Neighborhoods of San Francisco

There is a place for everyone in San Francisco. The diverse ethnic enclaves, fashionable neighborhoods, and areas unique to its own characteristics where people come from afar just to experience.

Golden Gate District

Within the fashionable Golden Gate district is the neighborhood of Pacific Heights. The main commercial area is situated along Fillmore Street which has a good variety of local boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.


Venturing off Fillmore Street, we walked along Broadway Street and were greeted with more steep hills (but this is San Francisco, after all) and beautiful homes of the upper class.



One of the notable homes at Pacific Heights include the Spreckles Mansion, home of novelist Danielle Steel.

The area is peaceful and once atop the hill, we had beautiful views of the bay and the Palace of Fine Arts.


Cow Hollow

Another neighborhood located within the Golden Gate District is Cow Hollow where most of the action take place along Union Street where we could find art galleries, more boutiques, antique stores, cafes, bakeries, and restaurants.

The area is known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture that are visibly noted in homes and commercial establishments.


One famous building with an impressive architectural influence is the Vedanta Temple, which was designed with just not one design type but combined with a mixture of architectural influences including Oriental, Edwardian, Queen Anne, etc. The combination of various architectural influences was said to reflect the architect's philosophy that all roads lead to one God.


Castro, the gay mecca of the world, authentically represents what San Francisco values are all about: liberal and progressive. We were there on a rainy day and managed to duck for cover at some of the stores. Mainly centered on Market and 19th Streets, Castro is visibly noticed by the unmistakable rainbow flags.


Conversations about the 1960s hippie movement often evoke the famous intersection of Haight-Ashbury. As the main stage of the hippie revolution, about a hundred thousand people came from around the world and gathered at this intersection looking for creative expression and free love, while also giving birth to the counterculture phenomenon and alternative lifestyles among the people. Today The Haight is a stark reminder of its past with the strong bohemian culture still reflected in the area.

Alamo Square

Considered the most photographed site of San Francisco, a visit to Alamo Square with these Victorian homes against the skyline backdrop is enough to remind me of my childhood days of watching Full House where this exact location was filmed for the TV show's opening credits. This picturesque view is tremendously unique with the combination of both classic Victorian architecture and the modern buildings in downtown that make up the skyline in the background.

Union Square

Not a exactly a neighborhood, this area in Union Square is worth the time even for those who are not into chain stores and departmental stores. The colonial architecture buildings are gorgeous and deserve any photographer's attention.

San Francisco really is a great playground for photographers.


  1. Hi Terina

    So sorry to bother you but we have confirmed that we ARE travelling to San Fransico, Las Vegas and Hawaii in Oct which is obviously super exciting!

    I was hoping to ask you a few questions though:
    1) Which district should we stay in San Fransico?
    2) Which website do you get on to book cheap flights to travel within US?

    Hope you can help me! It's our first time traveling to US without joining some crazy Asian tour groups ^^

    Any other tips and food places are most welcome also!!

    Thanks :)

  2. Sounds you have a very exciting trip planned!

    I suggest staying at Union Square, which would be the CBD area. It is the most central. You can walk to nearby neighborhoods like Chinatown, Nob Hill, etc, from Union Square. And it's just a short ride on the bus or BART to the rest of the neighborhoods. I think some people might think Union Square could be noisy especially at night but we personally don't mind it as we're used to the hustle and bustle of city living in Chicago. And also, the vibe is what makes up SF. One thing to note is that hotel rooms in SF might be smaller than what you would expect especially coming from Australia. But I guess just like in any big city e.g. NYC, Hong Kong, Tokyo, space is scarce!

    I probably won't suggest staying at Fisherman's Wharf because it is very touristy-- it's like Darling Harbor in Sydney.

    As for flights, we usually fly with United due to mileage loyalty! :) But you can also check out www.farecompare.com and it lists the difference prices according to the different airlines. There is also a low cost carrier, Southwest Airlines, which many people seem to like. Not sure how it is compared to Australia's Tiger Airways though.

    Let me know if you have other questions. We love SF! Haven't been to Hawaii and I look forward to hearing about your trip there.