option for grades three through eight. Part of the San Francisco Unified School District. (a sister campus in Presidio Heights caters to children in K-second grades), this elementary school garnered a 10 out of 10 rating from GreatSchools.

As might be expected, real-estate prices are high, both in terms of resale value of owner-occupied homes and average monthly rent. If you want to live here, expect to pay from $600,000 (for a one-bedroom condo) up to $2 million or more for one of the modest single-family houses near Marina Green, according to Trulia. Apartments go from $1,200 a month for a studio (but good luck finding one), to upward of $2,000 for a small one-bedroom and all the way to $6,000 for a three-bedroom single-family home.

The one defining factor of the Marina, which elevates it from all other neighborhoods in a sense, is the presence of the Palace of Fine Arts. This monumental urban sculpture (a dome ringed by classical figures and designed by noted Bay Area architect Bernard Maybeck for the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in 1915) sits at the western edge of the neighborhood, fronted by a serene pond and grassy park. It is the one remaining remnant from the spectacular exhibition celebrating San Francisco’s ability to rise from the ashes after the 1906 quake, and it serves as a flamboyant reminder that beauty is its own excuse for being. That also explains why it’s a favorite of wedding party portraits, plein-air painters, and all the lovely people from the neighborhood seeking a place to break in their expensive new running shoes while walking their pampered pooch.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Be at peace in the city"

The Marina is one of the best spots to live in San Francisco. It has everything there is to love about San Francisco, in a short, flat, easy to access area. You can find great shops and restaurants on Chestnut street. From cheap eats to fine dining, it's all there. There are also lots of fun night time hot spots. It's true that the crowd can be a little, well, obnoxious, but that's only in some places. And mostly, the people here are friendly, fun, and actually pretty cool. Best of all, the Marina offers great access to parks and the beach. And it's all walkable. Of course, if you're leaving the Marina, you can also easily hop on a bus. Sunny and clean, the Marina is a great place to hang.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
2yrs+

"Great place to eat, live, and play"

I know the Marina gets a bad rap sometimes. It can have a reputation for frat boys and “cougars.” I know sometimes when I tell people what neighborhood I’m in, I get an, “oh really?” response and a little smile. But, having lived all over SF, I can honestly say I LOVE the marina. With great access to the beach/waterfront, it’s an excellent place if you love to go running (or walking). You’ll also find much more space for your rental dollar than you get in places like Russian Hill or Pacific Heights. Parking can still be pretty rough, but get just a little off the beaten path, and it’s not so bad. Also, while I love to exercise, I hate having to hike up a large SF hill just to get to my local coffee shop. Not a problem in the Marina. No shortage of great restaurants and bars, either. Personally, I love Greens – a little gem in the Fort Mason building that has great vegetarian fare. Yum!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5
2yrs+

"Shopping and The Palace"

Chestnut Street offers retail enthusiasts a great array of places to go and get some retail therapy out of the way. You'll find regular chains over there that are well put together, like the Gap and Pottery Barn, to name a few.

Nearby you'll be able to enjoy a walk by the water -- or even a bike ride -- on Marina Blvd. This is often a good way to get to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The real gem over here though is the Palace of Fine Arts. The architecture is amazing and the water is just a lovely addition. Plus the Exploratorium is a great little science museum with interactive exhibits. And you can even catch shows over in the auditorium.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"World-class yuppie training ground"

I've lived in the Marina for five years. It's safe, clean, parking isn't as bad as other parts of the city (although still horrible), has great options for dining out, many places to shop, is near the water with lots of parks and running/biking/skating paths. I noticed that the weather was often better here (sunnier) than further south in the City.

The downsides are that it built completely on landfill with most areas rating a 9/10 for earthquake danger, tends to be windy, and is filled with Chads and Trixies. No one stays to raise children; as soon as the children are of school-age, the parents move to a better school district (usually out of the City).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
CommunityMan
CommunityMan "Chads and Trixies" - LOL
2yrs+
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4/5
2yrs+

"Shopping or Sushi Anyone?"

The Marina seems to attract the young, fit, and beautiful. The singles scene is pumping on a Friday or Saturday night. But, if you are looking for diversity and a highly progressive neighborhood, the Marina is your home, or home-away-from-home.

Great restaurants in the neighborhood include the Bombay Curry House - the first Indian restaurant in the Marina. The menu features traditional Indian cuisine with entrees generally starting around ten dollars. Osome Sushi is known among the locals as the best sushi restaurant in the city. Osome boasts forty different kinds of sushi, including many supreme rolls like the Darth Vadar with kani.

If it's nightlife you are after, check out Bar None - known for their Jaegermeister and young college crowd, or for something a little less "clubesque" and a little more intimate, try Bacchus Wine Bar on Hyde Street - seats just twenty and features a long wine list that also includes sake and sake cocktails.

The Marina has it all in terms of shopping. Whether you are shopping for kids clothing at Mudpie, shoes at Bulo, or doggie latte cookies at Bella & Daisy's, you will find it all and more at the Marina.

Two words of wisdom: Don't drive. Unless you want to pay to park in one of the few garages, limit your driving. Finding a parking spot could take you over an hour.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Best Streets in Marina

1

Scott St

4/5
"Lovely Area Close to Water Sports"
37.8036851014113 -122.441892132677
2

Marina Blvd

4/5
"A Beautiful Scenery"
37.8057996157827 -122.441663981874
"Always busy and right next to Kaiser"
37.8023027500402 -122.44331811494
4

Avila St

3.5/5
"Great community!"
37.8038825179237 -122.44103580759
5

Francisco St

3.5/5
"Quiet hide out"
37.8023757066999 -122.4314990735
6

Beach St

3.5/5
"Lots of Family Fun"
37.804079284712 -122.439275931778
7

Baker St

3.5/5
"Quiet, leafy, residential "
37.8017743904998 -122.446606125236
8

Chestnut St

3/5
"One of my Favorites..."
37.8008862682698 -122.435705533192
"Excellent Ocean view with plenty of parking"
37.8070038910684 -122.438565904912
"Located next to lots of stuff!"
37.8036027050398 -122.436893072943

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