ntrench

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  • Reviews 12
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Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Outlet Mall City"

Vacaville is a relatively isolated metropolitan city halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco. It’s not known for much, except for the acres of outlet malls, its large biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses and California State Prison (not the prettiest picture you can paint). Yet, within its residential quarters sits a modest, working-class community with the usual polished amenities that come with such.

Neighborhoods in Vacaville are typically saturated with adequate one-story homes with newly paved streets and lush green trees popping up everywhere. It is predominately a lower middle-class residential area, but still has a refined look to it. Almost as if it just received a makeover. If you’re looking for nicer homes, you’ll find a couple newly built, pristine neighborhoods stringed along the southern end of Vacaville. I suggest living here if the price is right. According to the US Census Bureau, median household incomes are listed at $57,000/year in the city, but jumps to $64,000 for single family residents. This includes the 95,000 people who currently live here. Moreover, the racial makeup of this metropolis is about 60% white, while the rest are mixed between hispanic, asian and African American residents.

People come from hundreds of miles away for Vacaville’s Premium Outlet mall and its low low prices. Firstly, there are a handful of neighborhood shopping centers sprinkled throughout the community. Most notable of these is Home Town Plaza, which adjoins Vacaville Commons Shopping Center and the widely popular Vacaville Premium Outlets. This large shopping area consists of a Walmart Supercenter, Target, a Trader Joe’s and about a dozen other boutique stores and chain restaurants. If you’re a golfer, you’ll appreciate Green Trees Golf Course and Cypress Lakes Golf Course. Both courses are highly regarded among golfing review sites. And finally, you can’t summarize Vacaville without mentioning the blemishing California State Prison Solano. The prison, which haunts many surprised out-of-towners, anchors the southern edge of the city. However, the prison is the top employer of Vacaville residents.

If you’re looking for entertainment and events, Vacaville feeds your craving. Vacaville Fiesta Days are the biggest attraction among locals and tourists alike. The event includes a parade and an electric car showcase. The city also hosts the Festival of Trees, which provides locals with an ice skating rink, a tree lighting ceremony and a small music festival. Residents will also be interested to know that the city has two unified public school districts and the popular Chapman University for higher education.
Pros
  • Cheaper
  • Closer to Tahoe
  • Shopping outlets
Cons
  • Barely the Bay Area
  • Crowded on weekends
  • Lacks culture
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"A bustling lower middle-class metropolis"

Fairfield looks better on paper than it does in real life. Firstly, it is home to over 110,000 residents, the ninth largest in the Bay Area. It is located in Solano County, about half way between San Francisco and California’s state capitol. Fairfield’s closer neighbors include Vacaville, Benicia and Napa (wine country). And finally, it is home to the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Factory, one of its proudest achievements. But what lies within the city’s limits is a gritty, but bustling lower middle-class metropolis.

Most residential neighborhoods in Fairfield don’t have much to offer except for their plain, one-story homes and ordered, family-friendly streets. Homes are stuffed along small properties while gritty sidewalks and cracked driveways are all too common. If you’re looking for nicer homes and better neighborhoods, look towards the northern quadrant of Fairfield. According to the US Census Bureau, median household incomes fluctuate between $65,000 and $67,000/year, while average house prices go for around $300,000. The city is a bit of a melting pot when it comes to ethnic populations, but it is primarily of white and hispanic descent. However, crime is a relatively large issue within the last couple years and is one of the biggest complaints of families.

Fairfield’s commercial real estate is one of the city’s redeeming qualities. The Solano Mall Shopping Center, which lies in the heart of the district, is complete with a Macy’s department store, IMAX theatre and a myriad of small boutique stores and restaurants. If you’re an outdoorsman, you’ll appreciate Allan Witt Park. The grassland is a popular outdoor recreational facility and provides residents with an aquatic center, a large sports field and a skatepark. If you hurt yourself, North Bay Medical Center sits conveniently on the eastern front. Commuters also have a convenient option of using Interstate 80. The freeway runs diagonally through the city while Highway 12 traverses Fairfield’s southern edge. For young families, you’ll be interested to know that the city has dozens of schools within the metropolitan area. However, schools such as Fairfield High School have only garnered 3-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Dont bother"

Located in northern Solano County, Elmira is one of the smallest cities in California. According to the 2010 US Census Bureau, the city only has a total of 188 residents. Consequently, you won’t find much of a city here. The town stretches about .5 square miles and spans four square residential blocks. It’s one redeeming quality is its proximity to Vacaville, known for its outlet strip malls.

The city is literally in the middle of nowhere. If you’re looking for any sense of residential bliss, you won’t find it here. First of all, the city is surrounded by acres of lush green farmland. Yet inside it’s residential area, the neighborhood reeks of dusty roads, one-story shabby homes and dead grass lining the would-be sidewalks. Houses are blemished with chipped paint and unkempt front yards. Average housing prices have plummeted in recent years to $150,000, while median household incomes are recorded around $63,000/year. If you’re renting (which I don’t know why you would), you’re likely to pay upwards of $950.

Not much of a commercial area, except for a post office, a small market and the neighborhood watering hole called Elmira Cabin. The bar is the the city’s only source of nightlife. It acts as any neighborhood country bar, with pool tables, local paraphernalia and cheap drinks. Other notable landmarks are Alamo Creek (which runs through the southern edge of the district) and a wastewater treatment facility (in the southeastern corner). Also, Elmira Elementary School sits along B Street and Sierra School of Solano County lies north. Both have underwhelming accreditations.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Middle-class farm country"

If you’re trying to find Dixon on the map, it might be hard. The city is literally in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by acres of farmland. It is located in northern Solano County, about 25 miles away from California’s state capitol of Sacramento. Within it, is a population approaching 20,000 people while their racial makeup is almost perfectly split between white and hispanic residents. Moreover, it’s location serves it well if you want to live in a quiet, reserved neighborhood but also gives locals proximity to exciting Davis, California, a rather large college town and farmland.

The city is a modest, middle-class community complete with clean, orderly roads weaving between simple residences. Yet to be more specific, one-story homes cluster around the heart of Dixon, while newer two-story residences lie more on the perimeter. The city is also pretty flat, with neighborhoods saturated with well-groomed front yards and long properties. If you’re looking for temporary housing, the average rent in this community is around $1,100/month. Those who already live in the city average about $67,000/year in household income.

If you’re looking for a commercial district, you won’t find much of it in Dixon. The best it can do is a couple old-town neighborhood shops and funky boutiques on 1st Street and A Street. Also Walmart Supercenter, which is one of the biggest employers of Dixon residents, straddles the northern border. Here you can also find a handful of chain restaurants, fast food and smaller stores (Jack in the Box, Payless, Subway, etc.). Dixon High is the most recognizable school in the city, but the district also offers two middle schools and a handful of elementary schools. As for transportation, the city is only approachable by Interstate 80 while both the Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak pass through the community.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Up and coming city"

Benicia is an up-and-coming waterfront city in the greater Solano County. It is a relatively middle-class, family friendly community with safe streets and a hilly geography. Benicia itself is separated into four distinct neighborhoods which include the East Side, the West Side, the industrial park and Southampton (newer suburban community). The city is approaching 30,000 residents according to the 2010 census while the the racial make-up of Benicia is predominately white (about 75%) with the remaining ethnic groups mixed between African American and Asian.

Neighborhoods in Benicia vary in quality but don’t necessarily escape the middle-class suburban aesthetic. Housing prices are within the vicinity of $200,000 to $750,000, while those same houses were mostly built between 1970 and 2000. However, housing prices have plummeted in the last six years. The Benician median household income is around $82,000, a significant boost from $67,000 ten years ago. For your shopping needs, head to Benicia Main Street and First Street where you’ll find acres of shopping, dining and business quarters.

Benicia has a number of great attractions. For one, its location next to the San Francisco Bay make it prime real-estate in the Bay Area. More specifically, Southhampton Bay, Lake Herman and the Carquinez Strait are all prime waterways for yachting and other water recreational activities. Moreover, Glass Beach is a main attraction among out-of-towners, mostly known for the miles of sea glass that wash up onto its shores. Elsewhere, locals can trek along the San Francisco Bay Trail. The path offers miles of cement trails while heading through the Benicia State Recreational Park.

There are a plethora of schools within the community. The most notable of which is Benicia High School and Liberty High School. The city is served by two Interstate freeways: 680 and 780. 680 runs along the eastern border while Highway 780 cuts through the southern edge and connects to Interstate 80. Benicia Breeze is the main public transit bus system, which serves the whole city.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Beachcombers welcome"

South Shore has a bit of an old, roughened beach town feel to it. For one thing, it’s prime real estate. The neighborhood is located on the banks of the San Francisco Bay and stretches about five miles wide along the waterfront. It’s social economic class is split between all levels of middle-class, considering some use it as a vacation/renting spot.

The residential neighborhood consists of a lot of plain looking houses and empty streets. Those that live here enjoy the reserved appeal of the one-story homes, tightly packed along ordered streets. Houses are somewhat colorful, but there’s nothing else that varies one house from the next. Also, front yards are usually poorly decorated with white pebbled pits and small trimmed bushes.

The neighborhood’s population is steadily approaching 10,000 people, most of which are of white or asian descent. Household incomes typically range from $65,000 to $80,000/year while most residents are between the ages of 25-45. If you’re looking to rent, apartments are upwards of $1,800/month while more expensive homes sit on Rosewood Way.

The neighborhood’s most appealing aspect is, of course, it’s location. Those who stroll along Shoreline Drive have a beautiful view of the bay along with miles of jogging paths. Locals are also close to the Alameda hospital and Donald D Lum Elementary School. South Shore’s commercial real estate is all located within Alameda Town Centre, a large shopping plaza located in the heart of the neighborhood. The shopping area consists of a Trader Joe’s, Safeway, TJ Maxx, Applebees, a Ross clothing store, Big 5 Sporting Goods and a 24 hour fitness center.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"A middle-class paradise"

Gold Coast, which is so accurately named, is a beautiful family-friendly neighborhood in the heart of Alameda. It is loosely bounded by Central Avenue, Grand Street and a southern waterway that feeds into the San Francisco Bay. The neighborhood is also relatively small, stretching only .2 square miles. It is a predominately white community with most residents choosing to own their homes instead of rent.

If you’re looking for an attractive and decently priced neighborhood close to the San Francisco Bay, look no further. Gold Coast is somewhat of an upper middle-class paradise. Median household incomes average around $75,000/year while house values range anywhere from $300,000 to over $1 million. Aesthetically speaking, there are hundreds of large, elegant two story homes with bushy trees draping over. The architecture is old, but has been maintained or refurbished over the years. Most homes have pristine front yards, with little gardens or small white picket fences abounding. Gold Coast also has plenty of long driveways and wide streets, which makes street parking relatively easy.

Commercial activity in Gold Coast is small, but so is the neighborhood. There are no big department stores or outlet malls here. Instead, you can find a couple hair salons, an auto shop and a restaurant (Little Joe’s Express) along Encinal Avenue. Others head to Central Avenue to browse a couple other neighborhood shops. If you’re looking for nightlife, Z’s Cocktail Lounge which has garnered a 4-out-of-5 stars on Yelp is a popular watering hole amongst the community.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Remote, older neighborhood"

What was once a deserted farmland, Greenhaven is now a firmly middle-class suburban neighborhood. It is within a 10-15 minute drive of Downtown Sacramento and bordered by Florin Road, Interstate 5 and the weaving Sacramento River. Those who know the district, know it because of Lake Greenhaven, a recreational escape for local residents. In a nutshell, Greenhaven is a modest neighborhood, perfect for retired couples.

There is nothing too elegant about the suburban quarters of Greenhaven. Homes are simple, old and plain looking. More specifically, they are long one-story residences plotted on even longer properties. Most homeowners have the luxury of a one or two car garage, although some might not have the electronic garage door opener function. But if it’s one thing to note, it’s that locals take pride in their trimmed hedges and manicured lawns. If you’re looking for upscale housing, you can find a handful of newer two-story homes close to Greenhaven Lake (or in some cases, its backyard).

Like many remote Sacramento neighborhoods, Greenhaven doesn’t have much of a buzzing commercial district. There are only a couple chain restaurants cluster around Riverside Boulevard and Florin Road including a Round Table Pizza, Taco Bell and a Walgreens. For public transit users, a bus system traverse Riverside Boulevard, Greenhaven Drive and Florin Road every once in awhile. It’s perfect for the students attending John F. Kennedy High School which lies within the neighborhood’s borders. It’s most promising attraction is Lake Greenhaven. The man-made lake is mostly for aesthetic purposes among locals, but exercise enthusiasts have used it for rafting, jet skiing and fishing. It also offers a few trails that follow the lake’s three mile perimeter. Other neighborhood parks have enough room for a couple youth soccer and baseball fields coupled with a walking trail. Golfers can head toward Bing Maloney Golf Course, about a five minute drive east of Greenhaven.
Recommended for
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"An up-and-coming Sacramento neighborhood"

Willow Creek is a well-kept, middle-class suburban neighborhood. It is conveniently wedged in between highway 80 and Sacramento River, which give locals a scenic view of the waterline edging the neighborhood. And even though there is no remnants of a commercial area, its still one of the nicer district’s to live in all of Sacramento.

For the most part, Willow Creek has modern suburbia written all over it. Most homes are newly constructed (or at least in the past 20 years) and stacked neatly along orderly streets. Their front yards are modest in size, but make up for it with lush green shrubbery elegantly manicured to entice visitors. Most houses also have an attached two car garage with room for two more in the driveway. While cruising around the neighborhood, the streets are safe, quiet and wide (street parking shouldn’t be a problem). But everything north of El Camino Avenue is a desert wasteland.

While there is no bit of commercial activity, there are a lot of perks within the community. Swallows Nest Country Club is one of the neighborhood’s most well-known attractions. The country club, surrounded by an elegant fence lined hedge, offers a nine hole golf course, a cluster of tennis courts for members and enough events for the families to stay busy. There are also a few neighborhood parks including Shorebird and Hudson Park, which host enough room for a playground and youth soccer events. The freeway junction gives commuters easy access to downtown and the greater Sacramento area. For students, Two Rivers Elementary School and Leroy Greene Middle School are the only school’s that lie within the district’s limits, but have modest online reviews. Moreover, a satellite Sutter Health clinic lies just a five minute drive east of Willow Creek.
Pros
  • Close to the River
  • Nice Newer Homes
  • Quiet
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Poor Schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Convenient location burdened with a lower middle-class feel"

Cornered between Highway 50 and Highway 99, North Oak Park suffers from a low middle-class appeal. It stretches less than a square mile of urban anonymity, crowded with old Victorians, ranch homes and sketchy warehouses. It’s convenience to downtown Sacramento and Shriners Hospital gives it a well-needed perk, but most residents are overly concerned with its above-average crime rate and relative safety of their families. For students, Sacramento High School lies just outside the neighborhood limits.

If you’re looking to live in North Oak Park, you have your choice of unpolished Victorians and unkempt ranch homes. In the last decade, the district has been afflicted with a large number of foreclosures and a decline in property values. Of those who’ve stayed, make on average $20,000 to $42,000 while their residences range from $100,000 to $400,000 in price. It’s also densely populated melting pot of ethnic groups (25% white, 30% black, 30% hispanic, 15 % asian).

Aesthetically speaking, there is little to praise except for the fairly leafy sidewalks and few open spaces. The neighborhood bleeds a lower middle-class community feel. Residences come in the form of unappealing apartment buildings with barred ground floor windows. Some homes have driveways that wrap around the residence while others don’t have driveways at all (which can make street parking in these areas a bit hit or miss). Ugly chain-linked or short wooden fencing surrounds dead grass and unkempt yards while old cars with chipped paint blemish the residential streets.
Pros
  • Rock Bottom Home Prices
  • Sac High
  • UC D Med Center
Cons
  • Foreclosure Problems
  • Gangs and Crime
  • Ugly Homes
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Just now

"A welcome refuge to the usual ragtag Sacramento blocks"

Bounded by 16th street to the west, E street to the south, Interstate to the east and a set of railroad tracks to the north, New Era Park is a quaint, family friendly neighborhood. In a way, it’s a welcome refuge to the usual ragtag blocks that Sacramento neighborhoods are so adamantly accustomed to. It is also rectangularly shaped and stretches 13 residential blocks east to west. Most importantly, it’s proximity to downtown Sacramento (about a 10 minute drive) and its well-groomed aesthetic make for it an attractive middle-class location.

New Era Park is one of the most inviting neighborhoods in Sacramento. Its friendly appeal coupled with its pleasant suburban aesthetic make it a great place for families to hang their hat. The district offers a variety of tree-covered housing options. There are plenty of beautiful Victorians and charming Bungalows (some can look quite stumpy) to choose from. And many overlook its low crime rate, but public transportation is fairly limited.

For recreation, most locals have to venture outside the district. Sutter’s Landing Regional Park (with a baseball diamond) and American River are both attractive options. This area offers a skateboard park and a handful of flat hiking trails. As for inside New Era Park’s limits, there isn’t much. B Street Theatre is one of its most key attractions in all the neighborhood. Elsewhere, Stanford and Grant Park are the only two parks within the neighborhood for families to play.
Pros
  • Cute Old Houses
  • Shady Streets
  • Very Affordable
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Lower middle-class no mans land"

Bounded by Stockton Boulevard to the west, 58th street to the east and 14th street to the north, Colonial heights is among the tens of lower middle-class neighborhoods in Sacramento. It’s triangular shape gives it less than a half square mile of tree lined terrain. Consequently, only 2,000 people reside in this neighborhood with a large white and hispanic racial makeup. But the most glaring problem of the district is its high crime rate.

Colonial Heights’s residential quarters suffer from an unpolished aesthetic. Most homes are old, probably built before the 1960’s. They are also short, stubby and condensed within each block. Front yards look a little rough around the edges with simple lawns and untrimmed hedges. On the street, you’ll find plenty of weathered, riggidy cars parked along residences. On San Francisco Boulevard, there are a line of cold-a-sacs, making for a quiet and relatively undisturbed area (perfect for the retired resident). Statistically, household incomes range from $20,000 to $50,000/year while the average priced home is between $150,000 to $300,000. Yet, those that live within the southern limits of Colonial Heights, are a bit more well off.

For all intense and purposes, this neighborhood is a deserted no man’s land. It’s commercial activity takes the form of an auto repair shop, barber shop, thrift store, boutique furnishing store, tire center and a small food market. There are a few notable attractions for locals, which include Colonial Heights Library, Colonial playground, Mark Twain Elementary School and a Kmart that straddles the western border. For other needs, Stockridge Plaza Shopping Center and Tallac Village Shopping Center lie just outside the neighborhood’s limits. Locals can get there by a semi-frequent bus line that traverses Stockton boulevard and 58th Street.
Recommended for
  • Retirees
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
Just now

"Lowly ranch land"

Ben Ali was once an underdeveloped ranch land, but hasn’t come far in its maturation. It is named after James Ben Ali Haggin, a rancher in the mid 1850‘s and presumably the owner of the neighborhood. After his death, the district was later subdivided into these streets. However, the area is still one of the poorest neighborhoods in Sacramento. Put simply, its ugly and not worth your time.

The district is a skinny strip of land located between Interstate 80 and the train tracks that run along Auburn Boulevard. Its .2 square miles of terrain make it the smallest neighborhood in all of Sacramento paralleling its small population. According to the 2010 Census, there are less than 1,000 people who reside in this neighborhood, most of whom are either white or hispanic.

The lowly ranch land doesn’t have much to offer its inhabitants. In essence, you get what you pay for in this lower middle-class district. Houses are mostly one story, but nonetheless old and dilapidated. Grungy cars sit in ugly gravel driveways, while chain linked fencing surrounds its property. Moreover, dead grass, dusty roads and empty dirt lots are all too common. The average household income in this area is $23,0000/year, while housing prices range from a mere $100,000 to $200,000.

For your shopping needs, there is a small strip of commercial real estate that lies on El Camino Avenue. Its mostly made up of a sporting equipment store, a cluster of auto repair shops and that’s about it. For recreation, Haggin Oaks Municipal Golf Course lies just outside the northern border.
Recommended for
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Old Suburbia"

Nothing special ever happens in South Land Park. Those who know it, probably live there. For other Sacramento residents, it is among the cluster of lower middle-class, largely residential neighborhoods that the city is so adamantly accustomed to. It is a skinny patch of land, fitted in between Interstate 5 and Sacramento Executive Airport. The population is a little under 25,000 people, most of whom have a white or asian background.

South Land Park’s residential quarters are nothing to brag about. It’s old suburbia, loaded with long one-story homes lying on large plots of land. Houses look relatively plain and weathered, most of which were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The neighborhood is saturated with quiet neighborhood blocks, leafy sidewalks and plenty of green open space. And front lawns are nicely manicured, giving way to long driveways. Household incomes range anywhere from $50,000 to $95,000, while those in the higher bracket live towards the southern end of the district.

