The most historic part of San Francisco is located in the northeast part of the city, between Market Street and the waterfront. Union Square, the Financial District, and much of the shopping and hotel options are located in this district. Nob Hill is another popular landmark, and is home to the famous San Francisco Cable Cars. Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 are the most well-known commercial fishing locations.
Russian Hill is a residential neighborhood where the crooked Lombard Street is located, San Francisco’s Little Italy is in the North Beach neighborhood, and Coit Tower can be found on Telegraph Hill. Chinatown, located in Russian Hill and North Beach, is the oldest Chinatown in the U.S. Some areas of San Francisco have seen significant redevelopment in the last few decades, especially the area south of Market.
Single-family homes are the most prevalent type of residential property, with 95,603 in total. Condos add another 46,320 units to the real estate market, and there are 18,964 multi-family homes. 4,901 apartments, just over 1,500 coop units, 218 townhomes, and another 18,663 residential properties of various other classifications are also located here. There are 5,461 commercial buildings, 5,345 buildings zoned for mixed use, 2,353 industrial structures, and 3,406 vacant lots.
About one-third of San Franciscans use public transportation on a daily basis. The San Francisco Municipal Railway operates light rail, subway transport, buses, cable cars, and the city’s iconic streetcars. The BART rapid transit system connects the city to East Bay via underwater tube, while Caltrain, another commuter rail line, takes riders to San Jose. The San Francisco Bay Ferry operates ferry services from Pier 39 to various destinations in Oakland, Alameda, and other cities. Large employers in Silicon Valley, including Google and Apple, provide private bus transportation for their San Francisco employees.
The San Francisco Unified School District oversees most public schools, though the State Board of Education handles some charter schools. Lowell High School, a magnet school, is the oldest public high school west of the Mississippi River. Students attend public schools based on assignment, not neighborhood, though almost one in every three students attends a private or parochial school. There are 300 preschool programs within the city, including for-profit, non-profit, and family child care providers. Every four-year-old child living in the city has universal access to preschool. Higher education opportunities abound with University of California San Francisco being the most prominent. UCSF is the only campus in the University of California system that’s dedicated exclusively to graduate programs in biomedical and health.
With one of the top performing medical schools in the country, San Francisco has no shortage of highly ranked hospitals. UCSF Medical Center is nationally ranked in 15 specialties and 9 pediatric specialties, while John Muir Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center are also nationally ranked in one specialty each.
The San Francisco Police Department was founded in 1849 and patrols the entire city except for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Presidio, and Ocean Beach, which are patrolled by the U.S. Park Police. According to 2015 FBI statistics, there were 6,710 reported violent crimes and 53,019 property crimes in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Opera, the second largest opera company on the continent, and the San Francisco Ballet are both internationally recognized organizations. The historic Fillmore came to fame in the ‘60s thanks to now-famous musical acts like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Led Zeppelin. The city has more than 220 parks maintained by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department.
Virtually any type of cuisine imaginable can be found in San Francisco. Top fine dining spots include Kokkari Estiatorio, with Greek food; Restaurant Gary Danko, a popular American restaurant; and Seven Hills, the top-rated Italian restaurant.
More casual options include Italian food at Molinari Delicatessen, seafood at the Codmother Fish & Chips, and Mexican at La Taqueria.