8.3 out of 10

Miraloma Park

Ranked 10th best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7372556519576 -122.449980866764
Great for
  • Parking
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Eating Out
  • Shopping Options
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian

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 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"The suburbs in San Francisco"

Pros
  • safe
  • views
  • clean
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Home to the Mount Davidson Cross!"

Miraloma Park lies in between two forests basically, but to be real, between Glen Canyon Park and Mount Davidson Park. One thing Miraloma is known for is that it is home to the Mount Davidson Cross, towering high up there. It’s a great place to visit for those who are religious, even for those who aren’t religious, like me, it’s still great to just walk up to it just to look at it, there is even a little trail opening leading up to the cross. One thing about Miraloma is that it is surrounded by nature quite different from the surrounding parts of San Francisco. Miraloma also isn’t your rectangular block neighborhoods as much of the residential side of San Francisco is. The neighborhood consists of many twists and turns that if you’re new to this neighborhood it’ll definitely take some time for you to adjust and know your way through Miraloma. Although the homes in Miraloma are clumped next to each other, the houses look really new and clean, as if a coat of paint were freshly layered on. A small downside could be that some of the streets in Miraloma are quite narrow. Living in Miraloma looks great as well, you’re in a quiet neighborhood with a great view provided.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Towering Above It All"

If you know Miraloma Park at all, you know it as: 1) the home of the Mount Davidson cross, located atop the highest point in San Francisco (928 feet above sea level); and 2) the home of the former Tower Market, one of the city’s first gourmet markets. But for all of the hype surrounding the area’s controversial cement cross, which at present barely peeks above the eucalyptus trees that have grown around it, and the smaller debate over whether Tower Market has changed now that it is part of a chain, Miraloma Park itself remains relatively unknown to even longtime San Franciscans. One of the best things this neighborhood has going for it is that although many can see it, few (tourists and locals alike) have ventured there. And the residents are just fine with that.

Once part of Don José Jesús de Noé’s vast rancho occupying the central portion of San Francisco, Miraloma Park began as one of ubiquitous developer Adolph Sutro’s late 19th-century speculative ventures. Sutro bought the hilltop land in 1881, then did little with it (other than enlist school children to plant trees on its slopes) until 30 years later, when "Blue Mountain," as it was then known, was rechristened "Mount Davidson," for George Davidson, a surveyor for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and a charter member of the Sierra Club who first mapped the mountain in 1852. A. S. "Lucky" Baldwin, Sutro's appraiser, bought Mt. Davidson and the adjoining acres for development in 1909, building paths to the summit of the mount to promote his new subdivision. By the mid-1920s, with development of the mountain looming, Madie Brown, local resident and pioneering activist, worked tirelessly with a number of private organizations to stop development of the mountain and make it a city park, which finally came to pass in 1929, when roughly 20 acres of the summit were purchased by the municipal government from funds raised by the Mount Davidson Conservation Committee. (Donations of land and further purchases have expanded the park to its present-day 39 acres.)

In a long line of developers, the Meyer Brothers finally succeeded in bringing housing to the area starting in the late 1920s, beginning on the lower slopes around Mount Davidson. Employing so-called City Beautiful principles widely admired at the time, they created park-like subdivisions, with tree-lined streets, vistas, and ample space for backyard gardens in mind. Building in the “housing over garage” style that became a feature of this and other western San Francisco neighborhoods, they constructed most homes as low-profile, two-story dwellings with few frills, although a number had fanciful facades, with turrets and storybook details, while others featured late art-deco and moderne touches. These homes were followed by other, more rectilinear-styled houses in the post-World War II period. Though less interesting architecturally, they nonetheless kept the low-slung profile of their older counterparts.

