The iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Silicon Valley, beautiful waterfront towns, picturesque beaches, some of the world’s finest wine country, and cable cars – these are some of the things that the San Francisco Bay Area is known for.
It’s the perfect place for families to raise their children, for young professionals to find job opportunities, for entrepreneurs to start their businesses, and for retirees to enjoy their golden years.
If you’re considering moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, read on to learn more about this beautiful location’s neighborhoods and what they have to offer.
The History of San Francisco Bay
The original inhabitants of San Francisco Bay were the Ohlone, a group of indigenous peoples who lived in coastal California before European contact. It was on the 4th of November in 1769 when the first recorded European discovery of the Bay of San Francisco took place.
The Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà, unable to find the port of Monterey, CA, continued north and reached the summit of Sweeney Ridge, which is now marked as the place where he first saw the Bay of San Francisco.
The first European believed to have entered the Bay is the Spanish explorer Juan de Ayala, who passed through the Golden Gate on the 5th of August in 1775 aboard his ship, the San Carlos. The expedition’s cartographer, José de Cañizares, created the first map of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Best Neighborhoods to Live in San Francisco Bay
If you’re considering moving to or within San Francisco Bay, view neighborhoods we recommend below:
Northside offers a convenient residence to those looking for a neighborhood in San Francisco near UC Berkeley. It’s just a ten-minute walk to the main campus, and many of the university halls are located within Northside itself.
This relaxing, tree-lined residential space is close to parks and gardens, such as the UC Botanical Garden. It’s also just a 10-minute bus ride to Downtown Berkeley and the BART Plaza, and a short walk to Shattuck Avenue and University Avenue bars, restaurants, and cafés.
Insider tip: The city of Berkeley and its corresponding neighborhoods are named in relation to UC Berkeley. Given this, Northside is located north of the university.
The Southside neighborhood, also called South Campus, is located south of the university and is home to top-rated coffee shops like Mezzo and Romeo’s Café, the Berkeley Piano Club, the famous outdoor Greek Theatre, and Berkeley’s historic People’s Park.
South Berkeley is known for its diversity, eclectic restaurants, and hipster vibe. It’s also preferred by some due to its close proximity to the Ashby Avenue BART station and Downtown Berkeley.
The Saturday flea market, referred to by locals as “The Berkeley Flea,” is a haven for treasures and delicacies from around the world. Top-rated global cuisines like Easy Creole are popular in this part of Berkeley.
Westbrae offers a nice balance between laidback shore living and convenient proximity to everything. It’s just a 30-minute trip west if you’d like to spend the day on the California coast and about a 20-minute bus ride northwest of the Cal campus.
The neighborhood is a gardener’s paradise, home to the Westbrae Nursery. Cedar Rose Park provides a vast green space for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor activities. For sustainable shopping, there’s Monterey Market and Berkeley Natural Grocery Company.
Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash
Russian Hill offers convenient access to the waterfront and iconic San Francisco views. In the middle of Russian Hill, you’ll find one of San Francisco’s postcard views – the famously crooked Lombard Streets.
The many San Francisco neighborhood hills in the area provide incredible views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, among other landmarks. The skylines are simply breathtaking. North Beach, Union Square, the Marina, and Fisherman’s Wharf are all within walking distance.
Rockridge, known for being a safe neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a popular choice among families because of its low crime rate. This neighborhood features an array of single-family homes and bungalows on beautiful tree-lined streets.
There is an abundance of local boutiques, vintage shops, dining options, trendy bars, and yoga studios in the area. Commuting to and from work is convenient, given Rockridge’s close proximity to the BART Train Station and the Bay Area’s Rapid Transit system.
Across from Adam’s Point, on the other side of the 580, you’ll find Lakeshore – the hilly part of the city that rises up from the shores of Lake Merritt. Residents of this neighborhood enjoy magnificent views of Downtown Oakland and San Francisco Bay.
Some of the neighborhood’s amenities include the Oakland Davie Tennis Stadium, Oak Grove Park, Grand Lake Theater, shops on Lakeshore Avenue, and an array of excellent dining options.
Photo by Gintarė Kairaitytė
What Makes the San Francisco Bay Area a Great Place to Live?
Wonderful year-round weather, scenic views, laid back atmosphere, accessibility to beaches and attractions, job opportunities to top companies, plenty of dining and shopping choices – the San Francisco Bay Area has it all!
It offers the amenities of a big city and the tranquility of a small town. It’s one of those places that, once you settle in, you wouldn’t want to leave.
If you’re considering moving to the Bay Area, it would be great to start planning on buying your home, too! Let me help. Give me a call today at (510) 746-8240, and let’s discuss your needs, budget, and other considerations about buying a home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many neighborhoods are in San Francisco?
There are officially 36 neighborhoods in San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Planning Department. Within these neighborhoods, there is a large number of minor districts, some of which are historical and some of which are overlapping.
Why is it essential to work with an experienced realtor when looking for a home in the SF Bay Area?
Working with an experienced realtor can help save you both time and money. With their expertise and familiarity with the area, it would be much faster for you to find the house that would tick all the boxes and get you the best deal out of your home purchase transaction.
What advice would you give someone looking to buy a home in the SF Bay Area?
With so many beautiful neighborhoods in this region, it can be challenging to decide where to buy a home. Work with a realtor to help you determine which neighborhood is best for you, then focus on the houses in that area.