South Land Park’s commercial area is abysmal. South Hills Shopping Center, Courtyard Shopping Center and Sutterville Shopping Center are the only sense of shopping spaces in the community. They provide a myriad of consumer needs (nail salons, delis, small markets and unnamed businesses/office spaces). Pony Express Elementary School, John Cabrillo Elementary and Sam Brannan Middle School are the only schools within the neighborhood limits. All have a passable reputation.

For recreation, William Land Municipal Golf Course, the Sacramento Zoo and Sacramento City College all straddle the northern border. On the other side of Highway 5, you can find Lake Greenhaven. The large body of water is a popular recreational spot among locals. It offers everything from picnic areas, to miles of hiking trails, to beautiful views of the lake. But all in all, you won’t be too ecstatic with the neighborhood’s lowly reputation.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Just now

"Trendy Sacramento neighborhood"

Nestled in between downtown Sacramento and Interstate 80, Midtown is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city. Although it is largely residential, most residents consider it the heart of music, art and culture. Its wide range of boutique businesses, fine restaurants and popular nightlife make it one of the best neighborhoods in Sacramento for young adults.

The neighborhood itself is pretty perplexing. One minute you feel like you’re in the hustle and bustle of downtown, while two blocks down you’re heavy in suburban Sacramento. Here the streets are densely packed and organized in grid-like formation. Trees, Victorian homes and old apartment buildings all line the orderly streets of Midtown. Moreover, upscale lofts seem to be popping up all over the neighborhood. The community is also very walkable. The area is blanketed with bike lanes, trails and wide sidewalks. For those looking to live in the neighborhood, there is a wide range of ethnicities and household incomes. Midtown is also home to the largest gay community in Sacramento. Also, Sutter General Hospital straddles the eastern border.

The commercial district is the reason for the neighborhood’s popularity. Its array of eclectic restaurants, bars, music venues and boutique businesses make it the beating heart of Sacramento. The area is typically buzzing with window shoppers and foodies on weeknights and weekends. During the winter, trees are lighted up for the holidays giving the community a warm neighborhood feel.
Pros
  • Cool Atmosphere
  • Good Bars
  • Good Restaurants
Cons
  • Very Close to Capitol
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
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"The armpit of Sacramento"

There is very few redeeming qualities about Old North Sacramento. For one thing, the name is appropriate. The district reeks of old, shabby houses, rickety apartment buildings and decaying cars lodged around side yards. Those that live in the neighborhood are overwhelmingly undereducated. Most residents here have less than or equal to a high school education. For all intense and purposes, this neighborhood screams lower-class, so stay away if you can.

Old North Sacramento makes up a skinny sliver of land, spanning less than one mile of terrain. Household incomes typically range from $20,000 to $40,000/year and those who rent have the option of paying anywhere from $400 to $800/month. Homeowners have paid upwards of $300,000 to own their home in this neighborhood, but that comes few and far between. Aesthetically speaking, chipped paint, ugly picket/chain linked fencing and dilapidated abandoned warehouses are all too common in this area. Homes are nothing to brag about either. Most residences seem to be eroding right before your very eyes.

There are a few positive things to take away from Old North Sacramento. For one, it is conveniently located to American River Parkway. The parkland is a popular recreational spot for those looking to exercise outdoors. More specifically, it offers 23 miles of walking/running/biking trails that quaintly follow along the Sacramento River. Other parks, such as Winner’s Circle Park and Triangle Park are much less attractive. Coincidentally, you won’t find any families playing with their kids here.

Old North Sacramento has no sense of nightlife and dining options are sparse. For those eating out, locals suggest Chandoe’s Tacos or Enotria Restaurant and Wine Bar. If those don’t satisfy you, consider driving over the Sacramento River to nearby downtown. There you can find everything from bars, to nightclubs to all your shopping needs.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
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"Reclusive, lower-class urban anonymity"

Formerly a rural parkland, Pocket is a middle-of-the-road suburban community located just off Interstate 5. Locals know it as the neighborhood next to Sacramento Executive Airport and nothing else. It is predominately residential, with plain one-story homes, quiet cold-a-sacs and perfectly landscaped front yards. Here, it seems people care more about their grass then the actually aesthetic appeal of their house fronts.

Nestled in the pocket (or bend) of Sacramento River, the neighborhood is home to a plethora of low middle-class families. It doesn’t offer much for the prospective resident, except a bit of old, urban anonymity. Those that live in the area are predominately mixed, but nonetheless a wide range of diverse backgrounds. Incomes typically range from a measly $30,000 to $60,000. Considering the case, you get what you pay for in this suburban wasteland.

Pocket’s commercial district is small, but it still exists. The neighborhood hosts a few scattered restaurants and local businesses (i.e. neighborhood cafes and quaint store fronts), but there doesn’t seem to be any main source of shopping area here. Those that know the neighborhood use it as a gas station stop or quick food source considering the array of fast food joints located right off the interstate. Locals typically venture out of the neighborhood for their commercial needs. However, the local watering hole, Moore Karaoke Bar, has become a hit with the community.

Pocket is largely family-friendly and provides a handful of grassy neighborhood parks. Bing Maloney Golf Course is a popular destination among locals, but only registers mild reviews on golfing websites. The biggest redeeming quality about the neighborhood is Lake Greenhaven. The area is a popular recreational spot with serene natural views and miles of hiking trails for the outdoor enthusiast.
Recommended for
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
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"Local government and quaint apartment complexes"

Alkali Flats is a triangularly shaped, well-groomed neighborhood located a mile north of downtown Sacramento. The district itself is clean and calm, stretching nine square blocks. Residential areas are saturated with modest, tree-covered apartment complexes while business development is blanketed with local government activity.

The neighborhood is somewhat family friendly. The area offers two neighborhood parks, Zapata Park and J. Neely Johnson Park. Both areas provide enough room for families to run around and play with their kids. Residences are made up of thin, quaint Victorian style homes, with small front yards and stairs inclining up to front porches. For those visiting, there are a few satisfactory hotels (such as a Best Western which is located on H Street and 11th Street). The community also has its fair share of commercial activity. There are a handful of mid-rise commercial, local government buildings and for-rent business offices. And with business development comes a host of large private parking lots surrounding each building. However, Alkali Flats boasts newly paved streets and wide sidewalks which give the community an alluring aesthetic appeal.

Not too far from the border is American River Parkway. In many local circles, the parkland is coined “the jewel” of Sacramento. It hosts more than 5 million visitors annually, providing fishing, boating and rafting opportunities for water recreation enthusiasts. Moreover, the parkway offers picnic sites, golfing, guided natural and historic tours as well as miles of hiking trails following the beautiful Sacramento River.

For your public transit needs, Sacramento Amtrak Station lies just outside the neighborhood to the west (located on H Street). The neighborhood hosts two bus lines. The F street line runs east/west while the 12th street line edges the eastern border and traverses a north/south path. Even an active railroad skirts the northeastern edge of the neighborhood. Street parking could become a hassle in this area, especially during commute hours. However, locals have an option to park in the various parking garages located throughout the community.
Pros
  • Affordable Homes
  • Close to Downtown
  • Good Transportation
Cons
  • A Bit Run Down Here and There
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"California State Capitol (but does it look like it?)"

Wedged in between Highway 16 and Highway 99, Downtown Sacramento is the beating heart of the city. It’s most notable for being California’s state capitol, an impressive feat for a less then stellar city. However, Downtown Sacramento has plenty to offer from its average-sized, mediocre reputation. It’s beautiful high-rise financial buildings, buzzing commercial real-estate and numerous dazzling restaurants and hotels make it a great place to live (near).

Currently, Downtown Sacramento is undergoing a major revitalization project with the addition of a new Sacramento Cit Hall and a facelift of K street’s commercial sector. Westfield Downtown Plaza is one of those K street commercial attractions. It acts as the city’s primary (outdoor) shopping mall, offering a host of large shops and department stores (i.e. Macy’s). K Street Mall functions as the city’s second shopping option, providing the usual chain restaurants/stores and smaller neighborhood boutiques. The district is also saturated with a handful of mid-rise hotels and mixed-use buildings with attached parking garages/back lots. Major hotels include the Hyatt Regency and the Sheraton Grand, which are both located near the State Capitol (in the heart of downtown).

Getting around is relatively easy. Main streets consist of wide, 3-lane drags organized in grid like formation. If you don’t have a car, don’t fret. Sacramento Regional Transit provides a light rail and bus service that seem to comb the main streets every 10-20 minutes. For longer travel, the historic Sacramento Valley Amtrak Station has been serving the city for decades and gives locals a reasonable option for out-of-town travel. And for tourists, ferries and small steam boats jaunt around the Sacramento River (which traverses the district’s western edge).

Downtown Sacramento offers a variety of activities and events. One of the most notable attractions is the Sacramento Convention Center Complex. The center hosts everything from music concerts, to cultural events to stand-up comedy. Close to the Convention Center is the Crest Theatre (10th and K Street) and an IMAX theater (13th and K Street). Downtown Sacramento also has an active nightlife. For the best location, head towards 15th Street and 12th Street. You can find a wide range of nightclubs and bars between these two mainstays.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Parking 1/5
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"Think 5th grade class trip"

Old Sacramento is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions (besides the state Capitol). It gives visitors a snapshot of what it’s like to live in the ol’ west. People here are dressed up in clothes reminiscent of the early 1800’s, role playing with visitors and offering a quick history lesson for those looking to learn. Others man the workshops, bars and neighborhood shops that define the area so well. However, there are some mixed feelings among the community about its existance. Some believe that the district is overly glamorized while others believe it unjustly profiteers off of an important time in the city’s history. But however way you want to look at it, visitors are taken a step back in time to remember such a thriving time in Central California. So for newly acquainted with Sacramento county, its definitely worth an afternoon of your time.

The neighborhood itself is a thin sliver of land that sits along the Azevedo River. It’s most notable for its quaint restaurants, gift shops, candy stores and neighborhood pubs (some charming, some tacky, some expensive). But for the most part, it offers the commoner a polished gold miner experience. It’s also a cozy, family friendly environment. There’s plenty of space for kids to run around, eat salt water taffy and interact with the many role playing characters situated along the tours. For parents, you have the option of visiting a few favorable museums and historic walking tours. For couples, you can pass the time by watching the ferries float majestically around the river or ride off into the sunset on a horse driven carriage. Tacky maybe, but its something you’ll probably tell your friends about.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"Nothing happens in McLane"

Nothing really happens in McLane. If you’re driving along Highway 180, you’ll think it’s another flat, dreary Fresno county neighborhood. The district is saturated with ragtag blocks, scattered parks and cheap one story homes. The area spans around 16 square miles with median household incomes ranging from $20,000 to $75,000. Those on the more affluent end usually settle down on the neighborhood’s easterly quadrant. This area offers a more polished version of McLane’s lower-class America.

McLane is distinctly residential, with its long unwelcoming streets, gritty house fronts and dusty patches of sidewalk. Deadening front lawns and unkempt front yards a re a rude awakening for locals and visitors alike. Residents here are firmly blue collar and largely mixed between white and hispanic backgrounds. Those of the minority tend to be of Asian or African American descent.

The district has an array of obscure attractions. First, is Fresno Yosemite International (coincidentally called FYI). The airport takes up a large portion of the neighborhood and offers civil-military, cargo and public air travel for the greater San Joaquin Valley area. Just adjacent to it is Fresno Airways Golf Course. However, the 18-hole course has garnered less than stellar reviews on golf course rating sites. Other areas of interest are McLane High School (just as tawdry as its town) and a veterinarians hospital that sits along the southwestern corner.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Home of the Fresno State Bulldogs (and nothing else)"

Located along Highway 41, Hoover is a largely blue-collar, family-friendly community with plain looking homes strung around a busy state university. The neighborhood itself is square shaped and stretches about 12 square miles. House prices vary greatly, ranging from $20,000 to $95,000 (according to the 2010 U.S. Census). And the majority of residents have a white or hispanic background

Hoover is mainly a safe residential district with median household incomes in the range of $37,000. The area all seems reminiscent of the neat 1950’s starter homes that you see on old television programs. There are trimmed lawns, perfect front yards and trees plotted carefully along the sidewalks. Homes are commonly one-story and arranged on long properties. Yet, over time these houses have seemed to age without the slightest bit of renovation. If you’re looking to live in the area, the more expensive homes lie on the northern end of the community.

Its biggest and quite frankly most appealing attraction is Fresno State University. The school is synonymous with athletics. Competing in the Western Athletics Conference, the Fresno State athletic program excels at 19 different varsity teams. The Bulldogs have earned two NCAA team championships over the past 15 years, its most recent coming in 2008 when the school’s baseball team won the college World Series. The school also offers a variety of student clubs, organizations and greek life for prospecting students to get excited about. Academically, the school lies in the middle of the pack when mixed in with the rest of California’s state school programs. In the 2011 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” Fresno State was ranked 37th among the best Master’s universities in the West. I guess that means something.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Middle-class America plainness"

Woodward Park is a model of suburban transparency. Nothing really special or exciting really happens here. There are no buzzing commercial areas or popular attractions. There’s no exciting buildings or important commerce taking place. In many ways, it offers the same Central California, strip mall monotony that is so recognizable in Fresno county. With little commercial activity and popular attractions, Woodward Park is nothing to look forward to.

Nestled along Highway 41, the district is a relatively small middle-of-the-road residential area. Main roads cut the neighborhood into small rectangular-like subsections. Side streets are typically wide and carve around the flat terrain. Among these orderly streets are modest one-story suburban homes with trees crowding each property. Houses are varied in price, jumbled between old and newer or somewhat revamped residences (but both typically have attached garages). If you stick with the nicer communities, they give you a glimpse of upper middle-class status (so stay north).

With so much wide open landscape, sometimes you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere (which can be both a good thing and a bad thing). Woodward Park shines a light on the positive. Located on the western edge , the grassland is a popular public dog park and outdoor sanctuary for suburban families. Visitors have the option of running/biking the trails, picnicking with the family or taking in the lovely scenic escape. Other areas of interest are Fort Washington Country Club, Liberty Elementary School and KFH Fresno Medical Center. The country club is average at best. It gives golfers a hilly terrain to work with and a beautiful landscape, but lacks a driving range and a decent clubhouse. The school and hospital are both run-of-the-mill, at least nothing to impress the incoming clientele.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"Newer homes are in the southeastern quarter - live there"

Roosevelt lies in the heart of Fresno county, nestled in between Highway 180 and Highway 99. The district is relatively flat with a wide range of incomes. Thus, making it a diverse cultural area with a varied population (of around 110,000). Residents here are largely hispanic while the minority consist of white, asian and mixed raced people. However, the population has a large degree of blue collar worker, usually commuting to the greater Fresno area.

The district, which is largely residential, is mixed between old and new neighborhoods. The newer (and quite frankly best place to live in this area) places are marked in the southeastern quarter of the district. These communities are complete with two story homes, quaint stucco house fronts, two car garages and beautiful tree lined streets. However, the rest of the neighborhood doesn’t seem to be catching up. These larger areas are blemished with older one story homes, short front lawns and small gates lining the perimeters of many properties.

Roosevelt’s commercial area is spread out through a myriad of small neighborhood shopping outlets. Typically located on busy corners or intersections, the shopping plazas have everything from department stores, to chain restaurants/stores, to fast food to delis. Yet, there is very little public transportation in this neighborhood with only a railroad stretching along Highway 99.

Fresno Pacific University is one of the communities main attractions among students. It is a Christian liberal arts institution offering bachelors degrees in 28 fields and four advanced degrees. Although, the school has little scholastic reputation outside of Fresno preventing it from thriving in a relatively down economy. Sunnyside Country Club and Village Green Country Club are lessor known attractions within the community, but suffer from poor online reviews.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"Safe, clean and crisp"

Nestled in between Highway 99 and Highway 41, Bullard is a relatively polished neighborhood, comprised of quaint streets and elegant house fronts. It is mostly a residential area stretching across 15 flat, square miles. The population has expanded to around 33,000, but the district is so new that the community continues to grow (most of them coming from a white or hispanic background).

There is little going on this secluded community. The neighborhood is far from any buzzing nightlife or immense downtown building structures. But it has many other neighborly options. For one thing, it’s safe. Crime is considerably low for the Fresno county with its quaint streets and new commerce. Elegant on- to two-story starter homes are often saturating the area with nicely groomed front lawns, trimmed bushes and leafy sidewalks. New homes are closely packed into tight rows, with many homes boasting attached two car garages. Most people are homeowners (and drive their cars to work) considering there are no apartment buildings or rental complexes. There are also a few small neighborhood parks sprinkled across the neighborhood for families to play.

Your shopping needs are met with a handful of small community shopping plazas. Of those include Northgate, Figarden and Sunset Square shopping centers which all host a myriad of small shops, department stores and chain restaurants.

For those looking to belong to a country club, San Joaquin Country Club and Fig Garden Golf Course are both marked on the north end of the neighborhood (just in front of the San Joaquin River and wetlands). And the district has only one school, Figarden Elementary School. Its online reviews (greatschools.org) give it a solid 4-out-of-5 stars.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Ski heaven"

Squaw Valley is a ski heaven and one of the biggest winter tourist destinations in all of California. It is located in the Sierra Nevada and is known for its beautiful slopes, world-class ski resorts and its stunning mountainous terrain. Ski season typically starts in late november and takes in approximately 600,000 skiers every year. But not only is it known for its bountiful snowfall each year, but Squaw Valley hosts a myriad of events, including film festivals, wine tasting and live music concerts.

Historically, Squaw Valley is the site of the 1960’s Winter Olympics. Since then, it has flourished as one of Lake Tahoe’s busiest family vacation spots. The city itself hosts over 4,000 acres of snowy/rocky terrain. For the skier, it provides 33 chair lifts sprinkled across slopes of all levels of difficulty. Those who venture to its quarters can also take part in its many ski and snowboard lessons and rent a myriad of wintery equipment. And in the summer, Squaw Valley offers a variety of summer activities and miles of steep hiking trails.

For those visiting, the city has plenty of slope side lodging with balconies opening up to magnificent views. The Village at Square Valley is one of the most popular and expensive lodging venues in the city. In a way, it is its own little neighborhood, complete with european style rental homes, quaint little stores and also offers a myriad of nice, charming restaurants. People flock here for weddings, work meetings and a countless number of other activities. For those looking for a cheaper accommodation, Squaw Valley Lodge sits at the base of Squaw Valley and is in close proximity to swimming, hiking, golf, rafting, shopping, dining and spa treatment. Both venues are a great place for a vacation with the family.
Pros
  • Remote environment
Cons
  • Fairly crowded
  • Very expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Fresno countys farmville"

Nestled in the center of San Joaquin Valley, Kingsburg is a small residential neighborhood surrounded by widespread agricultural farmland. It is predominately a white neighborhood (over 75%), with the rest of the residents coming from a hispanic or latino background. The city is also located on the banks of King River near Squaw Valley. Consequently, Kingsburg lies in close proximity to one of the top skiing towns in all of California.

The city has little commercial activity considering there is no legitimate downtown area. Highway 99 runs diagonally across the district and is conveniently flanked by Kingsburg Medical Center and a Kmart. The residential districts are saturated with old, single story homes, much of them look like 1950’s starter homes. Some of the northern neighborhoods subscribe to a pricier lifestyle, with elegant new homes and lavish front yards. Other homes also give way to nicely groomed lawns, leafy sidewalks and tree lined streets. It is a relatively quaint and safe city with plenty of open space farmland to go around for everyone.

Kingsburg's elementary school system is unique in that all students in Kindergarten through 8th grades will attend the same schools together. Washington Elementary serves as a Kindergarten only school. Then, children make their way through first grade, at Roosevelt Elementary, second and third grades, at Lincoln Elementary, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades at Ronald Reagan Elementary and seventh and eighth grades at Rafer Johnson Junior High School. And finally, most teenagers attend Kingsburg High School, which is separate from the elementary school system. It is quite a journey.

As for city wide events, Kingsburg Swedish Festival is one of the biggest and most popular festivals in the district. Taking place on the third weekend in May, the festival hosts a parade and a myriad of family activities and food vendors.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
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"A slow-paced, farmland-like city"

Although a rather small part of Fresno County, Clovis is a densely populated residential city complete with a wide selection of apartment buildings and mobile home parks. Median household incomes are pegged at around $60,000/year, which pits Clovis as a firm middle-class community. The racial makeup of the city is dominated by a white community (70%), while Hispanic homeowners constitute a large segment of the minority (25%).

The residential areas are a mix between open-spaced, one-story homes and newer/remodeled communities which have a polished middle-class feel. In both cases, the areas are family-friendly, safe and bursting with residential appeal. With space considered relatively cheap for California, houses stand on large plots of land. However, the lower income areas, which are rare, can sometimes be unpleasant with tattered wooden fences surrounding smaller plots of property and unkempt house fronts.

Sierra Vista Mall is the city’s predominate commercial hub. It is a mid-size shopping mall located on Clovis and Shaw Avenue. The shopping center is complete with restaurants, popular department stores, a movie theater and ample free parking. The Rodeo Plaza shopping center, which garners less local attention, is located just across the street.