Beginning in 1923, the hilltop became the site of a number of wooden crosses used for various services, some overtly religious, others less so, each replaced by more substantial ones until the present cement monolith was erected in the 1930s. In modern times, numerous lawsuits challenged this religious symbol on city land; ultimately, the dispute was settled when the city decided to auction off the cross and the small parcel of cleared land around it. This third-acre site along with the cross was eventually purchased by the Council of Armenian American Organizations of Northern California, who have made it a memorial to the Armenian Genocide of the early 20th century. Furthermore, according to the council, “The cross honors not only those who perished in the Armenian Genocide, but all victims of injustice, cruelty, and genocide. It also serves as a reminder to remain vigilant against future atrocities.” On Easter Sunday every year for the last 88 years, many from the neighborhood (along with others from around the Bay Area) turn out for the sunrise prayer service, a celebration that has emphasized in the last few years the ideals of rebirth rather than the Christian holy day per se.

Today, Miraloma Park neighborhood lies just southwest of the city’s geographic center, Twin Peaks (the second and third highest points in the city), roughly between the intentionally underveloped Glen Canyon Park and Mount Davidson. Its rougly 2,000 homes line streets that twist and snake around the countours of Mount Davidson, following the slopes of the hill in spiral fashion, much as a path winds around, rather than straight up, a steep hill. Portola Drive borders Miraloma Park to the north, O’Shaughnessy Boulevard to the east, Melrose to the south and the western side of Mount Davidson Park on the west. The area sits at the eastern edge of the city’s fog belt, with chilly winds and low clouds a common feature. (One story has it that it took nine days to film a single scene of the Clint Eastwood movie “Dirty Harry” on Mount Davidson due to fogbound conditions.)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the area’s 5,000 residents are fairly diverse, though predominantly white (63 percent), with a large contingent of Asians (24 percent) and African Americans (6 percent). They tend to be older (with about 20 percent retired) and financially secure (median household income: $90,000). Almost everyone (85 percent) owns his or her home, which tend to hold their value in spite of a small dip during the last recession. A two-bedroom/one bath house can sell upward from $600,000, while a four-bed/two-bath home recently listed for more than $1 million, according to Trulia. Renting here can be difficult, owing to the lack of units; the rare two-bed/one-bath house generally goes for $2,800 and up.

It tends to be a safe, quiet area, with a relatively low incidence of crime. A few noise nuisances and acts of vandalism occur in any three-month period, with a smaller number of car break-ins and thefts. There is little violent crime, and no homicides have been committed in the last three years, although a recent stabbing on a trail in Mount Davidson Park alarmed the neighbors and brought increased scrutiny of the teenagers who use the park as a hangout.

Public transportation is a question of buses: two main lines (44 and 48) and one “community service” (the 36). The 44 skirts the area’s eastern boundary, along O’Shaughnessy Boulevard, on its mostly north/south route; the 48 goes back and forth along Portola Drive, west to the ocean, east to the bay. The 36 wends its way through the area, mostly along Teresita Boulevard, but also up and down Reposa and Myra Way. Though not within the neighborhood boundaries, the Glen Park station of both BART and the MUNI Metro (J line) offers fast transit options for residents commuting downtown or going to the airport. For those who drive, the neighborhood has ample on-street parking, and no permits are required for occupying a spot up to 72 hours.

The main shopping area for the neighborhood is along Portola Drive, where Tower Market (a landmark grocery that opened in 1942 and was recently taken over by the Mollie Stone’s grocery chain) still draws people from around San Francisco for its meat and cheese departments. Though many complain that the market has declined, it still serves as a visual anchor to a stretch of stores and services along Portola (with metered parking lots in front).

In addition to Mount Davidson Park, Miraloma Park has a fine play area for kids (and their care-worn parents). Miraloma Playground fronts Bella Vista Way and Sequoia, adjacent to the Miraloma Elementary (K-5) on Omar Way, the neighborhood’s only school (public or private--it received an 8 out of 10 rating by GreatSchools).

