Young San Franciscans can find homes throughout the city, but a number of neighborhoods cater particularly to recent college graduates and young professionals. Of note: as the technology companies of Silicon Valley increase their bus services from and to San Francisco, neighborhoods close to company bus routes and bus stops have soared in popularity. Who wants to climb a hilly street to the office bus stop with a load of laundry in hand for the cleaners on the office campus?
Mission: This mural-coated neighborhood in the southeastern section of the city is among the most desirable areas of San Francisco. The Mission district is one of the sunniest areas in notoriously foggy San Francisco and boasts fantastic access to downtown, public transit, and outdoor space—including famous Dolores Park. You can’t go wrong at any of the Mission’s many taquerias or cafes, like Four Barrel Coffee and Ike’s, its most famous sandwich shop. Nearby and trendy Hayes Valley, much of which has been recently renovated, boasts a charming shopping street, gorgeous streets and houses, and easy access to amenities.
Check out MissionLocal for an overview on goings-on in the area.
Marina: The Marina is located on the water along the northernmost edge of San Francisco. Like the Mission, the Marina is home to many of San Francisco’s recent grads. Its main streets are central to the city’s nightlife, which contributes to the area’s “fratty” reputation. The Marina’s views of the water are unparalleled and its surroundings, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Fields, and Fisherman’s Wharf, are excellent for enjoying the best of San Francisco. It is particularly known for its walkability and safety, and recently its nightlife has emerged as among the best the city has to offer.
South of Market: “SoMa” is as up-and-coming as they get. Many of its residents, and much of its architecture, arrived in the tech booms of the past decade. With a busy nightlife, a bit more of a commercial feel, and a truly unbeatable proximity to public transit, downtown, and many of the city’s greatest museums, SoMa will undoubtedly continue to draw its share of San Francisco’s young residents.
Nearby AT&T Park, home of the 2010 World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants, has also attracted a bevy of new restaurants and attractions to the area. With construction on the Central Subway underway, access to SoMa and surrounding neighborhoods will be getting even easier.
North Beach is one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Francisco. It is lovely, active, and, despite the tourists, a fantastic spot for 20-somethings. Its cafes, once home to beat writers like Jack Kerouac (head to City Lights Bookstore for more history), its restaurants and bars, full to the brim and spilling out into sidewalk seating, and its beautiful outdoor space (Washington Square Park fills up on any sunny weekend) make it a destination for residents and visitors alike. Public transit is easily accessible, but it’s just as tempting not to leave, especially when Grant Street’s nightlife gets going.