Geographically speaking, the city is relatively flat with miles of open space. Highway 168 cuts diagonally across the city and connects it to neighboring Fresno. Sierra Bicentennial Park acts as Clovis’s youth sports recreational area. The grassy terrain boasts a handful of soccer pitches, baseball fields and playgrounds. For long distance travel, visitors have the option to use Fresno Yosemite International Airport. The airspace is located on the southern end of the city and also shares a border with a small golf course (Fresno Airways golf course). One of the city’s biggest perks is its proximity to Fresno State. The university, which has a highly regarded athletics program and a middle-of-the-road state education, lies just west of Clovis.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Moderate, middle-class city but lacks a substantial downtown area"

Fresno is a relatively modern metropolitan city, with a range of flat, middle-class neighborhoods and a less than stellar downtown community. It is the fifth largest city in all of California. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, is home to about 500,000 residents, the majority white and hispanic while other mixed races compose the rest of the population. Many locals enjoy the city’s family-friendly atmosphere and quiet residential streets.

With the city spanning about 112 square miles, neighborhoods are a collection of diverse residential quarters. But in recent years, there have been a stock of remodeled housing. Those who live closer to downtown enjoy quick access to the Community Regional Medical Center. You can even visit the city’s Chinatown. However, the neighborhood is by no means impressive and only encompasses six blocks of open-spaced, mixed commercial activity.

Like many run-of-the-mill commercial district’s, Fresno’s is no different. The city offers a handful of notable, medium-sized shopping areas, complete with a cluster of chain restaurants and plenty of parking. Time Square Shopping Center along West Shaw Avenue and North Marks Avenue is considered the main commercial hub. The shopping mall boasts a Target, a movie theater, a food market and a myriad of fast food restaurants. Manchester Shopping Center is the city’s second option, but many locals just come for the few large department stores (Sears, Macy’s, etc.) that sit on each end of the mall.

Public transportation is fairly reasonable option for those lacking a car. The city is served by the Fresno Area Express public transit system, a complete bus system in which traversing the greater Fresno metropolitan area. Moreover, a set of highways run through the Fresno county. Highway 99, 41,168 all run north/south while Highway 180 crosses the city east to west. For those looking for air travel, the Fresno Yosemite International Airport is located on the eastern edge of Fresno. Formerly called Fresno Air Terminal, the airport hosts a handful of major airline carriers and provides regularly scheduled commercial airline service.

Fresno has no shortage of schools. The city hosts about a dozen four-year institutions including the well-known California State University, Fresno. Fresno State is one of the leading recruiters in scholastic athletes and provides an above average state school education. High schools are even more in abundance with Clovis High School being the most notable and well liked (4 1/2-out-of-5-stars on greatschools.org).

The city’s most luxurious retreats are Sunnyside Country Club, San Joaquin Country Club and Riverside Municipal Golf Course. Each escape offers a beautiful 18-hole golf course and driving range. The city is also host to a couple dozen small parks, including a cluster of city parklands just along the southern edge.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"A well to do, residential heavy city"

Elk Grove is a somewhat well to do, family-friendly neighborhood. It’s modest upper middle-class appeal compounded with its substantial amount of repetitive starter homes make for a neat, picket-fenced community. While not having much of a downtown area, the city still prospers. Homes range anywhere from $150,000 to $400,000 (with a large stock of affordable rental homes) and incomes averaging around $85,000.

In the past few years, the city has been blossoming with new business and residents alike. Charming locally-owned restaurants and diverse shops are fitted within pockets of the community. More specifically, numerous specialty shops offering unique gifts and clothing are located in Elk Grove while multiple shopping centers provide some of the most popular chain stores. Those who commute to work, can hop on either Highway 99 or Interstate 5 (both of which run north and south). The Sacramento International Airport’s proximity is also a big attribute. The airport makes for accessible long distance travel and provides most of the major airline carriers.

Although it doesn’t have much of a dominant commercial hub, the area still has plenty to offer. One of the main highlights of Elk Grove is the secluded Valley Hi Country Club. The resort is the source for weddings, receptions and business meetings while providing everything from lodging to a challenging 18-hole golf course. The city is also served by a handful of medical facilities big and small. The most notable of the community hospitals is Kaiser Permanente and UC Davis Medical Center.

Elk Grove’s school district is highly recognized in California. Every year, the Elk Grove Unified School District, is associated with the top schools in the state with Laguna Creek High School leading the charge (rated 4-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org). Most locals agree that its success is one of the main reasons the city has become so prosperous.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Quaint, farm-like community"

Bounded by Madison Avenue to the north, San Juan Avenue to the west, American River to the south and Mississippi Bar to the east, Fair Oaks is a small, flat and middle-class community. It’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is under 30,000 residents (many of whom come from a white background). The area is a mix of semi-rural and suburban areas, with a handful of neighborhood shops plotted along busy streets.

The city is a friendly, all-encompassing community. During the first weekend of May, Fair Oaks hosts the annual Fair Oaks Spring Festival in Old Fair Oaks Village. The festival celebrates the community’s residents, hosting a Saturday parade and Sunday fun-run, which are both complimented by a myriad of children’s games and food vendors.

For year-round outdoor activities, the Northridge Country Club falls along the northwestern border, offering a beautiful 18-hole course. American River, Mississippi Bar and its accompanying parkland edge Fair Oak’s southeastern edges. The location is a hot spot among those looking to camp and explore by horseback. Moreover, the community provides an off-leash dog park in Phoenix Park.

Neighborhoods have a farm-like quality to them, considering all of the open space, long driveways and tall, wood paneled fencing surrounding many of its properties. The neighborhood homes are a mix between house levels. Newer and refurbished homes are commonly two-stories while older residences are stretched one-story houses. The streets are typically quaint and safe with nicely trimmed lawns and lush green properties.

Fair Oaks school system is part of the greater San Juan Unified School District. The city’s top school’s include Earl LeGette Elementary School, Will Rogers Middle School, Del Campo High School and Bella Vista High School.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Same old middle-of-the-road Sacramento county community"

Like many of the cities surrounding Sacramento, Rancho Cordova has little to no identity. Its reputation remains an open-spaced, middle-class community. It is much of the same white suburbia Sacramento county has to offer with quiet streets and secluded cul-de-sac’s often peppering the neighborhoods. The city is rather large in size, consisting of over 65,000 residents.

The residential neighborhoods within the city are nice, quaint communities with windy roads and clean sidewalks. Homes are usually charming in a sort of old-country kind of way. They are mostly one-story in height, with an attached garage making street parking a practical second option. From the street, you see many long lots giving way to large front lawns and leafy properties.

Commercial activity is somewhat sparse for the city’s recent expansion. The main shopping hub lies along Folsom Boulevard and calls itself Zinfandel Square Shopping Center. Shoppers that venture this way are met with chain restaurants, fast food and a Walmart Superstore. Moreover, Riverwood Shopping Center anchors the western border, but its relatively small and mostly offers the essentials.

The city does have its set of perks though. At the northern tip of the city lies American River Parkway. The grassy recreational area gives travelers a plethora of outdoor activities which include river rafting, picnicking and fishing. Many visitors use the trails that run along the American River as hiking and mountain biking trails. More conveniently is the plethora of smaller parks peppered throughout the community.

Rancho Cordova has a plethora of above average schools bolstering the area’s resume. Many of these schools are part of the greater Folsom Cordova Unified School District, which has a good reputation in itself. Of these include the more well-known Williamson Elementary School and Mitchell Middle School which share Dave Roberts Community Park. Then, many of these smaller schools filter into Cordova High School (gardnering a 4-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org).

The south and eastern edges of the city are not usually for public use. Along the southern edge of the city lies Mather Air Force Base, an old military base built during World War I and used in subsequent American wars. Directly east is its supporting military manufacturing plant, which helped assemble many of the area’s wartime aircrafts.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"Open-air, middle-class suburbia with close proximity to Folsom Lake"

Citrus Heights is not really known for much except for its typically bland, middle to lower-middle class suburbia. It’s part of the greater Sacramento metropolitan area makes it a conformable living environment while its proximity to Folsom Lake makes water sport enthusiasts envious. However, not much change has been bestowed upon the city of Citrus Heights. The population has topped out at around 82,000 residents, which according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, is close to the same as 2000‘s census. Neighborhoods are plotted on long, flat and curving roads with trees roughening the neighborhood. Many of these neighborhoods are outfitted with aged, one-story homes. However, a big perk is that each house seems to have plenty of front lawn space and an attached garage.

Citrus Heights also enjoys a range of commercial areas highlighting its retail and service industries. Sunrise Mall is the city’s largest commercial hub, offering over a hundred stores including major department stores (i.e. Macy’s, JC Penny and Sears). It is located in the heart of Citrus Heights (Sunrise Boulevard) while providing acres of public parking. Moreover, Sunrise Marketplace lies adjacent to the busy strip mall serving many chain restaurants and discount retail stores. Other small neighborhood markets sprout up around Auburn Boulevard and along Antelope Road. It seems each one hosts a couple eclectic shops, chain stores, a market, fast food and a deli.

The city is served by the San Juan Unified School District, boasting ten elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools within its vicinity. It’s community rating on greatschools.org within Citrus Heights is high (4-out-of-5 stars review).

Outdoor activities are relatively sparse in Citrus Heights. One of the few pastimes in the area is Sunrise Driving Range and Golf course. In addition, there are a plethora of parks and children’s playgrounds sprinkled throughout the community. Yet, many residents travel east to Folsom Lake for water skiing, fishing, hiking and bike riding.

Public transit is an unpopular option amongst locals considering most residents drive in to work. Highway 80 run diagonally across the city, cropping part of the northwestern corner. Many use this freeway to commute to nearby Sacramento. Also, Summer Hills Plaza shopping area sits next to the highway’s onramp, offering a small plaza with an adjoining fitness center.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Up-and-coming neighborhood"

Folsom is a small, flat and relatively sheltered city wedged between Folsom Lake to the north and Highway 50 to the south. It is a city ripe with expansion and new development. Within the last few years, a slow but steady influx of new homeowners has spruced up residential development and increased local business revenue. Consequently, these new residential neighborhoods are plotted against the city’s older, less appealing residences.

In many respects, the city of Folsom aspires to be a close-knit community, appealing to a newly pristine middle-class aesthetic. With this in mind, new districts are built around tall cement walls as if trying to characterize itself as a gated community. Within these walls are typically two-story homes with enough front yard space for children to play safely. Oddly enough, many older people choose to retire within the city’s limits, due to Folsom’s quiet, tree-lined streets and relatively low crime rate.

Folsom’s quaint, family-friendly appeal also carries over to its highly regarded school system. Folsom High School and Sandra Gallardo Elementary School are the main educational institutions within the city, while those looking for higher education head towards the lesser known Folsom Lake Community College.

Shopping needs are met by factory outlet stores and retail shops that abound Natoma Station and Broadstone Street respectively. Other window shoppers can head towards Sutter Street to find a cluster of antique shops and smaller eclectic stores. In the coming years the city plans to continue its relatively mild expansion by adding a handful of new retail stores, hotels and restaurants. Folsom also offers a small, but flourishing high-tech industry. Intel Corporation is one of the dozen well-known international companies enjoying a rapid growth in the last decade.

Folsom Lake Recreation Area is a popular, multi-use California State Park which spreads across 18,000 acres. The park offers visitors almost every outdoor activity imaginable: camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, water skiing, boating and swimming. If you get tired of the water, the area provides 120 miles of shoreline where eager adventurers can trek around the miles of woodsy hiking trails.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Californias underwhelming Capitol"

Sacramento is a bustling metropolitan area complete with a myriad of neighborhoods, a buzzing downtown area, a popular university state school and even a historic Gold Rush district. On top of that, it acts as California’s capitol and represents the great state’s government system. Within the city’s bounds hosts a diverse population of African Americans, White, Hispanic and Asian middle-class residents.

Downtown Sacramento is a blossoming community complete with tall, glass buildings and historic government establishments. Many of the towering buildings offer sweeping views of the Lake Greenhaven and the Sacramento River that meanders along the edge of the city. Downtown Sacramento is also flooded with different shopping, lodging and dining options for every occasion. The neighborhood is densely populated with the drive-in work force, with parking lots and mixed-use buildings clustering around many of its busier streets. Moreover, Mercy General Hospital, Sutter Memorial Hospital and the University of California Davis Medical Center are within a convenient 5 minute drive of the greater downtown area.

Old Sacramento is one of the longest standing attractions in the city. The neighborhood itself is located between the Sacramento River and Interstate 5. Hundreds of visitors flock to its many historical attractions and world-renowned museums hoping to relive the district’s own golden age, the California Gold Rush. Others head towards the neighborhood’s live theatre and dine at the many elegant, old-fashioned restaurants.

For those looking for outdoor recreational activities, the city hosts a plethora of convenient attractions. Golfers have a couple options, including the more notable Bing Maloney and William Land Municipal Golf Course. The Sacramento Zoo, which lies next to the William Land Golf Course, spreads across 14 acres and offers over 400 animal exhibits. For traveling, the city boasts its own airport (Sacramento Executive Airport, located on the city’s southern edge) for locals’ convenient long-distance travels.

California State University Sacramento, more commonly called Sacramento State, is a public university within the eastern quadrant of the city. The public school is the sixth largest in California and boasts around 24,000 enrolled undergraduate students. It’s 60 undergraduate degrees, 40 master’s programs and the school’s rich athletics department make it the 67th best University of the West (says Best Colleges). Many local high school students choose Sacramento City College as their next option, using it as a stepping stone to a better academic career.

Sacramento’s residential quarters are broken up into two parts: finely tuned neighborhoods closer to downtown and the district’s more open and older residences located on the outskirts of the city, but both offer their own set of perks. The neighborhoods that lie closer to downtown Sacramento are newer, two-story homes tightly packed into neat rows. They are closer to the busy lifestyles and buzzing commercial activity with elegant Victorian homes situated across the main drags of the community. Along the outlining districts of Sacramento are the area’s older, one-story homes plotted on large properties. The residences are commonly situated on long, orderly streets with green shrubbery popping up on every yard. Moreover, a plethora of scattered parks blanket the area, in which case many families congregate around these convenient escapes.

Drivers have many commuting options. Highway 5 runs north and south, while Highway 80 cuts across the northern half of Sacramento. Downtown Sacramento is littered with crisscrossing highways filtering out in every direction. Furthermore, the city offers an intricate bus system that traverses throughout the downtown area.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"The stepping stone to Napa Valley"

American Canyon is a flat, newly developed city anchoring the southern end of Napa county and boasts a wide range of attractions. Not only is it close to the beautiful vineyards and rolling hills that surround the area, but its most recent upper middle-class makeover has made it a great community to be a part of. With its revamped look comes a plethora of plethora of new and neatly groomed homes, two dozen recreational parks and a conveniently located outlet strip in the heart of the city.

In some respects, American Canyon acts as a gateway to the beautiful vineyards to the north. But locals don’t see it this way. They maintain that this city is one of the best that Napa County has to offer, accommodating an influx of suburban-wealthy families. With it comes plenty of commercial activity, which just so happens to be buzzing around Canyon Plaza and Canyon Corners. The two plazas act as the main shopping hubs for the city, conveniently located in the heart of American Canyon. If you’re hungry, the area also offers a myriad of chain-restaurants and fast food joints. If you just want one store to have everything you need, check out the Walmart Supercenter on the eastern side of Highway 29.

American Canyon continues to blossom with the recent opening of American Canyon High School. The city opened the new school in 2010 and boasts state-of-the-art facilities such as a Performing Arts Center and extensive athletic amenities. The adjoining neighborhood to the west is one of the nicest areas in all of American Canyon to which is now accommodating an influx of upper middle-class residents. Homes around here are packed in neat rows along windy streets. Many of them are new, two-story stucco houses with quaint yards and an attached garage. However, there are a few neighborhoods in the city where old, one-story homes still exist. These communities tend to be randomly sprinkled around American Canyon Community Park. Furthermore, the city provides two mobile home quarters, American Canyon Mobile Home Park and Fairgrounds Mobile Estates and a large number of apartment buildings.

The school system in American Canyon is on the upswing with many of the elementary schools claiming 4-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org. However, Donaldson Way Elementary looks aesthetically unappealing with its grim lawns and shabby facilities. Children and young teenagers, always seem to venture to the nearby skate park.

Napa County Airport, which straddles the northern border, is one of the biggest perks the community has to offer. Moreover, major highways include Highway 12, which runs east and west, and Highway 29, which ventures north and south connecting many of the locals to the beautiful vineyards.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Napas outlet store haven"

Westwood is a firmly residential neighborhood plotted in the heart of Napa, California. It is a modest middle-class community with a population around 7,000, and mostly split between white and hispanic residents. The neighborhood is largely family-friendly with its clean streets and flat landscape. But don’t expect anything too thrilling in this laid back community.

At a glance, the district is a bit of suburban anonymity, with pleasant, one-story homes, quaint yards and plenty of open space. More specifically, Westwood offers an assortment of homes in the area, which range from $60,000-$110,000. Most houses are old, but soundly refurbished in recent years to keep up with Napa’s tranquil reputation. Moreover, residences stand on a large plot of land with significant room for both a front and back yard (perfect for children to run around). And street parking is rather abundant due to the wide roads and large residential driveways.

Interstate 29 skirts the western edge of the neighborhood making transportation a convenient on-ramp away. The street next to it is conveniently called Factory Stores Drive, considering the plethora of outlet stores and cheap shops that line the strip. Like many of its kind, the outlet plaza hosts a variety of quick chinese restaurants and fast food places. More conveniently, the area offers plenty of store front parking.

Westwood Hills Park is one of the district’s most enticing outdoor attractions. The heavily wooded area lies on the the neighborhood’s northern boundary, offering everything from picnic tables to a couple miles of hiking trails to a children’s nature library. Westwood Elementary School also lies within its borders but test scores are a bit underwhelming for Napa’s standards. And finally, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church is one of the few and most notable religious centers in Westwood.
Pros
  • cheap outlet malls
Cons
  • middle-class anonymity
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
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"Tourist mecca for all things wine"

There’s something quaint and easy-going about the city of Napa. The hilly geography is picturesque, giving off a sense of calmness and serenity that only Napa can give you. It is also one of the premier travel destinations in all of California, marked by its luxurious wine tours, beautiful vineyards and old-fashioned resorts. Those who visit almost always come back for more.

Napa is a tourist mecca, bleeding of liquid gold. Hundreds of wineries and vineyards abound the area including the Kuleto Estate Winery and the Beaulieu Vineyard. During the day, the city offers an abundance of wine tours, fine restaurants, galleries, parks, golf courses and spas. Although many of these activities are overpriced, they are a chance for vacationers to spoil themselves. Another popular plan amongst the out-of-town crowd is to rent limousines to whisk them away to the many popular destinations Napa has to offer. If you wish to explore the beautiful landscape at a more reasonable price, the city is saturated with bike rental shops. Those who take advantage of luxury, can take their own tour and comb through the beautiful landcape of Napa, California. Or you can venture down the Napa River on rented rafts and kayaks. Visitors have plenty of lodging options as well, including hotels, popular inns and charming bed and breakfasts.

Residents boast a more laid back lifestyle and work-friendly environment than other more well-known and nearby cities such as Oakland and San Francisco. This might be due to the city’s relaxed and leisure reputation. For those that live in the area, the city is split between a white and hispanic population. The residential neighborhoods offer a variety of diverse housing options, but mostly consist of old homes, quaintly restored to keep its former low-key middle-class prestige. The area is wide-open and filled with tree-lined streets. Neighborhoods are typically safe, which makes for a good family-friendly environment.
Pros
  • Great food
  • Great wine
  • Plenty to do in the area
Cons
  • Expensive, even overpriced
  • Hot summers, rainy winters
  • Tourist-heavy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"Grungy neighborhood"

Sausal Creek is a thin strip of residential neighborhood squeezed in between Meadow Brook to the west and Fruitvale Avenue to the east. It walks the line between lower middle-class and lower-class, with the only helping cause is its residences grouped on the northern edge of the community and its proximity to Central Reservoir Recreation Area. Little commercial activity takes place within the district’s limits, except for a few neighborhood restaurants (Joshua’s Seafood, Pizza City, etc.), delis and urban shops. However, storefronts are mostly unwelcoming, with bars strewn across windows and sheltered gates enclosing after hour joints. For better shopping, locals travel to Tresle Glen or Cleveland Heights, which can be a good 10-15 minute drive.

Fruitvale Avenue acts as the main drag in the neighborhood. Here, the streets are lined with lush trees but are sometimes overlooked by a cluster of less than mediocre and sometimes unsafe apartment buildings. As you get into the side streets, residences are plotted on small and narrow parcels of land with shallow front gardens. Homes are small and boxy in shape, with many of them suffering from a lack of maintenance and upkeep while others just need a quick paint job. Driveways are also skinny, running along each houses side yards and into the back. Street parking comes easier along the side streets and is typically lined with old, dirty cars. However, those that drive to work have the convenience of Highway 580, which skirts the northern border of Sausal Creek.