The Miraloma Park Improvement Club was formed in the 1930s and is dedicated, simply enough, to “bringing community information and services to our neighborhood.” The club, located in its knotty-pine headquarters/clubhouse on O’Shaughnessy Boulevard at Del Vale, promotes stewardship of Mount Davidson Park and sensible development of existing properties and the remaining buildable lots within the district according to design guidelines that harmonize with what has historically been a mid-20th century architectural imperative. That the club has endured for more than 70 years, keeping inharmonious development at bay and striving to preserve the residential character of this place is a testament to the spirit of Madie Brown and grassroots activism.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Great views and safety"

Miraloma Park is another nice San Francisco neighborhood that I recommend for various reasons. First of all, this is a pretty location right in the center of San Francisco. This means that you can get to different areas of town fairly easily. I love Twin Peaks and you are only a short ride away.
A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle was quoted in 2001 as saying, “Hard to believe, but true, that the best view in San Francisco is from the top of the kiddie slide at Miraloma Park.

Also this neighborhood makes it pretty easy to get to The Castro. Overall, it seems like you can get a home for a decent price in Miraloma Park.

You also feel a bit as though you are in the suburbs in Miraloma Park. Even though you are close to Twin Peaks, you won’t see too many tourists. Plus, the crime rate is pretty low.

Miraloma Park boasts some parks of its own including Mt Davidson Park. This is one of those parks where you can hike and escape from city life.

Miraloma Park also has a popular store called Tower Market, which is now named Mollie Stone’s. This grocery store is a bit overpriced, but everything is delicious and gorgeous.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5
2yrs+

"Wildlife and nice locals"

I love driving around this area at night to see the deer. It can be starting to see deer grazing on someone's lawn for the first time in a city. There are there because of the wild park area. Hiking around the park is not advised unless you stay on a trail. It can be a bit dangerous as the footing can sometimes be unstable. I don't think I could afford a home here but it is a nice area to visit. It is also not as crowded to visit the park as it is any of the coastal attractions. Hiking up the peeks in summer is hot but worth the view. There is a decent bike trail too.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5
2yrs+

"Homes for everyone in Miraloma Park"

Miraloma Park has something for everyone. Homes, weather, shopping to name just a few.

This community boasts 80's box homes, tudors, mid-century moderns, spanish mediterraneans, and many more.

On any one day you can experience three types of weather. For example, along the ridge the wind might be howling with a nice sun and fog mixture, west of Teresita the sun is shining, while down on the east side closer to Glen Park the sun is even more powerful and 5-10 degrees warmer.

Commercial attractions bring something for everyone as well. Tower Market, First National Bank, Tower Burger, Mollie Stone's and much more. Traffic is high and home prices are low, at least for San Francisco.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"Road to a View"

After you've been around San Francisco, you are likely to see the big steel tower on the hill. There are photographs of the wind moving the clouds across it in several calendar's I've seen. I've also heard this three pronged tower called "The Devil's Tower" -- I assume because it looks somewhat like a pitch fork.

Not too far from the tower you can head over to Twin Peaks for THE panoramic view of San Francisco. If you can find a clear night, you might even see something! It's fun to look out over the city and notice where the parks are on the western side -- both Golden Gate Park as well as Buena Vista -- because these are the dark spots in an otherwise well lit view.

Follow the lights up Market Street and look down to the beginning where it meets Castro Street. On a clear day you can even see the Pride Flag.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Travelling to Miraloma Park?

Find Hotels

Best Streets in Miraloma Park

"Important street that connects Twin Peaks to Balboa Park"
37.7443159766955 -122.45067320845
2

Dalewood Way

2/5
"Great view of the area below!"
37.7379544399694 -122.456593024786
3

Molimo Dr

1.5/5
"Quiet yet central gem of a street in Miraloma"
37.7373464912424 -122.449366207991

Unranked Streets in Miraloma Park

"Windy street near Mount Davidson"
37.7448385004336 -122.451947498535

Juanita Way

3.5/5
"VERY VERY quiet neighborhood near a great city park"
37.7407688727402 -122.456263267429

Melrose Ave

2.5/5
"A great place for families"
37.733991703501 -122.446537071242

Myra Way

2.5/5
"A Quaint Street"
37.7377538836058 -122.452039906604
"A quiet street in Glen Park"
37.7345630991284 -122.442820759869

Verna St

2.5/5
"a small quiet street in Sunnyside"
37.7348986157647 -122.448335061692
"A nice quiet street"
37.7349976813924 -122.444666790139

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More