4.4 out of 10

Marina Vista

37.6079222645004 -122.395300435935
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Childcare
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Retirees


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"Okay Houses, Best Western, and Good Zen"

Located just to the west of SFO across the BART train tracks, Marina Vista can roughly be divided into two parts: an eastern residential section and the western commercial section.

On the eastern end, Marina Vista is made up of older homes. These are basically tract houses dating back to the early 50’s—the kind of neighborhood where you feel slightly claustrophobic because the streets are just a bit too narrow and the front yards too small to really make you feel as if you have the elbow room you need.

Now the front yards are really nicely kept here with green lawns, squat white fences, and decorative stones in some cases.
So I don’t want you to get the impression this place is a dump. It is not that at all. But you do definitely feel as if you have stepped back in time about 60 years. You could remove the cars and film a period piece about Greatest Generation coming home from WWII to start afresh here. This is a firmly working class neighborhood.

The homes here are also on the smaller side, closer to 1000 sq. ft. in most cases than 2000. The Foreclosure Crisis has hit this area especially hard—basically every home that I found here is currently on sale due to foreclosure. This has made it so that the average home here is going for $450 K currently—really low for the Peninsula.

Once you cross over the train tracks, you find a western end that is made up of commercial structures. There is a Best Western hotel and an Orchard Supply and KFC—which gives you a sense of the appearance of the place.

Marina Vista is also home to a couple of really great restaurants as well. Zen Peninsula and the Terrace Café. Zen
Peninsula is a great Chinese food place with outstanding dim sum. Many people around Millbrae use them to cater their weddings and other social events. Terrace Café in the Best Western is okay too, though everyone complains about having to wait too long for the main entrée. For an okay steak it is the place to go. For breakfast just go down to the Millbrae pancake place instead.

Overall, okay for an airport area. If you can handle the noise and don’t mind the tight street plan, this could be a passable
place to set down roots.
  • Zen Peninsula
  • Good For Commuters
  • Good Schools
  • Old Houses
  • Ugly Commercial Area
  • Lots of Foreclosures
Recommended for
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5

"Loud airplanes and run-of-the-mill neighborhood attractions"

Marina Vista is a small, run-of-the-mill Millbrae community nestled between US Route 101 and El Camino Real. It is a firmly lower middle-class community spanning about .3 square miles and encompasses about nine small neighborhood streets (which include parts of the Bayside Park). According to the 2010 US Census, the area is made up of about 1,500. Moreover, Marina Vista is predominately white (over 50%), while the rest of the community is split between hispanic and asian residents.

The Marina Vista’s flat neighborhood quarters doesn’t offer much. It mostly provides bland, lowly suburban aesthetics. Homes are typically one story in size and are situated on small, squarish properties. They are commonly built closely together, offering little room for side yards. In addition, the typical house front is shallow, with skinny driveways making parking on the street a little competitive (if you’re lucky, some homes afford a one-car garage). For perspective residents, the bulk of homes cost between $500,000 to $750,000, while the median household incomes approximate $75,000/year.

For young families, the Capuchino High School is located just a couple blocks north of the neighborhood. The school has been refurbished in recent years and evokes an above average reputation. For commuters, both Bart and Caltrain tracks cut through the neighborhood, with its closest station being Millbrae. It is also within walking distance of the San Francisco International Airport (which lies directly east of the neighborhood’s limits). Yet, many residents complain of the loud noises throughout the night.
Recommended for
  • Professionals

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