Gladman Mental Health Rehabilitation Center is the most notable attraction in the area, lying smack dab in the middle of Sausal Creek. If you’re looking to spend time outdoors, WD Wood Park is a nice escape in the rather grungy district. The grassland which straddles the northern edge of Sausal Creek offers picnic tables and flat hiking trails. For better outdoor recreation, head towards Central Reservoir Recreation Area, which lies just outside the district’s borders.
Pros
  • Affordible Rents
  • Diversity
  • Variety of Homes
Cons
  • A Bit of Crime
  • A Bit Rundown Near Foothill
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"Central Reservoir and Recreation Spot, but nothing else"

Reservoir Hill and Meadow Brook are sections of the greater Reservoir Hill/Meadow Brook neighborhood. Reservoir Hill occupies the northernmost part of the district, which includes Central Reservoir Oakland Recreation Area and Reservoir. The natural terrain offers plenty of outdoor activities including kayaking, fishing and a plethora of hiking trails circling around the reservoir. If you travel further south, you will run into Meadow Brook, a densely populated neighborhood suffering from the usual ragtag, lower middle-class attributes. The district as a whole is a thin strip of land stretching about 12 square residential blocks (only a few gas stations and corner/liquor stores make up the commercial activity). It is quite the melting pot of different ethnicities, predominately mixed with Asians, African Americans and Hispanics. Most locals are not well learned, harboring less than a high school education.

Reservoir Hill/Meadow Brook is a grim, seedy neighborhood. Houses are typically priced between $200,000-$300,000 in price, with rents averaging at $800/month. Homes are typically two-to-three bedrooms, but very rarely give off an inviting aesthetic appeal. Those who reside on the side streets have shallow driveways, ugly front lawns and rolling gates enclosing the yards. Barred windows and chipped paint are no stranger to these house fronts. Public property is much of the same. Old and rusty cars line the streets of the neighborhood, while ugly telephone wires blemish the skyline. There is nothing too quaint about this district.

Reservoir Hill/Meadow Brook is a stringent churchgoing community, offering a few religious quarters within its borders. Most notably is Victory Baptist Church which notches the corner of East 21st Street and 24th Avenue. Oakland Unified School District is the only school in the area, but is less than satisfactory. The Manzanita Early Childhood Center is the neighborhoods only redeeming quality, which offers extended learning programs for children in preschool and elementary school. If you’re getting there by public transportation, bus routes run along 25th Avenue and East 21st Street.
Pros
  • Affordable
Cons
  • No Good Shopping
  • Old House Problems
  • Still Somewhat Dangerous
Recommended for
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"Id rather be elsewhere"

Clinton is a densely populated, lower-middle class neighborhood with very little to offer. There doesn’t seem to be much charm along the ragtag blocks, unflattering homes and old apartment buildings. It’s only saving grace is the cheap rents and the townhouse-like homes costing in the range of $400,000-$500,000. The district presents with a somewhat diverse population, most of whom come from an Asian background.

Like most Oakland communities, Clinton is organized in a grid-like formation with houses tightly stacked along narrow streets. Driveways are shallow and sometimes surrounded by cheap, ugly fencing while streets are wrinkled with cracks. Even house fronts could use a bit of a makeover with many homes built before the 1940s. It seems as if the houses are split between those with yards and those without yards. Nonetheless, they’re both nothing to brag about. The most redeeming quality of Clinton are its houses clustered around East 18th Street, which emit a sense of middle-class status.

Franklin Recreation Center sits along Foothill Boulevard and 10th Avenue, adjacent to Franklin Elementary School. The after school program offers a myriad of youth programs and family events. Those getting to the area by public transportation, can choose between East 15th and East 18th Streets.

Clinton runs rampant with crime related issues which include assaults, robberies and vandalism. It is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Oakland, which should be noted if you ever plan on visiting. But I wouldn’t.
Pros
  • Low Rents
  • Some Nice Homes
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Ugly Looking in Spots
Recommended for
  • Hipsters
  • Students
PhilpRoza
PhilpRoza I don't know where you get the notion that Clinton is one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in Oakland. Most of the crime in Oakland is focused East of High street, which is miles away.
Most of the crime in this neighborhood consists of petty theft and vandalism.
2yrs+
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
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"Grim, lower-class neighborhood with no hope in sight"

Highland Terrace encompasses East 21st Street to the south, 14th Avenue to the west, East 27th Street to the north and 23rd Avenue to the east. Between its borders though, is a lack of neighborly spirit. It is most notable for its highly dense (around 5,000 residents), lower-class status, crippled from a myriad of crime related afflictions. Residents are a mixed batch of ethnicities, but Asian families are among the majority of the population. The neighborhood offers a large chunk of unappealing apartment buildings mixed with gritty, affordable homes. Rents are cheap, but let’s just say you’re not paying for your safety. House fronts are typically suffering from a lack of maintenance with chipped off paint being the main culprit. Along the streets, you’ll see grungy sidewalks and rusty old cars. And worse yet, there seems to be no renovation plans in the near future.

The district is completely residential. Commercial activity is a bit of a drive from the community. Shoppers either venture to Crocker Highlands or drive into Cleveland Heights for all their dining needs. Public transportation is inconvenient, so most residents take their cars into work. However, street parking comes a bit easier, especially along the side streets.

The one perk about the community is the Manzanita Recreation Center. The community playground lies on the northeastern corner of Highland Terrace, offering plenty of open space for children to run around. Morgan Plaza is also a stretch of small grassy terrain, but the swings look like they haven’t been played on for a long time.
Pros
  • Affordable Rents
  • Unusual Old Homes
Cons
  • Crime
  • Dirty
  • Unkept Homes and Yards
Recommended for
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
Just now

"Youll find no tuxedos here"

Tuxedo is one of those lost communities that no one ever ventures to. Those that do are only passing through to get to the Alameda County Medical Center. The district itself is small, lying just below Highway 580 and wedged in between 14th Avenue and 23rd Avenue. It is a predominately diverse community, attracting African American, Hispanic and Asian families.

The neighborhood is mostly residential, containing a cluster of raggedy apartment buildings and ugly residential homes. It is known for being a typically unsafe, lower middle-class neighborhood, suffering from gritty parking lots and scuffed sidewalks. Houses are blocky and uniform, standing on small lots with small front gardens. Many homes are one-story surrounded by ugly picket fences with chipped off paint. Side yards are usually taken up by narrow and sometimes grassy driveways. However, East 27th Street has the only respectable homes, in which residents actually care about the aesthetic appeal of their houses.

Central Resevoir is one of the biggest outdoor attractions in the area. It is located just east of Tuxedo’s quarters but offers plenty of recreational activity including fishing and kayaking. For children, Manzanita Recreation Center hosts a small playground, an outdoor basketball court and plenty of grassy space for kids to run around.

Street parking is also easy to come by, especially around these recreational areas. Many locals choose to drive to work, considering public transit foregoes this neighborhood.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Diverse
Cons
  • Crime
  • Ugly Cars
Recommended for
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
Just now

"A mix of nice homes and ragtag blocks"

Oakmore is a small, triangularly shaped neighborhood tucked away in the Oakland hills. It is a relatively inviting residential neighborhood, bounded by Park Boulevard, Highway 13 and Lincoln Avenue. The district is somewhat uncharacteristic of the average Oakland community, isolated by many windy roads, rolling hills and neatly groomed front lawns. Residents are predominately white, middle-class residents while Asian and African American families make up a small percentage of the population.

Oakmore seems to be split between high-priced homes to the north and a handful of ragtag blocks anchoring the southernmost end of the neighborhood. Of these homes to the north, many are perched on a hillside, offering refreshing views of the Oakland skyline. Many of them are charming two-story homes, giving way to considerably narrow streets that climb steep inclines.

As you travel south, the neighborhood mixes in a handful of smaller homes and ragtag blocks. It’s almost a crapshoot to have a neighbor keeping with the relatively nice aesthetic appeal the area is trying to cultivate. While some homes are bordered with charming picket fences, others are surrounded by bushy, unkempt shrubbery. However, most of the neighborhood is lined with leafy sidewalks.

Looking to unwind, Dimond Canyon Park, a lengthy wooden open space that edges the western border. The outdoor recreational grassland offers plenty of open space to go hiking or mountain biking.

Public transportation is rare to almost non-existent considering the neighborhood’s relatively isolated location.
Pros
  • Nice Homes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
MarvinM
MarvinM This does not at all describe Oakmore or Oakmore Highlands! It is a well maintained area of Oakland with bus service running up and down its main ave. Nothing about this area has changed since the above report has was written except on the positive side of things. It is a great and safe area to live in with Piedmont on one side and Montclair just on the other side of hwy 13.
2yrs+
AlbertCamusing
AlbertCamusing MarvinM:

I agree completely. Ntrench has written a TRAVESTY. Lower Oakmore is an upper-middle class neighborhood of Craftsman, mid-century ranchers, and some smaller Mediterraneans and Tudors. Prices began in the upper 500,000 and move up to just under one million, the higher up the hill one goes.

Upper Oakmore, on the other hand, is an outright wealthy neighborhood of grander Tudors, Mediterraneans, some mid-century Ranchers and Moderns, and even some Post-Modern homes. Mansions, sprawling, woodsy estates, and lesser but still large, expensive homes jostle for space on the precipitous hillsides and summits. Prices begin at one million dollars and go well beyond multi-million for the largest (and oldest) estates, a number of which rival those found in Oakland's Montclair, Claremont Pines, Crocker Highlands, and Claremont Hills neighborhoods (some of the city's wealthy hillside neighborhoods) as they do anything in the Berkeley Hills or Piedmont.

Either ntrench confused Fruitvale with lower Oakmore, or he just didn't even bother to do his basic neighborhood research, Either way, his description indicates incompetence and sloppiness and is NOT HELPFUL to homebuyers interested in upscale, distinctive properties outside of the McMansion suburbs.
2yrs+
GaryS2
GaryS2 It's unfortunate that ntrench didn't visit the Oakmore neighborhood before writing his review, his frequent references to "ragtag" homes does not represent the Oakmore neighborhood we live in and have loved for nearly 20 years. And the hipster criteria of a cafe or cutesy shop squeezed between every other home sounds more like a desire to live in the Mission. There's lots of nearby shopping, but will require getting off your duff and leaving the house.
Sep 03, 2016
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Only offers the middle-class basics"

Upper Dimond is a relatively hidden, rarely visited middle-class neighborhood nestled at the foot of the Oakland hills. It is a small district and does not have much to boast about. The district is organized with plain, straight streets, while homes are tightly packed along monotonous ragtag blocks. Driveways are commonly blemished with grass protruding through cracks. Homes that lie along the hillside have steps that climb up to front porches while neatly trimmed bushes fill the rest of the front yard. In extreme cases, garages sit at street level, unconnected from homes perched on steep ridges. But for the most part, homes gradually increase in quality and price the further north one travels.

There is little commercial activity in the district, only offering shops that serve essential goods and services. Shoppers typically venture to MacArthur Boulevard, which edges Upper Dimond’s southernmost border. The main commercial hub hosts a variety of chain restaurants, banks and small electronic stores. For your grocery shopping needs, the neighborhood Safeway is conveniently located on Fruitvale Avenue.

One of the bright spots in the community is Sequoia Elementary, which lies on Lincoln Avenue. The school comes highly recommended among the community and is given five stars on greatschools.org. Lions Pool at Dimond Park is one of the few outdoor attractions to the locals, offering a myriad of different activities and recreational events.

Public transit is fairly limited in the neighborhood, except for the bus line that traverses along MacArthur Blvd. However, crime is an ordinary occurrence on this street, so travelers beware.
Pros
  • Affordable Houses
  • Good Elementary School
Cons
  • A Bit of Crime
  • Old Home Problems
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
torianog
torianog I smell a snob.
Apr 23, 2018
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
Just now

"Dont bother"

Dimond District is a thin slice of residential area, stretching for about six neighborhood blocks. It sits along the northern side of Interstate 580, which has both its perks and its faults. For one, the freeway offers easy access for commuters and the like to get around the Bay Area. However, the district’s proximity to the noisy interstate can be quite frustrating.

To many Oakland residents, the Dimond District is something you’d likely pass over on the freeway without ever knowing it existed. Houses in this neighborhood are a bit middle to lower-middle class, with many older and rundown homes occupying the eastern side. The streets are unkempt, weeds and bushes are overgrown onto the sidewalks and yards are typically unmaintained and gritty. Some properties are even protected by ugly chain-linked or shoddy wood paneled fencing. For the most part, the rents are cheap, but you get what you pay for.

The only significant attraction that the Dimond District maintains is its small strip of commercial stores edging the northwestern border. The area offers a myriad of small shops, including a yoga place, a bookstore, an ice cream shop, a women’s workout facility and a Peet’s coffee. Underneath Interstate 580 is a somewhat convenient public parking lot which helps customers shopping the CVS pharmacy and a shopping center across the street.

The neighborhood is has its trouble with crime, but relatively normal to its neighboring districts.
Pros
  • Affordable Rents
  • Close to the Freeway
Cons
  • Dirty
  • Run Down
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
Just now

"Family friendly with a splash of Piedmonts upscale flavor"

Glenview is a modestly upscale, predominately white family neighborhood nestled in between the Dimond District and Trestle Glen. It offers a myriad of different sized homes which makes it a tough area to describe. Houses are priced at an average of $500,000, which closely resembles its bordering neighborhoods. The geography is a steady incline up into the beautiful Piedmont hills, but many say they don’t notice the transition--a compliment to Oakland’s Glenview. There the houses can get a bit larger, and consequently nicer. While homes built towards the freeway are older and decrease in price. But for the most part, attractive housing is hit or miss and varies street by street.

Park Boulevard acts as the main drag in Glenview. The road traverses north to south with two lanes traveling in each direction and divided by string of large trees. Italian restaurants, small shops and a market are clustered near the southern end of the street while the northern end offers a bunch of neat, two-story stucco houses.

Glenview’s other commercial hub lies on MacArthur Boulevard. However, this area is a bit less attractive providing a public storage facility, an auto repair shop, abandoned residences, unflattering apartment buildings and a small neighborhood market. However, Glenview is a rather safe neighborhood, with relatively no crime. Public transit is limited due to the area’s relatively reclusive location, but boasts quick access to Highway 580.
Pros
  • Affordable Housing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
akselolsen
akselolsen Actually, transit options are considerable. The freeways allow easy access on buses, too, with AC Transit offering several transbay routes to San Francisco. There is also good local service to downtown Oakland and beyond.
Apr 17, 2017
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Majestic family-friendly neighborhood"

Crocker Highland is a rather small community strung together with windy streets, grand homes and rolling hills. Many of its residents are white and affluent, with properties lying on large parcels of land. It is located just south of Piedmont and nestled in between Lakeshore, Trestle Glen and Glenview. In many ways, it is reminiscent of its ritzy neighbor to the north.

Crocker Highland is completely residential with a plethora of stunning two-story homes. In some respects, the area reminds you of a gated community. It boasts a fairly high average family income, upwards of $150,000/year. Locals usually drive either of their luxury sedans to work considering the neighborhood’s unreasonable proximity to public transportation. However, the district offers convenient access to Interstate 580, which connects the area with the greater Alameda county.

Many homes lie on a steep incline to which case large staircases scale the hillside up to front porches. Other homes are hidden among the hilly landscape and beautiful front gardens, something Oakland neighborhoods are not too familiar with.. It is a safe area with relatively no crime. Many of the families enjoy the proximity to Crocker Highlands Elementary, which gets high marks on school rating websites. If you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors, Davie Stadium offers a few tennis courts while Lake Merritt is just a five minute drive away.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Magnificently Beautiful Homes
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Convenient to Lake Merritt with a family friendly appeal"

Trestle Glen is not really known for much. Its close proximity to Lake Merritt and its reasonably priced homes makes it somewhat ideal for families of middle-class status. Technically speaking, Trestle Glen is bounded by Windsor Avenue to the west. Park Boulevard to the east, Lakeshore to the north and Highway 580 to the south. The area is almost exclusively a residential district except for the occasional random neighborhood business and a string of exquisite italian restaurants along Park Avenue.

The properties for each house are rather large, giving adequate space for families to play in their yards. The streets are windy, lawns are pristinely cut and homes are predominately two-stories, although prices vary from north to south (northern houses being more expensive). Those that lie on the hillside give way to elegant staircases that carve along the steep incline, climbing up to the front porch. Many of these homes seem to tower over those on the adjacent side (especially on Rosemount Road). Moreover, the area is filled with lush green sidewalks and elegantly sculpted bushes. Trestle Glen’s side streets are narrow, which may cause problems for street parking. Although, many locals boast two-car garages and enough driveway space to fit one or two more cars.

The neighborhood also offers a great school system which includes Edna Brewer Middle School and Crocker Highlands Elementary (the school technically lies just outside Trestle Glen). Many locals vouch for both schools’ relatively high marks and appeal amongst the community.
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Leafy Streets
Cons
  • Old Home Problems
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
Just now

"The more north...the better"

Lakeshore is predominately a pleasant middle-class community complete with rolling hills, chain restaurants and a neighborhood movie theatre. It is a small district squeezed in between Crocker Highlands to the east and Grand Lake to the west sharing many of the same characteristics--that is because it is organized with more expensive houses perched on the northernmost hillside while the cheaper residences lie towards southernly Interstate 580.

The district is largely residential. The homes are pretty, with lush green sidewalks, windy roads, tidy front lawns and trimmed bushes painting the rest of the community. As stated previously, the homes on the upper-echelon of the district could be considered upper-middle class with many of the homes built atop two car garages. As you walk up the hilly neighborhood, it seems each property has more space than the home before it. On many hilltop home fronts, you can get a great view of the Oakland skyline along with beautiful Lake Merritt (the city’s natural retreat). This area is also convenient to both to upscale Piedmont and busy downtown Oakland.

On Grand and Lakeshore Avenues, the streets are lined with chain businesses, complete with Starbucks, a Trader Joe’s and a Dominoes Pizza. Sprinkled in between, are a myriad of middle-of-the-road restaurants, wine bars and small businesses. Grand Lake Theater is one of the biggest attractions in the neighborhood edging the southern tip of Lakeshore. The grand theater boasts four large movie screens.
Pros
  • Great Views
  • Quiant Neighborhood
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
Just now

"A wide range of middle-class homes"

Grand Lake, which sits atop Highway 580, is a recluse among the more seedy neighborhoods Oakland is so accustomed to. The district itself borders Piedmont, and in many ways, maintains the same characteristics of the residential community. The roads are hilly, the driveways are narrow, the trees are bushy and the homes are a step-above Oakland’s norm.

The neighborhood is organized with housing prices in mind. Many of the hillside homes to the north are considerably more expensive than the residences closer to the freeway. The hilltop houses are typically two-to-three stories in size, with charming front lawns and beautifully landscaped steps climbing to the front porches. If you’re lucky, your home might give way to an impressive view of the Oakland community. In contrast, the older homes that lie to the south are boxy and tightly packed together. Moreover, adequate apartment buildings with small back porches pop up in odd locations. Many of which cluster around Santa Clara Avenue. On side streets, most of the roads are narrow, except for the main drags that edge the district’s perimeter. In most cases, street parking is a bit of an issue.

Grand Lake hosts a farmer’s market on Saturday mornings in the bottom corner of the neighborhood attracting many of the older residents. The event serves plenty of local organic produce, fresh samples and even entertains the crowds with live music. Morcom Ampitheater of Roses is a beautifully serene rose garden stretching two square blocks. It acts as a refuge from the bustling working life. The Grand Lake Theatre is also among the main attractions in the district boasting four large movie palaces.
Pros
  • Good Apartment
  • Great Rose Garden
  • Great Theater
Cons
  • Busy
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
Just now

"Hospital, nursing school and nothing else"

Tucked away next to Highway 580 and Highway 980, Pill Hill is a predominately lower-class African American residential neighborhood. It maintains a somewhat isolated feel, with run-down houses, plain-looking apartment buildings and small public parking lots peppered throughout the community. On many of the main drags, there are a handful of bottom floor retail stores and outlet shops which give locals a convenient option. However, many of the stores’ windows are lined with bars, which give the neighborhood a rather seedy quality.

One of the main attractions in the neighborhood is the well-known nursing school of Samuel Merritt University. Those who live within the vicinity have the option of housing in the moderately neat apartment buildings that lie adjacent to the school. Moreover, the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center anchors the northeastern corner of Pill Hill. Along Telegraph Avenue, there are a few more satellite hospital buildings, which serve many of the community’s medical needs.

Telegraph and Broadway Avenue cut through the heart of the neighborhood, offering a wide selection of goods and services including food marts, pizza places and delicatessens. The area also boasts a couple religious quarters including Augustine Episcopal and Temple Sinai. Houses along these strips are a bit nicer. They are commonly described as thin, two-story homes with shallow front yards. Street noise is a complaint among the locals especially with two highways edging the north and west borders. As you get into the the side streets of the neighborhood, many of the homes are old and unkempt, but the sidewalks are lined with lush trees and well-trimmed bushes.

Street parking is typically rare, especially around the nursing school. And even some of the neighborhood side streets are packed with parking on busy commuting hours. Public transportation is also scarce, with buses traversing Telegraph and Broadway Avenue somewhat infrequently.
Pros
  • Good Hospital
  • Good Religious Congregations
  • Low Rents
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Freeway Noise
  • Run Down Looking
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Below average Oakland neighborhood"

Mosswood maintains much of the same characteristics of its bordering neighbors--that is, small, flat, unkempt and poor. The district is relatively residential, with lower class families living in old, off-putting households. Many of the residences were built before the 1930’s and maintain that same aesthetic. Homes are long and thin, mostly lodged in between narrow driveways. Other houses boast an attached garage that fits underneath it. Currently, houses are selling in the $300,000-$400,000 range with rents being moderately cheaper than the surrounding communities.

The streets are lined with bushy trees and ugly phone wires obscuring the beautiful skyline. The district is made up of lower income families, evenly mixed between white, Asian and African American families.

If there’s anything to boast about in the neighborhood, its Mosswood Dog Park. The park is three square grassy blocks, offering a basketball and tennis court, a small baseball field, a children’s recreational playground and a handful of picnic areas. On warm sunny days, the area fills up amongst the local community, but many homeless like to congregate here. Mosswood’s southeastern corner is filled with mid-rise, mixed use office buildings.

Telegraph Avenue also streaks through the neighborhood, hosting a myriad of slummy store fronts, diners and unattractive motels. Just off of the strip is Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center. The hospital anchors the east border, along with satellite medical centers and plenty of hospital parking. Crime is a huge concern in the community with most of the criminal acts taking the form as robberies, assaults and petty crime.

MacArthur Bart Station is a convenient public transit option serving the district to the greater Alameda county and Bay Area. However, most residents are car owners and street parking is of no concern.
Pros
  • Close to Temescal
Cons
  • Run Down Looking
  • Some Crime
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
Just now

"Plain, lower-middle class neighborhood"

Temescal is a relatively small neighborhood, with cheap rent and inexpensive shopping. Many of the residents will tell you that the district is on the upswing, with many new and diverse families moving into the community. One of the few perks of the community is its location, straddling the border of Berkeley and its convenient proximity to the many popular shops and restaurants that string along Telegraph, Shattuck and Claremont Avenue.

Telegraph Avenue is one of the main commercial strips that traverses the neighborhood. It stretches a couple miles north and ends four blocks shy of the UC Berkeley campus. Some UC Berkeley locals use the bus lines that frequent along the main street every 15-20 minutes. The area is also popular amongst the local community, hosting a myriad of Asian cuisines, including Ryo B.B.Q. House, Koryo Sushi, Kan Sai Restaurant and Casserole House Korean. All these inexpensive restaurants cluster within a block of Telegraph Avenue and 44th Street.

The neighborhood is mostly residential, with pockets of old homes with muted colors and thin two-story residents packed along quiet side streets. Many of the streets’ characteristics depict that of bushy trees, ugly fences enclosing unkempt front lawns and dusty cement parking lots. Rent is relatively affordable, but you get what you pay for. Garages are rare and driveways are shallow, so street parking can be a little bit more complicated. However, it is still a neighborhood so nothing you’d spend more than five minutes finding.

Oakland Technical Senior High School lies within the neighborhood’s borders, but maintains a less than stellar reputation. Many of the locals gravitate towards Temescal Plaza, which occupies the northwestern corner of the district. The cluster of shops offers everything from food chain stores to a handful of ethnic eateries.

For commuting options, Highway 24 curbs the western border of the neighborhood while two Bart transit lines fall just north and south of the district (MacArthur station to the south and Rockridge station to the north).
Pros
  • Affordable Rents
Cons
  • Crime
  • Old Buildings
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"An unfortunately overlooked community"

Shafter is one of those transition communities, offering lower-middle class housing but boasts a splash of the unique Berkeley culture that lies adjacent to it. It is distinctively reclusive, as if trying to distance itself from the Oakland-like drudgery that the district is so commonly used to. Specifically, the neighborhood is bounded by College Avenue to the west, 51st Street to the south and Highway 24 that curbs the southeastern corner.

The district straddles the border of Rockridge as well as the commercial hub known as College Street, sharing in its many eclectic roots. The main drag boasts plenty of eccentric shops, restaurants, boutiques and hair salons for the many locals to enjoy. Its most notable destination is Oliveto’s Restaurant, a charming italian cuisine which so happens to be buzzing with nightlife every night. The neighborhood is also convenient to the UC Berkeley campus, famous Telegraph Avenue and the popular dive bars, restaurants and “Bear country” campus stores.

Shafter is mostly flat, quiet and residential. The buildings have relatively mild appeal, but can be quite affordable for students or blue collar workers. Rent is usually cheaper than its neighboring Rockridge, making up a mostly lower-middle class community. However, rents have largely increased considering an influx of UC Berkeley students over the years. Homes are built in tight, block-like formation, with land seeming to be at a premium. However, there is the occasional newly refurbished home with a petite, well-kept front yard. The rest of the community is saturated with two-story apartment buildings, crowded around bushy trees and telephone wires.

Parking seems to be no problem in this community. Locals have the luxury of having a one or two car garage attached to its residence. Also, Rockridge Bart is conveniently located under Highway 24, marking the best way to get around the Bay Area.
Pros
  • Excellent Public Transportation
  • Good Shopping
  • Great Dive Bars
Cons
  • Old Houses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Oakland's UC Berkeley mecca"

Rockridge is one of the most inviting districts in all of Oakland. It is said to be an extension of the Berkeley downtown community, mostly because it shares much of Broadway Street and its boutique shops and restaurants. The street itself cuts through the heart of Rockridge, acting as the central hub of the neighborhood’s commercial activity. The area boasts plenty of petite cafes, chic restaurants, wine bars and a Trader Joe’s.

The neighborhood is mostly what you would expect out of a college town. Young professionals and UC Berkeley students crowd the sidewalks and popular shops in the afternoons. At night, the community is buzzing with nightlife and foodies alike. And even during the holidays, the neighborhood is decorated with Christmas lights strewn across lamp posts appealing to the many outside visitors. The neighborhood also encompasses Claremont Country Club, offering a beautiful 18-hole golf course with tee time fees ranging from $40-50.

Rockridge Bart Station gives residents a convenient public transit option. Many of the locals swear by it, as if it was a lifeline considering public parking is hard to come by. For those commuting locally, the bus system carries many of its residents to and from class at UC Berkeley (10 minute bus drive from campus). And Highway 24 runs across the neighborhood, connecting the area to the greater Alameda county.

Houses are commonly two-stories and neatly stacked across the neighborhood. Front porches are steep, usually giving way to a set of staircases below it. The housing area is quaint and quiet, appealing to middle-class families, college administrators and older college students.

For the most part, this community is the best bet among Oakland neighborhoods.
Pros
  • Great Restaurants
  • Nice Shopping Area
  • Nice homes
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
JC15
JC15 Shares College Avenue NOT Broadway(never ever called Broadway STREET.) Has never been an "extension of Berkeley" ; it has always been its own district with its own shopping area. Not a student neighborhood either.
Why would you bother to comment on a place you know almost nothing about? Just curious.
2yrs+
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Middle class and close to everything"

residential with diverse, blue-collar families making up the majority of the population. Many of the residences are two-story stucco homes or old, mid-size apartment buildings with plain or blemished features. If you’re looking for nicer and more attractive homes, look towards the northern end of Adams Point.

Adams Point aesthetic appeal is somewhat of a work-in-progress. Many of the locals enjoy the tall palm trees and other bushy shrubbery that are peppered along the sidewalks. Locals take advantage of the abundant street parking considering many of the driveways are short and narrow.

For business, restaurants line Lake Merritt’s northern edge while ground floor retail shops cluster around Grand Avenue Street (just outside of Adams Point). The neighborhood is also conveniently located to Downtown Oakland and its public transit system. 12th Bart and 19th Street Bart Stations are within walking distance to the community while buses run along Broadway Street periodically.

Locals typically take advantage of the lakeside front and the many amenities that come with it. Joggers run around the narrow cement path that wraps around the lake, while others use the exercise equipment that lines the parkland. During the night, decorative lights are strewn across tall poles, illuminating the lakeside pasture. On the south end of Adams Point lies Children’s Fairyland, a small park that holds events for children.
Pros
  • Affordable Apartments
  • Diverse Community
  • The Lake
Cons
  • Over-Crowded
  • Ugly Apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
NateB
NateB "residential with diverse, blue-collar families making up the majority of the population". Umm, what decade are you living in? "locals enjoy the tall palm trees and other bushy shrubbery that are peppered along the sidewalks. " What palm trees? Serously, write about neighborhoods you have lived in, not ones you drive by.
2yrs+
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Just now

"Run-of-the-mill Oakland community"

Situated just south of Interstate 580, Bella Vista is a tiny, middle-class residential neighborhood rarely visited by the outside public. However, the neighborhood is not too aesthetically appealing. Streets are typically wrinkled with cracks, laws are typically unmaintained with bushes growing onto the sidewalks and a few palm trees strewing the neighborhood, as if trying to maintain a semblance of upscale character. Those who live within its borders are typically Asian, with a large set of Hispanics and African Americans rounding out the next significant population.

Bella Vista is a step up from the average Oakland district. Housing is relatively affordable, averaging in the mid $50,000 range. However, there are a string of old, unpolished homes that sprinkle the area.

Bella Vista elementary school lies in between 10th and 11th street, averaging marginal ranks among the community. Attached to it is Bella Vista park, one of the only grassy terrains the neighborhood has to offer. The small community park includes a kid’s playground, a small baseball field, public bathrooms and two outdoor basketball courts. For safety, the neighborhood is congested with speed bumps on almost every block. Moreover, the Alameda County Medical Center serves the local community, lying a block east of Bella Vista.

Commercial real-estate is situated within a 5-to-10 minute drive of Bella Vista. Many of the residents travel to Grand Lake for their shopping needs or trek around Lake Merritt and into the downtown district for fine dining and excitement.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Okay Elementary School
  • Quiet
Cons
  • No View
  • Some Crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
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"Home to Oakland's most exclusive resort"

Located on the northernmost tip of Oakland, Claremont is known for its primary attraction, the Claremont Hotel Club and Spa. The hotel is tucked away in the hilly streets of Oakland, but perched on the border of the Berkeley hillside. It features a historically majestic resort with views overlooking the beautiful San Francisco bay. The hotel boasts plenty of amenities for its clientele including larger than life banquet plazas, 279 rooms, three restaurants, a fitness center, tennis courts and three outdoor pools. The resort also hosts a myriad of special events, including weddings, holiday festivities and large business dinners.

Outside the hotel, lies a small, middle-class community with windy streets and quaint, leafy sidewalks. The neighborhood is considerably close to the UC Berkeley Campus, to which case hosts many of its administrators and teachers. In many ways, the district is more a part of the Berkeley hills than it is Oakland, fostering many of the same progressive characteristics and aesthetic appeal. Claremont Avenue is its most notable street, weaving its way down from the Oakland hills and cutting into Berkeley’s downtown community.

For those using public transit, Rockridge bart station also serves the neighborhood to the greater Alameda county. For those traveling by car, the neighborhood is convenient to Highway 24, which connects the area to greater downtown Oakland.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
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"Bland but conveniently located"

Located at the base of Lake Merritt and sandwiched between Lakeside and Chinatown, Civic Center is home to a plethora of bland government service buildings, public offices and a myriad of urban activity. It’s small and doesn’t offer its locals much of anything, except for the fleeting impression that Oakland has a security blanket. But not much of one.

The further away you travel from Lake Merritt, the more residential the area becomes. In recent years, mid-rise condominiums have been sprouting up in the neighborhood along with ground floor retail spaces. There are a few and lofty and well-maintained hotels and apartment buildings with great views of Oakland landscape. Those renting space are mostly low-income Asian families, which make up an overwhelming percent of the neighborhood’s transplanted population.

Many of the younger residents passing through the neighborhood are usually students attending Laney College. And for the working class, Civic Center bart stop gives them easy access to commute around the city.

Dining options are scarce. Those who work in the area typically travel to Chinatown, which conveniently straddles the neighborhood’s southern border. Nightlife options are also in short supply, with most of the bars and nightclubs catering to the urban crowd.

New drivers in the area can get a bit confused because of the wide one-way streets that the district is known for. Parking on these streets is plentiful though, even during commuter hours. However, most street parking spots are metered and parking garages can be a bit expensive.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"Oakland's pulse"

Downtown acts as the central business hub of all of Oakland. It has many of the qualities that an average-sized city has to offer while adding a spice of Oakland’s grungy reputation. However, with its proximity to Lake Merritt and its neighboring Lakeside community, Downtown Oakland has much to be thankful for.

The district is one of the busiest in the city and for good reason. It is saturated with a mixed assortment of apartment buildings, retail stores, towering office buildings and a cluster of smaller mixed-use historic buildings. On weekends, the neighborhood is buzzing with trendy nightlife and hungry restaurant goers. New clubs and bars have also been sprouting up in recent years attracting diverse crowds from different parts of the city.

For those commuting to work, the neighborhood is served by two bart stations,12th Street and 19th Street. Otherwise, commuters can hop on Interstate 980, which conveniently skirts the district’s southern border. Parking is typical of a busy downtown community, with street parking being a crapshoot and parking garages filling up before morning work hours.

Like most Oakland neighborhoods, the area hosts a large African American community, many of whom loiter the streets during the day. Crime is always something to look out for in the neighborhood, with public disturbance, petty crime and assaults fostering much public concern.
Pros
  • Good Business Community
  • Great Nightlife
  • Great Public Transportation
Cons
  • Crime
  • Not a Good Family Spot
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Eclectic mix of high-rise apartment buildings and commercial real-estate"

Lakeside is one of the most upscale neighborhoods that Oakland has to offer. It is located in the heart of the city, nestled in between Lake Merritt and Downtown Oakland. More specifically, the area encompasses 14th Street, Lakeside Drive and Webster Street The neighborhood is relatively clean-cut, busy and split evenly between residential quarters and commercial real-estate.

12th Street and 19th Street Bart Station lie just two blocks east of the neighborhood, feeding the out-of-town workforce with easy access to other parts of the Alameda district. There is also a rigorous bus system that loops around Lakeside Drive and 14th Street. Parking is a bit of a crapshoot in Lakeside. Although the neighborhood hosts a plethora of bulky public parking garages, free street parking and large sidewalks for the drive-in workforce.

Lakeside offers a plethora of well-groomed, newly built, three-story residential buildings, an abundance of mixed-use commercial facilities, multiple ground floor retail stores and a handful of historic high-rise apartment buildings. In recent years, housing developers have been chomping at the bit to develop new apartment skyscrapers, but the plan is the center of much controversy with Lakeside residents objecting to its size and relative mass.

The neighborhood has a relatively respectable school system. Lincoln Elementary School, Westlake Middle School and Oakland Technical High School all lie in its borders.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"Central but nothing much to brag about"

Chinatown is one of the most well-known neighborhoods in Oakland, mostly because of its worldly spirit and appeal to the pan-Asian community. It is an eclectic mix of small businesses and inexpensive residential housing. However, it’s nothing like it’s neighbor to the West (San Francisco Chinatown). For one, the streets are wide and typically empty (it’s no tourist hub). The only crowd that comes through routinely is during the busy lunch hours, where the downtown Oakland workforce swarms the hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants looking for cheap meals.

For those commuting to the area, the neighborhood is served by 12th Street and Lake Merritt Bart system. The district is nestled in between Lakeside and I-880, which grants locals easy access to the freeway and the greater Oakland neighborhoods.

Chinatown also offers a great deal of affordable shopping options. Many of which tend to be situated like open air markets that is so notably ingrained in Chinatown’s history. Of these shops, browsers can find everything from ceramics to fresh produce and from gaudy Chinese merchandise to a plethora of off-the-rack retail clothes. While walking along some of the main drags, the neighborhood offers some great traditional architecture reminiscent of Imperial China and exemplified in the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

For those looking to rent, look towards the west end of Chinatown. Apartment buildings are relatively newer and well-maintained. Moreover, these places are closer to the Chinatown mall and its cleaner neighboring shops. On the eastern end of Chinatown, most of the apartment buildings and houses are gritty and rundown while shops are commonly protected with barred windows.

The neighborhood also boasts three small parks for recreational activities, Harrison Square, Lincoln Park and Madison Park. Unfortunately, many homeless people flock towards the grassy terrain at night.
Pros
  • Good Location
  • Good Restuarants
  • Good Transportation
Cons
  • Noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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Editors Choice

"Oakland's great escape"

Everything that is noteworthy in Oakland, happens in the vicinity of Lake Merrit. The area is surrounded by downtown Oakland, Laney Community College, above average city neighborhoods and the restaurants that come with these adjacent districts. It is the town’s natural epicenter, giving people a quiet refuge from the bustling life and urban drudgery Oakland is so commonly known for.

During the early mornings and late afternoons, locals can be seen jogging/walking around the narrow 3-mile cement path that follows around the lake’s perimeter. Some use the few grassy knolls as their own stretching areas while others utilize the built-in exercise equipment dotted around the lagoon.

On sunny days, many downtown Oakland workers take advantage of the beautiful landscape and eat on its many picnic tables and benches that fill the parkland. Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill is one of the best spots in the area. Customers can dine on a long wooden dock stretching out into the lake, to which they can watch the handful of rowboats paddling along the lagoon.

At night, Christmas lights are stretched across tall lampposts lining the cement path, which many locals have coined the “necklace of lights.” The lights illuminate the lagoon’s edges, making for romantic spots and a picturesque view.

The lake is also a great place for families to spend their time. Lake Merritt Park boasts the Children’s Fairyland, which offers puppet shows and other family friendly events.
Pros
  • Beautiful and Scenic
  • Great Jogging/Walkinsg Spot
  • Great Restaurants
Cons
  • Hard Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
Just now

"Stay away"

Merritt is one of the lessor known communities of Oakland and for good reason. The neighborhood is commonly known as the area encompassing 6th street, East 18th street, Lakeshore Avenue on Lake Merritt and East 10th Street. The locals are typically black or Asian, poor and commonly unpleasant.

The residential neighborhood lies on a flat terrain, developed in a grid-like formation. The district is lower-class and residential, made up of mostly dilapidated one-story homes and two-story apartment buildings. Front lawns are bordered by ugly chain-linked fences only holding in the overgrown shrubbery that covers half the building front. Driveways are narrow and cut into the back of the house, dividing each property from the one to its rear.

The Merritt business district doesn’t offer much, just a few Asian cuisine restaurants, Laundromats and gritty corner stores. Small businesses typically line its borders. They are protected with bars across the windows and double bolted doors. Storefronts and residential signs are typically covered with graffiti marks and unpleasant scribbles.

For those looking to spend time outside, Clinton Square Park is one of the only grassy areas in the neighborhood, but usually acts as a refuge to the homeless. Public transportation usually combs the borders of the Merritt district, connecting the locals to Lake Merritt Bart station and the greater east Oakland.

On the plus side, the area boasts five blocks of lake side terrain (half of which are currently under redevelopment). Laney College lies just west of Merritt and is one of the few perks of the neighborhood. Formerly a university high school, the now-college is the largest of the Peralta Community College District in the greater Alameda area.
Pros
  • Close to the Lake
  • Inexpensive Housing
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Terrible School
  • Ugly Buildings
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"A step above Oakland's norm"

Located on the eastern edge of Lake Merritt, Cleveland Heights is a step up from most Oakland communities. It is depicted as a quaint, working-class neighborhood with hilly roads winding up and down a small community. Referred to as China Hill, there is a noticeable abundance of Chinese people living in the old and colorful two-story homes and apartment buildings that are neatly stacked along the hillside.

The neighborhood is in a great location. It holds a bit of an isolated feel to its neighboring communities, but close enough to which residents can have an active life outside its quarters. After work, many residents are caught running around the trail of Lake Merritt and exercising in the small community parks and gardens that pepper the neighborhood.

Visitors are always thrown by the beautiful lake front views, quiet neighborhood streets and somewhat up-scale vibe it encompasses compared to the rest of Oakland’s districts. The more expensive homes lie on the northeastern edge of the neighborhood with two to even three story buildings centering on nicely manicured front lawns. The rest of the community is filled with two-story, moderately maintained, stucco apartment buildings.

Street parking is typically convenient, except on the narrow roads that weave around steep hills. Most residents have a garage or a narrow driveway. Shopping quarters are also plentiful around Cleveland Heights. For grocery needs, there is a shopping plaza on East 18th Street as well as some quick diners and pharmacies. Other residents head under the I-580 and into neighboring Lakeshore, which offers a larger selection of restaurants, bars and chic clothing stores.

Cleveland Elementary School and Bayhill High School are both conveniently located for the neighborhood’s residents offering a middle-of-the-road education. Crime is relatively low compared to the rest of Oakland. However, its proximity to Clinton and East Peralta to the south is always a concern for young families.
Pros
  • Close to Everything
  • Near Lake Merritt
  • Nice Older Homes
Cons
  • Old Home Problems
  • Poor Local Schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
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"Woodsy upscale community"

Forest Hill is a centrally located district with a peaceful community and pristine landscaping. In a way, it feels like a gated community with its beautiful homes, exquisite architecture and leafy sidewalks. The neighborhood attracts the upper class crowd, mostly populated with white or asian residents. The houses are moderately large and spaced apart, giving residents’ sizable yards for them to do their gardening (which is rare in San Francisco). As you enter, you are met with a beautiful fountain on a grassy knoll centering a roundabout. Just behind it, you’ll see a set of long staircases climbing the hillside to other windy streets above.

Forest Hill is a somewhat hilly neighborhood with few options for public transportation. Bus lines and Muni stations are not within district lines, but lie within walking distance. With the community so isolated, street parking is easy to come by. The long, windy roads and two car garages for every home make for ample parking. Neighborhood safety is also a non-issue. Crime is relatively rare with people only complaining of minor criminal acts.

For commercial needs, Forest Hill residents must travel west to Central Sunset given that no commercial activity exists except for a few neighborhood shops. Families with children can send their artistic tykes to the School of the Arts. Those seeking a little adventure can head east to Twin Peaks where they can hike to the hilltops and get a 360 degree view of San Francisco.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
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
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"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
ho
ho Reality: the Marina has a reputation for just the kind of racism made evident in this post. "Easy on the eyes" = "white" = good. Move to the Marina. The rest of the city will (appropriately) understand your true colors, and they will hold it against you.
4 days ago
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5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
Just now

"For the young and trendy"

Nob Hill is a middle to upper class neighborhood and home to many young urban professionals. It is situated in between Russian Hill (to the north) and the Tenderloin (to the south). The district is split between hilly residential blocks that saturate many of the side streets and commercial areas which cluster around Polk Street and Van Ness. The residential neighborhood is made up of three to four story Victorian style apartment buildings. Many of these upscale residents’ are home to trendy post graduates and young families. The commercial district is mainly situated on Van Ness, offering big brand name stores, car dealerships and mattress outlets.

Nob Hill is also known for its lively nightlife. On weekends, Polk Street is usually densely populated with recent college graduates and offers plenty of dive bars, cocktail lounges, clubs and sports taverns. In many ways, its reminiscent of the downtown college life the avid customers are so used to. During the day, many locals like buzzing around the corner coffee shops, upscale boutiques, chic restaurants and neighborhood book stores. Moreover, the commercial streets are always bustling with window shoppers and people stuffing their faces on restaurant patios.

For visitors, transportation rides up and down most roads. On weekdays, line 1 is full of young urban professionals commuting down to San Francisco’s financial district. While the 12 runs east and west. If you’re in between buses, taxis drive through the neighborhood all the time. Also, the cable car chimes through Nob Hill and up and down Hyde Street. Parking is almost impossible to come by unless its during the late morning or early afternoon. If it’s lodging you want, the area offers famous hotels that group around Huntington Park including the fancy Fairmont Hotel.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
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"Elevation worth trying"

Diamond Heights is a pristine, well-groomed neighborhood squeezed in between Noe Valley and Balboa Terrace. Those that live in the area have primarily a white, asian or African American background. The district takes on a different feel than most grid-like San Francisco neighborhoods with its streets curling along the hilly landscape. Some of the natural geography offers sweeping views of the neighboring districts. Moreover, houses are organized in clusters like separate apartment complexes on a college campus. Most of these houses were built in or around the 1960s, but have maintained a modern feel. They can range from $300,000 up to 1 million, but real estate has hit a lull over the last couple of years due to the economic downturn.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, the area hosts a few public parks fit with playgrounds and trails that loop around the neighborhood. Travel down the hillside to Diamond Heights Shopping Center on Diamond Heights Avenue. The shopping center accomodates a Safeway, Walgreens and other smaller commercial stores.

Weather can be somewhat of an issue with wind and fog climbing the steep hills. For those taking public transportation, the 35, 52 and 48 serve the area quite frequently with the nearest Bart transit stop at Glen Park Station.
Pros
  • Glen Canyon is close
Cons
  • hilly
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
Just now

"Great views, good neighborhood"

Anza Vista is a small plot of land, specifically about five square blocks between Geary Boulevard to the north and Turk Boulevard to the south. It is split between a residential and commercial neighborhood with some of the streets lined with lush green trees. Rents are rather expensive in this neighborhood with people paying upwards of $1200. Just as you’d imagine most of the residents are of upper middle class status, primarily of white or asian ethnicity.

For shoppers, the neighborhood offers a handful of chain stores including Best Buy and Payless Shoe Source. Moreover, there are plenty of big name grocery stores that lie within the district’s boundaries including a Trader Joe’s and a Safeway. Restaurants and fine dining are scarce, and consequently, most residents head outside the area. However, the area boasts KFH (Kaiser Foundation Hospital), one of the great hospitals in San Francisco with exceptional services and specialties.

While the neighborhood lies on a hillside, many of the high altitude locations offers sweeping views of downtown San Francisco. Bus lines come somewhat frequently while public parking is hit or miss. The houses look relatively boxy as if it was built during Picasso’s cubism period. But nonetheless, there is nothing too special about this area.
Pros
  • Close to Everything
  • Great Hospitals
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Small Houses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Upscale and lively"

Lower Pacific Heights is one of the many hilly, middle-class neighborhoods centrally located in San Francisco. It’s appeal lies in the tranquility and clean-cut residential image it conveys. The commercial streets, the biggest of which is Fillmore, are lined with a variety of shops, cafes and ethnic restaurants offering accessible options for locals. For shoppers, the neighborhood provides a crop fashion boutiques, wine shops and book stores. Due to this commercial development, real estate values has risen in the past few years.

Japantown is a popular destination among tourists. The two square blocks sit in the southeastern part of Lower Pacific Heights. It offers a couple public parking garages, gift shops and three Japanese themed shopping centers. The area can be a little gritty at times, but the cuisine is well worth the visit.

The neighborhood also offers plenty of hotspots for nightlife activities. One of the most popular among locals is the Wreck Room. The sports bar, visited mostly by yuppies and fashion forward post grads, provides customers with a wide range of bar games including pop and shot, darts and arcades.

In July, the Fillmore Jazz Festival is packed with people and provides plenty of live entertainment, ethnic food vendors, exhibits and plenty other attractions for locals. For those visiting, the Muni offers plenty of transportation options in all directions.
Pros
  • quiet
Cons
  • just above a bad area
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
Just now

"Events and public organizations"

Nestled in between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Marina, Fort Mason is one of the most scenic neighborhoods in all of San Francisco. It offers spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marina harbor and Alcatraz Island. Although the neighborhood is somewhat secluded, it serves as a tourist hot spot for its historical landmarks and buildings.

The area was formerly a United States Army facility from WWII, serving as coastal defense. At the time, it was considered a temporary wartime post, but it has held the test of time and is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation area with tens of preserved historical buildings.

Due to the geographic nature of the area, the neighborhood is split into two beautifully maintained campuses. One lies on the upper terrace of the area where it offers beautiful coastline and provides a large park where locals exercise along a path that sits along the ridge line. It also consists of small clusters of residential housing including officer barracks, youth hostels and public housing. The lower waterfront area is home to Fort Mason Center where it hosts non-profit organizations, conferences, farmer’s markets and a plethora of neighborhood festivals. In the summer months, Fort Mason Pavilion hosts a Bay Area Brew Festival and the Renegade Craft Fair. Those who want to eat out should head to Greens restaurant, a highly popular vegetarian destination for locals.

Since Fort Mason is relatively reclusive, public transportation is limited. The 45 runs east and west and then cuts down Columbus Street and into downtown San Francisco while the 41 line sweeps along Fort Mason’s south eastern border and runs along Van Ness.
Pros
  • Green space
  • Near the water
  • View of Bay
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
Just now

"Close to the SF Zoo"

Parkside Panhandle looks like its right out of a 1950‘s white American, middle-class suburb complete with young families and a great school system. Each house looks almost identical to the one next to it. Front lawns are neatly trimmed, houses are tightly packed into quaint little rows and small neighborhood shops where ice cream feels like it should be a nickle. All of this seems like a familiar suburban anonymity.

No special shops or grand commerce is located in the district. A basic commercial plaza serves the communities shopping needs. Chain fast food restaurants are paraded near the entrances of the plaza. After that, the area is dotted with a couple markets, small restaurants, a deli and a handful of small businesses. For those younger, two great schools serve the district, Lakeshore Alternative Elementary and Lowell High School.

There are a few perks that the neighborhood boasts. San Francisco zoo lays within close proximity to Parkside Panhandle, sharing its eastern border. To the north lies Lake Merced, an attractive location for joggers and byciclists. Public transportation is also convenient with lines 23 and 29 running east and west. For those commuters heading north, the L car heads downtown.

The neighborhood is relatively safe with criminal activity of little to no concern among the locals. However, the weather is. Since Parkside Panhandle lies close to the Pacific Ocean, it is victim to windy overcast conditions almost 2/3 of the year. But on days where the sun comes out, residents have the luxury of having the ocean so close.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Lively neighborhood for 20 somethings"

North Beach is one of the biggest tourist destinations in San Francisco. Called “Little Italy,” the neighborhood hosts a plethora of Italian restaurants, pizza shops and old-time delicatessens.

The neighborhood is home to a variety of popular destinations among tourists and locals. Washington Square park, 1x1 block with a backdrop of St. Peter’s and Paul Church, is where locals spend time playing picnic games and walking their dog. Coit Tower is another tourist hotspot offering a view of the Bay Bridge, The Golden Gate Bridge, North Beach, much of the East Bay and the beautiful skyline. Every June, the district hosts North Beach festival. The event offers an array of ethnic foods, where local artists and merchants can sell their goods. Broadway Street is one of the more seedier areas, lined with sleazy strip clubs and sex shops. Two comedy clubs, the Purple Onion and Cobb’s Comedy Club are big time venues where popular acts come from all of the country.

The nightlife scene is filled with 20 somethings walking up and down Green Street. Popular destinations like Grant and Green and Mojitos offer a sports bar theme with live music on weekends. Public transportation is plentiful and convenient. Three major bus lines (15, 30, 8x) runs north to south while 41 and 45 run east to west.
Pros
  • good lunch break street
  • great for walking
  • great night spots
  • great for walking/peoplewatching
  • great restaurants
Cons
  • Lots of tourists
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
Just now

"If you think the ghetto is bad..."

Visitacion Valley lies on the southern edge of San Francisco, bordered by San Mateo County to the south. It is mostly a residential, working class neighborhood where a large population rents their homes. In recent years, an influx of Chinese families have relocated to the neighborhood upping it from its lower class ranks. However, the town is still much forgotten from the greater San Francisco area. The Sunnydale Projects, formerly a military camp, is a gritty neighborhood, housing hundreds of low-income families. There is a high concentration of crime with break-ins, theft and assaults filling the police blotter. News reports indicate that victims of murders are sometimes found in the lakes and ponds of this area, a chilling truth that, consequently, tells of the neighborhood's reality.

Most of the commerce in the neighborhood is that of liquor stores, gas stations and ethnic family businesses. Transportation is few and far between, except for the T Third Street Muni Line and few buses that cross through the district.

Visitacion Valley hosts a couple perks in the neighborhood. Cow Palace, an indoor arena, lies on the southern edge of the district. It provides a myriad of events including concerts, rodeos, art expos, circus acts and monster truck shows. The Visitacion Valley street Fair promotes local artists, jewelers and craftsman for almost ten years. And finally, John McLaren Golf Course has 18-holes for the golfer with beautiful and widespread trails that course throughout the area.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
Just now

"Nothing special in the neighborhood"

Laurel Heights is a small, quaint neighborhood located just east of Inner Richmond. It is bordered by the University of San Francisco to the south. It carries much of the same flavor that the Mission does. Its saturated by Edwardian and Victorian homes in a middle class, suburban neighborhood. It’s also calm and somewhat secluded neighborhood with relatively safe streets. Many families live in the area, mostly of white or asian ethnicity. It is of relative middle to upper class neighborhood bliss.

For transportation, the Muni’s 1 line will take you all the way to the Financial District while the 33 runs north and south. Parking garages are sprouted throughout the area while street parking is mostly metered. But many of the shops offer storefront spaces. In some respects, its proximity to the Golden Gate park make the neighborhood a prime destination for families.

If people come to visit the neighborhood, it’s probably due to the fact that their visiting California Pacific Medical Center’s California Campus. The hospital has a great reputation for care and specialties. Another perk of the neighborhood is Roosevelt Middle School which lies within its borders. It had a good reputation among locals and is well funded by the community with a beautiful 3 story brick building.

The main shopping hub lies on California Street, but only offers the typical shopping center with a book store, cafe, deli and grocery store. Further down the block, shoppers can browse through more specialty shops, ethnic eateries and even a movie theatre.
Pros
  • Good Shopping for Moms
  • Great Restuarants
  • Great Schools
  • near Presidio
  • nearby hospitals
Cons
  • Smallish Homes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"Undergoing face lift"

Once a lower to middle class neighborhood set against an uninteresting backdrop, Sunnyside is now gone under a major identity change. In the midst of its face lift, young professionals and single family households are moving in and changing the area’s whole character. The neighborhood is home to a cluster of 60’s style duplexes and cottages lining the street. Quant front yards with neatly trimmed lawns add to its new clean-cut image.

Sunnyside’s location is quietly nestled between Interstate 280 and San Francisco City College. The neighborhood is served by Monterey Boulevard, the area’s main commercial hub. New grocery stores and shops are sprouting up in recent years. However, it still holds some of its traditional values with barbershops and local restaurants still in business.

As for transportation, Interstate 280 gives locals direct access to commuters to the city. Glen Park to the north and Balboa Park Bart Station to the south are both within ten minute walks. And public street parking is hit or miss.

Many families come here because the neighborhood offers a respectable school system and hopes to improve in years to come. Another perk in the area is Sunnyside recreation center, which provides a playground and a picnic area. Nightlife is a bit tame, but offers a myriad of ethnic eateries and a couple dive bars.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
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"Can't think of anything better"

Saint Francis is a small and affluent neighborhood comfily tucked away between West Portal to the north and Balboa Terrace to the south. It is completely residential, offering sizable estates, manicured front lawns and spaghetti roads winding around the natural landscape. On certain roads, bushes are groomed in perfect shapes and high trees line the streets in flawless rows. Continue up the neighborhood and you’ll see a handful of water fountains beautifully sculpted. The houses are beautifully constructed with some offering two or even three car garages. The narrow streets are mostly empty, with parking being a rare concern for visitors. For those commuting, Highway 1 conveniently clips the western edge of Saint Francis, offering quick access to downtown San Francisco. As you might think, most locals do not take public transportation, nor know it exists. But for those visiting, the 23-bus line lies within proximity and runs east and west.

The majority of Saint Francis Wood’s residents are either white or asian with single families. The neighborhood is relatively isolated and exudes a pleasant feeling. On occasion, residents can be seen walking their dogs or jogging up and down its windy streets. For recreation, the San Francisco Zoo lies within a few miles.

Although there are no close commercial zones in the area, locals can easily travel north into the Sunset District.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
DanielS3
DanielS3 The statement that there are no commercial zones in the area is not correct. West Portal, with its abundance of shops, restaurants and muni lines, is immediately adjacent to St. Francis Wood.
2yrs+
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
Just now

"You'll never even know it was there"

Once plagued by underdevelopment and a myriad of criminal activity, Oceanview has been a struggling middle-class community for decades. It is saturated with a handful of abandoned houses, squatting families and homeless roaming the streets. Currently, the 2/3 of the population is made up of African and Asian Americans while the rest is split between white and people who are two or more races. However, it was not until recently that an influx of Asian Americans settled in the area. Moreover, many young families have been moving in for bargain prices, hoping they’d get in before the neighborhood’s upward expansion.

Commercial real estate is somewhat improved around Plymouth and Broad with quaint shops and long-established businesses popping up in recent years. But other than a gas station and a few corner stores, most of the residents head elsewhere for their commercial needs.

Oceanview is located in the southern part of San Francisco with Interstate 280 curbs its south and eastern borders. For local transportation, the M and 54 Muni lines traverse the area. Balboa Bart station lies just northeastern of the neighborhood for those commuters traveling into downtown while others traveling south head to Daly City Bart Station (5 minute drive).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"Traffic noise and neatly arranged houses"

Lakeside is a skinny strip of land wedged between San Francisco State University and Merced Heights. It is mostly known for its middle class character, manicured front lawns bordered by white picket fences and neatly arranged homes. Some college students even rent homes here with its close proximity to the university. City noise can be quite disturbing for the locals with highway 1 running along the western border and busy Junipero Serra Boulevard edging the eastern border.

Although the neighborhood is quite clean and well-maintained, there’s little perks within the area. The district offers a neighborhood shopping center (Stonestown Galleria) which includes the essentials: a cafe, deli, grocery stores, big name shopping stores and fast food restaurants.

For public transportation, the community benefits from the M line that travels up and down 19th Avenue. As well as the K and T line that runs east and west. During the week, the Muni is usually packed with college students from San Francisco State University but many students exit on 19th and Mercedes Way (where many Lakeside residents hop on). However, the district offers plenty of street parking for the avid driver.

Many of the locals benefit from Harding Park Golf Course, which lies just west of the neighborhood. Rates are a bit expensive, but the course offers 18-holes.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
Just now

"Brave the wind and it will be worth it"

Located on the western edge of San Francisco, Ocean Beach stretches for almost 4 miles long. People come from all of San Francisco to go surfing, skim boarding or or simply dunking your head underwater. Others play with their kites or set up volleyball nets and enjoy the weather and the sand between their toes. Fisherman tend to prefer fishing from the rocks near the base of the Ocean Beach cliffs. If you’re looking to clean off, the beach offers outdoor showers and public restrooms on the north end.

The beach is free to enter with no parking fees within the vicinity. The beach also allows leashed dogs and bonfires. However, alcohol is not allowed on the premises.

On beautiful days, the beach is usually overcrowded but rightfully so considering people are trying to escape the hectic city life. The downside is the area is plagued by foggy weather and freezing ocean water. The beach-goers who do brave the waters do so in a wet suit. For those who get hungry from beach activities, the Cliff House lies just inland of the beach. The restaurant offers live music, a full bar and a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

For public transit needs, Ocean Beach is a bit under served. The 23 is the only bus line that runs alongside Ocean Beach. However, the neighborhood offers three public parking lots.
Pros
  • Many outdoor/water sports
  • Cool Night Spot for 20 Somethings
  • Good For Walking and Jogging
Cons
  • Always cold and foggy
  • Far from all interstates
  • Removed from the rest of San Francisco
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
kdarwin
kdarwin Most certainly not always foggy but usually on the cool side. Here are the tips for best weather.
1. Go on the up swing of a heat wave. On the downside of a heat wave low pressure settles in and draws in the fog.
2. Foggy months are June and july. Somewhat foggy in late may and august. The rest of the year is nearly as sunny as the rest of the bay area. Basically, don't go to the beach when everyone typically thinks of going to the beach.
3. Less windy in the morning or early afternoon.
2yrs+
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2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
Just now

"Cheap and up-and-coming neighborhood"

Mostly served as a landfill and outdated Navy shipyard, Hunters Point is not much of a place for people to spend their time. Most of the neighborhood consists of empty parking lots, abandoned yards and neglected houses. African Americans and Asian families make up most of the population. Those who do live in Hunters Point have to travel to Bayview for their shopping needs since the area lacks any sort of commercial real estate. Crime rates are expectedly above average. Public funding has deprived the area of growth in the past. However, plans of redevelopment for a new stadium and thousands of new residential homes are already in the books. It’s just a matter of time for this lower-class neighborhood to get a facelift. And it couldn’t come at a better time considering the expansion of San Francisco and its residents looking for cheap and up-and-coming neighborhoods. Hunters Point is located on the southeast tip, protruding out into the bay breaking from the normal coastline. It offers waterfront property with plenty of stunning views of the bay.

For now, the neighborhood enjoys its close proximity to Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers football team. Its public transportation consists of three Muni bus lines that serve the area (lines 19, 23 and 54). Others take Interstate 280 or Highway 101, both a couple blocks west of the neighborhood.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
Just now

"Undeveloped and Industrial"

Located on the southeastern edge of San Francisco, Central Waterfront’s residents pride themselves on their waterfront view. However, the neighborhood does not offer any beaches, just docks and industrialized warehouses. It is predominately a white lower to middle class neighborhood, with many families and moderately old singles living within their means.

Historically, the neighborhood served as an industrial hub and port for many blank ships. Today, the area has re-emerged into a rather aspiring community boasting new loft style condominiums and renovated Victorian houses. With these new changes, the neighborhood has enough potential to become a legitimately affluent San Francisco district. It already gets great weather (compared to most San Francisco districts) and its proximity to AT&T park (5 minute drive) make the neighborhood worth a second look. However, Central Waterfront still needs time. Cafes, delis, old style saloons, lounges doubling as bars, it’s proximity to AT&T park (5 minute drive) are all part of the neighborhood’s makeup. However, the commercial area is still a work in progress. Many of its delis, cafes and local watering holes are nothing to brag about. The neighborhood is somewhat under served by public transportation. Those who live in the area typically work downtown (buses 22 and 48 head north and south) or take the Caltrain down the San Francisco peninsula. The streets are mostly deserted so parking is relatively easy. Crime is of moderate concern in the area with disturbing the peace being the most likely culprit.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"Quaint Suburbia"

Central Sunset is a quiet, family friendly neighborhood. With that being said, the neighborhood is not really known for much else. Many of the houses are painted with bright colors, built with stucco and are of relative shape and size. Front yards are typically petite, with small fences or gardens lining the edges. Asians make up about half the community while the other is split between white and hispanic ethnicities. Weather, like most San Francisco neighborhoods, is a bit of an issue with more days being gloomy than sunny.

From north to south the district is bordered by Golden Gate Park and Lakeshore, respectively. Many of the locals congregate to Golden Gate park on sunny days. There they have an abundance of open space for picnicking, lawn games and disc golf. Sigmund Stern Grove Park is one of the few attractions in the neighborhood which hosts free concerts in the summer for picnickers. For nightlife, the locals have little to choose from while a crop of asian cuisines have sprouted up in recent years.

Central Sunset offers plenty of options for public transportation. The 21, 48 and 71 Muni lines all cut through the area quite frequently. On busy commute hours, the 71 is usually crowded as it runs to and from the Financial District. The N Judah and L Taraval also connect passengers to the downtown area. However, most San Franciscans are not too familiar with this area unless they live relatively close.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"Cultural blend of middle class people"

Central Richmond is a middle class family friendly neighborhood conveniently nestled in between Sea Cliff and Golden Gate Park. From a bird’s eye view, the district embodies the cookie cutter style neighborhood, with houses squeezed together in perfectly ordered rows leaving behind no extra space. As you walk through the area, you’ll see many houses painted in unconventional colors like green, red and blue. However, many residents pay upwards of a million dollars for these homes.

Although the neighborhood bleeds of plainness, there are plenty of perks that make Central Richmond an hot destination. On sunny days, lofty parts of the neighborhood has sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the woodsy Presidio. For families, the district is home to many prestigious schools, including George Washington High and Presidio Middle School. Geary Boulevard acts as the main commercial drag. It offers plenty of ethnic cuisines and fine dining experiences. Many residents also venture south to the Golden Gate Park where the large open space offers a myriad of outdoor activities, including 21 tennis courts, a basketball court, a 9-hole golf course and a disc golf course.

Parking is pretty painless with the area offering plenty of free street parking. While many homes and apartments have attached garages. Consequently, many residents own cars and drive into the city for work. Public transit comes relatively frequently for those who choose not to drive. The 1, 31 and 35 run east and west while the 5 treks up and down Fulton Street. The neighborhood is relatively safe, while most crime comes in the form of disturbing the peace and car-theft.
Pros
  • Close to many good areas
  • Good restaurants
  • More reasonable real estate
Cons
  • Less sunshine
  • Crowded
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
Just now

"49ers country"

Bayview Heights has a bit of everything. It lies adjacent to the San Francisco bay with sweeping views of the skyline. It is home to the relatively lower to middle class with both families and single residents living within its limits. Real estate continues to struggle, mainly due to a crime-happy neighborhood and sidewalks marred by ugly telephone wires.

Public transit offers few options. Interstate 101 runs along Bayview Heights to the west for convenient access to downtown San Francisco. The Muni bus system only provides limited access to the locals while the next best alternative is Glen Park’s Bart station--a whole two miles away. However, the city boasts plenty of opportunity for the international traveler. The San Francisco airport is only within 6 miles of the neighborhood.


The biggest attraction the neighborhood has to offer is Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers. The stadium is located on the western edge of the district, when, during football season, most of the games start at 1 p.m. Many of the residents profit from renting out portions of their driveway or front yards for tardy fans who don’t want to pay outrageous parking fees in the park. For other recreational ideas, Candlestick Point State Recreation Park is also a family friendly attraction. The park side paradise offers a flat, widespread landscape for picnickers and joggers to venture.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"

Sea Cliff is the perfect descriptive name for this small region that lays on the northwest end of San Francisco. The neighborhood is home to some of the most affluential residents in the city, living in enormous Spanish style estates or luxurious condominiums with eye popping views of the bay. The streets are clean, the natural landscape is well-groomed and the palm trees are plotted along the sidewalks as if it was part of Southern California. Crime is almost unheard of in this area. With houses guarded by lofty fences, its almost as if their living in a gated community.

As expected, the neighborhood is somewhat isolated from its surrounding community. Public transit rarely visits the area with only the 29-line cutting along 25th Avenue. This doesn’t seem like a problem considering most of the residents make use of their expensive cars and multi-car garages.

Sea Cliff is not just for show. The neighborhood also offers plenty of enthralling attractions. Lincoln Park Golf Course is an 18-hole course that flanks Sea Cliff to the north. Hiking trails carve along the steep hills and cliffs with beautiful views of the geographic landscape. For beachcombers, Sea Cliff offers a small secluded beach accessed by steep staircases.

The neighborhood doesn’t offer any restaurants or shops. Consequently, many of the residents must venture out of the area for food and supplies.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Green and clean"

Located at the northernmost tip of San Francisco, the Presidio serves as San Francisco’s entryway from Marin County. It is home to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and its hilly geography encompasses over 1,500 acres of parkland. The neighborhood borderes Sea Cliff, Inner Richmond, Laurel Heights, Pac Heights, Cow Hollow and the Marina, each of its edges soaking up a bit of its neighborly culture. The population is somewhat diverse, with white, african american and asian residents filling up most of the area.

Although the Presidio is one of the largest districts in San Francisco, it only houses a few thousand people. There is no real sense of community in this area, rather the district is made up of small unit housing clustered in different areas. Some houses are considered officer housing while others serve as maintenance buildings. In many of the empty units the the neighborhood hosts a myriad of non-profit and non-governmental organizations.

The area’s close proximity to the beach make the neighborhood a popular destination among tourists and San Francisco locals. The beachfronts provide pristine views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marine Headlands.

The Presidio has its fair share of history, where it served as the center of Defense for the western seaboard during WWII. Furthermore, the Walt Disney Family Museum presides on the northeastern end of the neighborhood. For more adventure, the area provides plenty of hiking trails along the sea cliffs and through clusters of wooden areas where people can ride bikes and walk their dogs. And finally, many locals come to enjoy the 18-hole golf course and bowling alley that lies just north of Inner Richmond.

Public transportation rarely visits the area. The community is served by only four bus lines. However, traffic is basically non-existent considering the community’s ample space and empty roads.
Pros
  • Good Jogging Area
  • Green Space
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Just now

"Neighborhood on the upswing"

Potrero Hill is a somewhat southeastern San Francisco residential neighborhood wedged in between Interstate 280 and Highway 101. It is a somewhat hilly area, rarely visited by the outside public but gets plenty of sunshine. The population is made of mostly white upper middle-class families and single residents who come home to escape from the rigors of busy city life. The community is relatively safe and quiet with wear houses clustered on the district’s borders, almost as if insulating it from neighboring areas.

The neighborhood houses many high-tech professionals considering its proximity to Soma and the Financial District. For those taking public transit, the Muni bus system (lines 19, 22 and 10) serves the neighborhood while the Muni Metro stops at Third Street.

One of Potrero Hill’s best features is at the hilltop, where it gives residents’ views of the San Francisco skyline. The hilltop also acts as a divider between two parts; the North Slope and the South Slope. The north slope is made up of higher income families with more attractive housing options, while the south slope is mostly occupied by public housing projects (which were constructed after WWII). Moreover, the area is dotted with historic buildings, many of them restored to preserve what’s left of the signature era. To the northern end, the neighborhood offers a bit of nightlife with bars, clubs and trendy restaurants lining 16th and 17th street. For shoppers, locals have a couple options with delis, cafes, a pizza parlor and a few grocery stores on 20th street.

Potrero Hill provides plenty of perks for its locals to enjoy. Bottom of the Hill is one of the biggest attractions in the neighborhood offering live music of the indie rock generation. The popular destination draws many young and trendy hipsters. The community also boasts one of the top college prep schools in the area in the Bay School of San Francisco. It’s three-story polished exterior was recently developed in 2005.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"A neighborhood in decline"

Located on the southernmost tip of San Francisco, Ingleside Heights is one of the steepest neighborhoods in the city. It is considered part of the greater Ingleside area, with brightly colored buildings tightly squeezed together. The area is home to a flock of lower-middle class families with a subset of diverse ethnicities.

For those looking to own homes, the neighborhood is not immune to the housing market substantial decline in recent years. With many of the houses constructed with the same layout as their neighbors, prices do not seem to vary.

Shopping is a bit run-of-the-mill in this neighborhood. The district only offers a few small shops and seedy neighborhood corner stores with bars on the windows. Consequently, crime is a little bit of a factor in this area, with car thefts and burglaries having the most cause for concern among locals. These factors make it easy for visitors to avoid this somewhat disreputable neighborhood.

Ingleside Heights is home to many college students because San Francisco State University lies just a short bus ride away. The district provides reasonable prices on temporary housing for students. For younger educational institutions, the area offers Jose Ortega Elementary. However, the school does not seem to have a great reputation.

For commuters, public transit consists of Balboa Park Station and Interstate 280, which both connect the neighborhood to the Financial District and the greater San Francisco area.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Expensive and trendy"

Cow Hollow is a peaceful environment filled with yuppies and young families. It is a leafy, well-maintained neighborhood made up of preserved Edwardian and Victorian houses. The residents are mainly upper to middle class with houses running in a few million dollars. For those renting, studio apartments are on the upswing and can run you a pretty penny. Cow Hollow also carries over some of its charm from neighborhood communities including the Marina to the north.

Mostly, the neighborhood is rather quiet with the exception of the Union Street’s commercial drag. The area is a shopper’s dream, comprised of fashion boutiques, cafes, motels, beauty spas, antique stores and other designer shops. At night, Union Street is buzzing with nightlife. It offers plenty of fine dining restaurants, trendy dive bars and expensive wine taverns. Bar None is one of the more fashion forward sports bars in the area, where yuppies come to play beer pong and chat with other yuppies.

During June, the district shuts down a couple blocks to host Union Street Fair. Bunches of local merchants come to sell their paintings, crafts and ornamentation. The event also serves an array of ethnic cuisines and offers plenty of live music. However, over the last couple of years, the fair has decreased in size due to the economic downturn.

For public transit needs, the 41 and 45 traverses Union Street and then heads down south to downtown San Francisco. For those who own their cars (which many do), street parking is rather abundant.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"Known for its Painted Ladies"

Alamo Square is a beautiful residential neighborhood made up of hundreds of stunning Victorian houses tightly packed into a modest size neighborhood. The neighborhood is friendlyl and saturated with middle-class families peppered with brightly colored mansions and small businesses. It is located in the Western Addition, bordered by Hayes Street to the south and Fultron Street to the north. The district also features a row of iconic Victorians eloquently called the “Painted Ladies.” You might recognize the the houses from the popular 80s television show “Full House.”

Alamo Square Park is one of the long-time favorite destinations for the local community. It is characterized by one of the best views of the city, overlooking much of the Golden Gate bridge and the tops of the high rise financial buildings. The park also offers a tennis court, a basketball court and a small playground.

Since the neighborhood’s total size is relatively small, there is less to do. Nightlife is mostly non-existent while fine dining experiences are just as hard to come by. However, one can travel just a couple more blocks to Haight street where one can find plenty of eclectic joints and upscale bars.

Four Muni lines serve the community in this neighborhood. The 5 and 21 travel east and west while lines 22 and 24 traverse the district north and south.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"Comfortable, affluent neighborhood"

Located just south of the Castro, Noe Valley is an attractive destination for affluent, single-families and their acceptance of different lifestyles. Most of the community is made up of young white professionals. The neighborhood is also a bit quiet with hills to the north separating the community from noisy San Francisco life.

Most of the residents in Noe Valley are living quite comfortably. Their Victorian houses’ two stories, backyards’ lush and their pets’ well-trained. Shopping is an expanding feature in this neighborhood. On most days, sidewalks are heavily congested with couples and families perusing the bookstores, coffee shops and old-fashioned delis that make the neighborhood so quaint and homey. On 24th Street, one can find a variety of ethnic restaurants, shoe shops, home furnishing boutiques and day spas lining the main shopping hub. If you look closely enough, you’ll see that the district has a phobia of chain restaurants and name brand stores.

At night, the locals have little to choose from. The neighborhood only offers the occasional irish pub and sleek wine bar.

For public transportation, many locals take advantage of the Muni and Bart which are stationed at 22nd street and 24th street, respectively. Traveling downtown can be heavily congested during commute hours with trains jam packed with working professionals. Crime is relatively scarce in the neighborhood.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"Modest neighborhood with sweeping hilltop views"

Bernal Heights is a modest San Francisco neighborhood tucked away in San Francisco’s southeastern quadrant. On the outside, the area is made up of brightly painted houses and store fronts with clean and quiet residential streets. Mostly due to the fact that the neighborhood is rarely visited by outsiders except for people passing along the freeways that make up its eastern (Highway 101) and southern (Interstate 280) borders.

Bernal Heights’ residents are mostly considered middle-class with young and open-minded families making up the bulk of it. The commercial hub is centered around Cortland Avenue, where small markets, cafes and barber shops cater to the neighborhood.

As for transportation, the 24th Street Bart is within walking distance to those living on the north end of the neighborhood. Yet, there are several Muni buses that traverse the district somewhat frequently. Public parking in the more commercial areas are busy and generally metered while residential parking tends to be a bit easier to come by.

Bernal Park is one of the prominent geographic features of the neighborhood. Known for its two massive radio towers, the grassy, dog-friendly parkland offers a 360 degree view of all of San Francisco. Hundreds of hikers seek refuge from the busy city bustle and comb the high trails.

Every Fall, the neighborhood hosts Fiest on the Hill, a family-friendly attraction set with a myriad of kid’s activities including a pumpkin patch, face painting booths and a petting zoo. On Saturday mornings, the district blocks off a part of Alemana Boulevard for the full day to host a farmer’s market where merchants sell locally grown produce. On Sundays, the Alemana lot turns over to flea market entrepreneurs where people bargain for vintage crafts, collectables and memorabilia.

Nightlife is somewhat typical for a run-of-the-mill neighborhood. Most locals keep to themselves while others frequent the few local dive bars that serve the community. Nightlife is mainly left to the trendy restaurants that line the commercial strips.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"Home of the eclectic trendsetters"

Nestled in between downtown San Francisco and Golden Gate park, Haight Ashbury is an area rich with history and culture. Fragments of the hippie era and the psychedelic mindset still remain in the neighborhood, but much of its culture has dissipated into a melting pot of indie hipsters and young professionals.

The neighborhood is split between Upper and Lower Haight. Rent can run you steep in Upper Haight mostly because the area is filled with renovated Victorian houses serving as an inviting aesthetic to the community. Cheaper rents tend to be in Lower Haight where the streets can run a little seedy. Most of the housing apartments and shops have bars on the windows and while exploring the neighborhood, its typical to come across the smell of marijuana and occasional rants of the homeless. But both areas are conveniently located near downtown, offering plenty of bus lines.

Many of the local businesses still thrive despite years of economic downturn in the area.
Dive bars and eclectic restaurants are the main nightlife attractions. Nickies is one of Lower Haight’s long time watering holes offering a full bar and great music. But newer and trendier bars are sprouting up all the time. The neighborhood is also home to a number of different clothing boutiques, book shops and funky record stores.

Every June, the district hosts the Haight Street Fair featuring delectable food booths, local bands and crafty vendors. The Fair has been a main attraction in the area for over 30 years.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Beach neighborhood with windy conditions"

Far from the busy hustle and tussle of downtown San Francisco, Outer Richmond is located in the north western corner of the city. It offers its residents a beautiful beach front view of the Pacific Ocean spanning four miles long. The area also boasts a clean and quiet neighborhood with a diverse stock of ethnic families (typically of Russian and Chinese descent).

The weather can be somewhat erratic with sunny and warm mornings turning into cold and foggy afternoons. At some points along the beach, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge with boats parked along the western seaboard.

Shopping and nightlife are rather sparse in this district. However, there are plenty of fine dining restaurants and ethnic eateries for visitors to enjoy. The Cliff House Bistro seems to be a major attraction for locals. The restaurant offers a casual but upscale atmosphere with a terrific seafood menu. On warm sunny days, the ocean is crowded with wet suited surfers and wake boarders. But for the rest of the days, only inspired beach combers and exercise enthusiasts take advantage of the beach.

The neighborhood also offers plenty of hilly bike trails and magnificent parks. Outer Richmond is a relatively safe community with plenty of empty roads for street parking.
Pros
  • Great parks nearby
  • Less expensive than other neighborhoods
  • Proximity to the beach
Cons
  • Chilly and foggy
  • Far removed
  • Not much nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"Trendy neighborhood with beachfront views"

Located in the south west corner of San Francisco, Outer Sunset is somewhat isolated from the rest of the city. However, the location is hard to beat considered it boasts waterfront views and housing within walking distance to the beach. The people who occupy the area are predominately white and middle class. But in recent years, more ethnic groups have been moving into the neighborhood.

Mostly a flat and urban suburb, the neighborhood is relatively quiet offering a great place to raise a family. Cafes are frequently visited among the locals while small businesses, sporting good stores and furniture boutiques are sprouting up all over the area.

Commuting into the city can take relatively long, especially if you work deep into the Financial District (around 40 minutes). But many locals use the Muni (N-Judah line) which provides a faster and more direct route. Public street parking is a bit easier to come by in this area with the exception of rush hour and weeknights.

For recreation, the San Francisco Zoo is one of the biggest attractions in the neighborhood. Elsewhere, you can find the Harding Park Municipal Golf Course conveniently located next to Lake Merced.

Since the neighborhood is located right next to the Pacific Ocean, wet-suited surfers frequent the beach on sunny days. Every once in a while you can get a glimpse of hang gliders launching themselves off the cliffs of Ocean Beach.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"Cheap family living"

Inner Richmond, a large block of residential area, houses mostly families, young professionals and retirees with a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities.

The weather can be somewhat fickle in this neighborhood. The mornings can start out clear, but once the afternoon hits, clouds start rolling in over the hills. Fortunately, the district borders Golden Gate Park, which can be a lively area for outdoor recreation. While you walk the windy trails of the park, you’ll come across 21 tennis courts, a disc golf course, basketball courts and a 9-hole golf course.

Rent is on the upswing, mostly because of remodeled stucco house fronts and new city development. Cute boutiques and appliance stores are quietly nestled in the area for residents to browse through. For dining out, the district offers plenty of cheap Chinese restaurants including King of Thai noodle house, a lively neighborhood sports bar with inexpensive food and drinks and sports on the television. The Other Place is a great neighborhood wine bar and Ireland’s 32 is a lively Irish pub that attracts many of the young and trendy locals. If you’re looking for a fun trivia night, head to The Bitter End on Tuesday nights.

Public transportation is a bit less frequent compared to areas closer to downtown. The buses are usually jammed pack almost at all times of the day. In response, most residents own cars and drive to work.
Pros
  • Good ethnic food
  • Less expensive
Cons
  • A little dirty
  • Foggy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
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"The Great Escape"

Golden Gate Park is one of the most beautiful locations in the city. The long strip of grassy terrain and redwoods spreads over 1,000 acres and extends over three miles long. It stretches from the Panhandle to the Pacific Ocean and boasts one of San Francisco’s oldest landmarks.

With plenty of peace and quiet, the Golden Gate Park is the ultimate getaway from the bustling streets of Downtown San Francisco. Every weekend, hundreds of people gather with their friends and family for picnics, lawn games and other outdoor activities. Bring a racket and play on any of the 21 tennis courts that line the eastern edge of the park or lug a golf bag along nine holes of golf at the Golden Gate Golf Course. Many San Francisco residents also use the windy trails as a running track or bicycle lane. The park is also home to Kezar stadium, where many high schools play league championships.

When the clouds come in, visitors swarm to the California Academy of Sciences and the De Young Museum. Between the two, guests can soak up a whole day of science and culture between the two.

Public transportation is a bit rare in this area. Muni buses only come so often and its distance from downtown and other lively neighborhoods can make traveling a long commute.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
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"A quiet residential neighborhood"

Known for being a quiet residential neighborhood, the Inner Sunset is home to a high socioeconomic class with many of its residents settling down and owning homes. The area also has a small town feeling with tightly packed homes and a relatively homogenous neighborhood. Many families love this district because of the brightly colored store fronts and buildings while others love it because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean (about three miles away).

The neighborhood also offers a terrific public school system, boasting a couple of well-funded high schools as well as the University of California, San Francisco. The university also offers both undergraduate and graduate courses. Because of its proximity, student housing tends to be very prevalent in the area.

You’d think with the university close by, there would be more bars to choose from, but unfortunately that’s not the case. The neighborhood only offers a few dive bars and a swanky old fashioned saloon. However, commercial stores (like Starbucks and Naoh’s Bagels), grocery stores, book store outlets and chic boutiques seem to be popping up everywhere. For dining out, the neighborhood offers a few sushi restaurants to pick from and two neighborhood taquerias. Unfortunately, parking can be a bit of a nuisance after business hours but many of the residents have their own garages.
Pros
  • restaurants
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"The heart and soul of San Francisco commerce"

A small plot of land that lies just south of Market Street and extends to the Bay Bridge, the Financial District is the heart and soul of the San Francisco business district. The area offers everything from high-rise buildings to street performers to a glimpse of the trolly as the operators park it over a circular rotating platform.

Home to a wide range of Fortune 500 companies, thousands of business men and women commute to the district each day. With many buildings have a sweeping view of the bay, its no wonder that it serves as the epicenter of many financial institutions.

The area also offers beautiful hotels for the out-of-towners with luxurious upscale lobbies and hotel bars. For your shopping needs, the Financial District features a myriad of department stores, retail shops and luxury goods. During the week, the Financial District is a hotspot for after hours drinks. Hundreds of people swarm the neighborhood wine bars and trendy restaurants to meet with coworkers and friends.

The Metreon calls the Financial District home. This attractive museum of modern art boasts a larger than life IMAX theatre and hundreds of wonderful exhibits.

If you’re commuting during working hours, Muni and Bart gets cramped. But because it is a thriving transportation hub, it gives people access to the East Bay and the greater San Francisco area. Bus routes run in all directions, from the 8X, 30 and 45 running north to south and the 7, 21 and 71 rolling up and down Market Street. Traffic is usually stop and go, with a few exceptions during the night.
Pros
  • Cute eateries
  • Great Transportation
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"A seedy and unsafe reputation"

The Tenderloin is centrally located in the city, but that’s about the best thing it has to offer. The neighborhood is rather seedy and unsafe, overrun with drug deals and crime. Assaults, shootings, muggings, vandalism and car thefts are all the norm. The people who live in the area are typically from a lower socioeconomic class, but the crowd can be diverse (Vietnamese and African American families). If you’re walking through the neighborhood, never do it at night. The Tenderloin is usually overflowing with homeless, disabled and mentally unstable people anxiously pandering the streets in search for loose change.

Cheap and fairly dilapidated apartment buildings and old rundown hotel buildings line Hyde Street with drug stores and laundromats nestled on almost every corner. The neighborhood also houses law students from the University of California Hastings College of Law. However, many students retreat back to their student buildings or spend their free time elsewhere.

The nightlife can be diverse with locals pouting in the dimly lit dive bars. However, if you head north to the “Tendernob” (where the borders of the Tenderloin and Nob Hill meet), there is a great bar scene with a hip, up-and-coming feel. If you’re hungry, there is also a couple inexpensive indian restaurants, thai cuisines and other international eateries.
Cons
  • unsafe
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"New Renovations, New Life"

Once the seedy underbelly of San Francisco, Hayes Valley has now re-emerged after the 1989 earthquake and offers plenty of attractive destinations. The neighborhood, now injected with new life, is complete with leafy sidewalks and renovated buildings. Just recently, a couple dozen new businesses have sprouted up in the area. Although its still not without its faults. Crime and drug problems still riddle the area. And there are still a few seedy side streets that the district hasn’t acknowledged yet.

Located at the western base of Market Street, Hayes Valley has a business friendly reputation with commercial buildings crammed into a small plot of land. However, the neighborhood is still comprised of a lower socioeconomic population. The neighborhood still lies on Market Street, but foot traffic of the busy downtown hustle and tussle dies down at this point. The district also plenty of symphonies, opera houses and art galleries for the culturally informed. For your shopping needs, the neighborhood is full of women’s footwear, trendy fashion boutiques and lush furniture stores.

There are a few upscale restaurants that lay between its borders. Moreover, the community offers a variety of wine bars, cocktail happy hours and cafes. Nightlife can vary bar by bar, but the crowd is usually of the hipster and techie type. Rickshaw stop is a great place to relax, with moderate drink prices with some groovy live music. But during the week, the neighborhood is relatively quiet.

Transportation comes easy in this area with two Muni stops and plenty of bus lines driving through the district. However, parking is rather sparse, especially because there are only a few public garages available and street parking is overcrowded.
Pros
  • Good restaurants
  • Lots of shops
Cons
  • Not very big
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"Sunny day escape"

Nestled in between the Castro and the Mission District, this neighborhood is home to one of the biggest sunny day attractions, Dolores Park. The popular hillside spot spans two blocks long and offers visitors a plethora of outdoor activities including one basketball court, a handful of tennis courts and a soccer field. Every summer weekend, hundreds of people flock to the area to enjoy the sun, listen to live music, barbeque with friends, walk their dogs and play a myriad of lawn games. The crowd usually consists of yuppies, neo-hipsters and old psychedelic townies. The view isn’t that bad either. At the top of the hill, you can see miles of beautiful San Francisco landscape. Dolores park also hosts a variety of festivals. During the Fourth of July, the district features a Mime Troupe performance for the whole park to enjoy.

Rent can vary wildly based on location and rent control. If you’re thirsty, the area is also saturated with eclectic restaurants and trendy bars. Getting around couldn’t be easier with the Muni line (J-Church) running along the west side of the park and buses crosshatching the neighborhood. The district also boasts two bart stations within its vicintiy (16th Street Station and 24th Street Station). Parking can be hit or miss with more spots opening up the further south you go.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"Home of the Tech Boom and the SF Giants"

Once home to the 2001 tech boom, South Beach remains one of San Francisco’s high density tech business areas. The neighborhood is relatively small, extending from the Bay Bridge to 3rd Street but offers great amenities including a waterfront location as well as South Beach Harbor.

During the week, the neighborhood is bustling with tech savvy entrepreneurial types and lively lunchtime eateries buzzing with business chatter. On sunny weekdays, joggers run along a long paved trail that skirts the edge of the Bay. Shopping is a bit hard to come by in this area though, only offering high end furniture and boutique book stores.

South Beach is also home to AT&T Park and the 2010 World Champion Giants. The area can get quite busy during baseball season as thousands of fans dressed in orange and black flock to the stadium during rush hour. If you didn’t get tickets to the game, there are a handful of enormous sports bars near the stadium with plasma televisions blanketing the walls. Two great locations adjacent to the stadium are Pete’s Tavern and Momo’s restaurant both on King Street.

Traffic in this neighborhood is a nightmare if you’re looking to commute over the Bay Bridge. You’re best bet is taking the Muni that travels along the edge of the Bay and up to Embarcadero. If you’re looking to live in the neighborhood and you’re wallets are deep, South Beach offers luxurious high rise condominiums with sweeping views of the Bay Bridge, Downtown and Dolores park.
Pros
  • Great jogging trails
  • Great views
  • Baseball stadium
Cons
  • Parking
  • Traffic
  • Some industrial areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"Bustling City Life with Night Clubs"

SOMA makes up one of the largest districts in San Francisco. The neighborhood is located directly under Market Street and stretches from Third Street to Eleventh Street. The area is saturated with huge warehouses, bare streets and gritty loft buildings.

SOMA is most notably known for its nightlife. On weekends, the neighborhood attracts the young, chic and urban professionals (as well as the occasional club rats) with two story night clubs. For your shopping needs, cruise through Westfield Mall. The three story shopping haven offers everything from Abecrombie and Finch to an IMAX movie theatre.

SOMA is best known for being a commercial neighborhood but has a bit of an inner city feel with some relatively low income housing. Residents typically live in loft apartments with open floor plans and windows that rise to the ceiling. During lunch hours, the tech crowd pours out into the Mission Bay area to enjoy some of the many ethnic restaurants the district has to offer.

Most of the neighborhood is relatively unkept except along commercial avenues. During the day, welfare recipients and poor immigrants fill some of the more rundown streets. Crimes are an everyday concern among locals with car break-ins and theft on the rise.

If you’re looking for easy transportation to all parts of San Francisco, Soma offers two underground Bart locations, a handful of Muni stops and buses interweaving the streets. For drivers, there’s an abundance of public parking lots.
Pros
  • Great food
  • Great art
  • Great nightlife
Cons
  • Some run-down areas
  • Maybe a little too trendy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
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"Victorian Houses and Wealthy Residents"

Boasting the highest altitude of any other San Francisco neighborhood, Russian Hill offers breathtaking views of the city at every direction. On clear days, you can get a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz Island. But because the hills are so steep, getting around on feet isn’t the best option. Parking is typically hard to come by, with streets being monitored by parking enforcement somewhat frequently. Luckily, bus lines and taxis run through the neighborhood quite frequently. Hop on the 41 or 45 running east to west or track down the 12 to head down to the Financial District. If you miss that, the cable car chimes up and down Hyde Street every half an hour or so.

Russian hill is relatively clean, upscale and expensive with a couple high rise apartment buildings and lofty hotels. The neighborhood is predominately occupied by the higher socioeconomic class with extravagant Victorian and Edwardian homes dazzling passers-by.

If you’re looking to be active, there’s a handful of tennis courts and a basketball court at the peak of Union Street. Or walk down windy Lombard Street, one of the most pivotal San Francisco attractions.

Nightlife in this area is pretty low key, but Russian Hill offers plenty of great restaurants from charming Italian themed eateries to an array of Asian cuisine spilling over from Chinatown. Nick’s Crispy Taco’s is one of the neighborhoods best bets for cheap mexican food and great deals on Taco Tuesdays.
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Nice Views
  • Good Weather
  • Gorgeous homes
  • Shopping
Cons
  • Expensive Rents
  • A Little Snooty
  • No In Neighborhood Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Safe Neighborhood with Ritzy Feel"

Boasting the highest altitude of any other San Francisco neighborhood, Russian Hill offers breathtaking views of the city at every direction. On clear days, you can get a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz Island. But because the hills are so steep, getting around on feet isn’t the best option. Parking is typically hard to come by, with streets being monitored by parking enforcement somewhat frequently. Luckily, bus lines and taxis run through the neighborhood quite frequently. Hop on the 41 or 45 running east to west or track down the 12 to head down to the Financial District. If you miss that, the cable car chimes up and down Hyde Street every half an hour or so.

Russian hill is relatively clean, upscale and expensive with a couple high rise apartment buildings and lofty hotels. The neighborhood is predominately occupied by the higher socioeconomic class with extravagant Victorian and Edwardian homes dazzling passers-by.

If you’re looking to be active, there’s a handful of tennis courts and a basketball court at the peak of Union Street. Or walk down windy Lombard Street, one of the most pivotal San Francisco attractions.

Nightlife in this area is pretty low key, but Russian Hill offers plenty of great restaurants from charming Italian themed eateries to an array of Asian cuisine spilling over from Chinatown. Nick’s Crispy Taco’s is one of the neighborhoods best bets for cheap mexican food and great deals on Taco Tuesdays.
Pros
  • Nice Victorians
  • Close to North Beach
Cons
  • A Little Expensive
  • Poor Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"Home of the Hipsters"

One of the largest neighborhoods in San Francisco, the Mission District is home to a bustling crowd of hipsters and offers the best Mexican food in the city. The area is mainly residential, but local businesses, little boutiques and eclectic thrift stores are peppered throughout the Mission.

Cruise through 15th and Valencia where there’s plenty of restaurants and trendy bars attracting the young and hip. The Elbow room is a popular destination among locals featuring a private upstairs dance club but can get crowded quickly on a Saturday night. If you’re looking for a trendy spot for dinner, head towards Bryant Street. The strip boasts an up and coming feel with a variety of dining choices.

The Mission is always buzzing with life. Mainly because the district always seems to have better weather than the rest of San Francisco. If you want to soak up some culture, the mission is home to many art exhibits, galleries and public art projects.
It’s also easy to get to, offering two Bart stations (16th Street Station and 24th Street Station) and a few more Muni stops. It gives the neighborhood quick access to downtown San Francisco. If you choose to drive, street parking can be a bit troublesome. The further south you get, the easier it is to come by.

If you choose to live here, the rent is relatively affordable and the neighborhood is an interesting mix of indie rockers, Latino families, artists and recent college graduates. Those who live in the area can tell you about Dolores Park. One of the few escapes from the city, the park offers a handful of tennis courts and a basketball court at its northwestern entrance. On nice warm days, hundreds of people flock to the area for leisure picnic activities and lawn games.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Community of young people
  • Good nightlife
  • Relatively affordable
Cons
  • Some dangerous blocks
  • A little dirty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"Historical government buildings aplenty"

Located inland of San Francisco’s financial district, Civic Center is home to large cultural and government institutions. The neighborhood is saturated with beautiful and old fashioned government architecture. It is also home to San Francisco’s city hall where it hosts a myriad of extravagant events (high school proms, weddings, parade for the 2010 World Series Champ San Francisco Giants). The area adjacent to City Hall offers lavish plazas with trees lining the walkways and statues situated on the far corners.

Civic Center is mostly a non-residential area, but offers housing for law students at the University of California, Hastings. The law school is very reputable, but students hardly spend their free time in the neighborhood. One of the more popular events in the area is its farmer’s market taking place every Wednesday and Sunday mornings. If you’re using public transportation, the neighborhood is also served by Civic Center Bart station, connecting its residents to the whole Bay Area.

Civic Center is an area busy with culture. Many popular destinations include San Francisco symphony, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the Orpheum Theatre. Moreover, plenty of festivals and parades pass through or serve as the ending post for these attractions, including the Gay Pride Festival and St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Visiting at night can be a bit of a problem. There’s not many options for dining out and the neighborhood sees its fair share of homeless people lurking in the streets. There are also a couple seedy side streets that you should avoid if you’re walking alone.
Pros
  • cultural sites
  • Huge open park
Cons
  • homeless population
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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Downtown is the beating heart of San Francisco. Its filled with upscale shopping, extravagant hotels and larger than life office buildings. During the day, the streets are buzzing with traffic, window shoppers and suited business people. It’s a great place to walk around and enjoy the massive buildings and exquisite architecture.

Upscale shopping boutiques and big name brand stores (like Macy’s, Apple Store, Sak’s Fifth Avenue) line Market Street. If you’re looking to unwind, grab a bite to eat and relax at Union Square. The 1x1 block gives out-of-towners a nice open space to enjoy the sun. On weekends, street performers fill the sidewalks offering some urban entertainment. The talent ranges from hip hop dancing to drum solos performed on empty buckets. If you walk a block off market, there are plenty of happy hour spots for people to grab drinks with coworkers. The crowd is mostly young, well-dressed and ready to blow off some steam.

There is always plenty to do in downtown San Francisco. The Museum of Modern Art is a great option for people who want to soak up some San Francisco culture. During the winter, most of the downtown area is elaborately decorated with Christmas ornamentations and people can enjoy a temporarily installed skating rink at Union Square.

Transportation is easy to come by. San Francisco offers a monorail system called the Muni (for short) which connects people to every part of the city. Commuters from the East Bay and down the San Francisco peninsula take Bart into the city. Downtown San Francisco is also bike friendly with many residents riding to and from work. Traffic is pretty congested in San Francisco, especially during work-commute hours so many people take Bart in from the East Bay or down into South San Francisco.
Pros
  • many stores
  • union square park
Cons
  • crowds
  • homeless population
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Tourist Mecca and Fresh Seafood"

Located at the northernmost tip of San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf is the tourist Mecca of San Francisco. The area features picturesque waterfront views, offers family friendly attractions and plots souvenir shops and food vendors all along the main drags (great seafood spots along Beach Street).

Pier 39 in itself is a touristy spot. There you can find a carousel for the kids, a video arcade, a small 3D movie theatre showing the latest animated films and the famous sea lions celebrating their 25th anniversary as a resident of the area. Every afternoon, street artists set up booths, equip themselves with painting tools (usually spray paint canisters) and paint futuristic backdrops of San Francisco. If you walk along the harbor, you can get a tantalizing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. You might want to dress warmly though because the ocean breeze is sure to pick up. If you want to get a better glimpse of the bay, Pier 39 offers boat tours around Alcatraz and Angel Island. Some boats even offer a tour of Alcatraz prison where people can visit the cells and have former residents recount their life experiences. Another tourist hotspot is Ghiradelli square. Known for it’s popular chocolate delicacies, the old chocolate factory has evolved to incorporate many other shops and restaurants worth trying.

Dining out is always a luxury in this neighborhood. Visitors have plenty of options ranging from fresh seafood to delectable bakeries but the prices aren’t cheap. A great restaurant for tourists is Boudin, a quick style bakery where there is an intricate conveyor belt system filled with bread loafs that hover over the customers.

Nightlife in this area is a bit scarce. However, Fiddler’s Green is a trendy two-story spot with a larger than life dance floor. The place is usually overcrowded on weekends, so get there early to secure yourself a spot and avoid the cover.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
2/5
Just now

"Organized Chaos with a Chinese flavor"

A relatively small but well populated area, Chinatown is one of the most favored tourist destinations in the city. During the day, the streets are overflowing with tourists and Chinese people shopping in open space markets with vendors selling everything from skinned chickens to gaudy merchandise. If you’re visiting, just weaving in and out of stores along Stockton Street is enough to immerse yourself within the quasi-Chinese culture.

Chinatown is a relatively cheap neighborhood to live in, but mostly because the buildings are dirty and weather damaged. The food here is a bit hit or miss. Many Chinese cuisines are cheap and offer a wide range of options, while others are much more touristy.

Transportation is a bit of an adventure. The Muni buses are usually overcrowded with impolite Chinese elders gnawing at the bit to jump on board before you. Driving can be a bit overwhelming too because the locals use the road as their own sidewalk.

Every Spring, the neighborhood celebrates Chinese new year, a festival that shuts down Chinatown’s main drag. Thousands of people flock to the parade to experience the most of what Chinese culture has to offer. The festival is even televised on local channels.
Pros
  • Cheap shopping
  • Great Chinese food
  • great for walking
Cons
  • a little dirty
  • not for the uptight
  • very, very crowded
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
4/5
Just now

"Open Minds Welcome"

The Castro is one of the most famous neighborhoods in San Francisco, mostly because of its vibrant diversity and open lifestyle. It is home to America’s largest LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) district where it’s not uncommon for people to be walking around the streets in skin tight, half naked outfits.

The area first became available to homosexual men in the 60s and 70s when hundreds of middle-class workers fled the area in search of suburban life leaving cheap Victorian style housing available at low rents. During the Summer of Love, the neighborhood became a platform for left-wing political and social activism. In commemoration for this pivotal era, the district celebrates the Gay Pride Parade, a festival in June that encourages people to accept LGBT lifestyles.

Today, the neighborhood has a variety of different activities and restaurants. On Sunday mornings, Lime greets you with bartenders dancing on bar stools and people taking advantage of bottomless mimosas. But if you want a table, be sure to make a reservation days in advance. If you’re looking for some culture, the Castro theatre is one of the biggest attractions, showing a plethora of iconic movies every month. Dining and nightlife are also a big plus in this neighborhood. Sushi bars and Mexican restaurants fill the neighborhood usually offering plenty of patio seating for customers to enjoy those warm days in the city. At night, the Castro is bustling with yuppies and hipsters with open minds taking in a lively mix of bars and trendy nightclubs.
Pros
  • Delicious eateries
  • Great bars
  • Tolerant community
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
Just now

"Better things to come"

Mission Bay is primed for improvement. Located in a small south eastern pocket of San Francisco, the neighborhood is full of open space and is yet to reach its full potential in business development. Currently, the neighborhood is overrun with industrial business, public parking lots and empty streets. In the small commercial district, the neighborhood boasts a university medical campus and a handful of bioengineering firms.

There’s a few residential buildings in this area, but the few that do are living moderately comfortable. Walking around Mission Bay, you’re sure to see some of the most beautiful and ritzy condominiums with breathtaking views of the neighborhood. For the few that live in the area, AT&T park is just a short walk to the north.

Although somewhat far from downtown, the Muni serves the communities medical students and industrial workers. Nightlife is very space, with a few dive bars sprinkled along Terry à François Boulevard. Mission Bay residents tend to spend their free time in more lively neighborhoods like the Mission or Soma. Criminal activity is somewhat frequent with car break-ins and theft becoming a big nuisance. But nonetheless, the neighborhood is mostly forgotten among the general public
Pros
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Not developed enough

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