Golden Gate. Fashionable neighborhoods, e.g., the Marina District (map), Cow Hollow (map), and *Pacific Heights (map), with extensive views and historical landmarks — Fort Mason (map), The Presidio (map), and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio is huge, with 1,480 acres of rolling hills, forests, hiking trails, historic buildings, architecture, beaches, and marsh lands. It has one of the most intact natural environments you will find on the peninsula and is a must for every itinerary.
Fisherman’s Wharf (map). A touristy waterfront neighborhood which encompasses Ghirardelli Square (map), Pier 39 (map), and the ferry launch to Alcatraz Island, as well as a plethora of seafood restaurants and souvenir stores.
*Nob Hill & Russian Hill (map). Two ritzy neighborhoods with panoramic views, and the historic cable cars which still climb the steep streets of the area. Just to the north is Russian Hill, a quieter residential area most well known for its pleasant walks and the famous crooked section of Lombard Street (map).
*Chinatown / North Beach (map). Two vibrant immigrant communities; the crowded and largest Chinatown outside of Asia next to the stylish laid back ‘Little Italy’, as well as Telegraph Hill (map) and Coit Tower (map).
*Western Addition (map). Here you’ll find some of the more notable examples of Victorian architecture in a city full of them, namely the “Painted Ladies” (map) of Alamo Square (map), one of the city’s most famous landmarks, as well as the historical centers of the city’s Japanese and African American communities, with lovely shops and restaurants reflecting the area’s heritage.
*Mission (map). This vibrant area is home to a large Hispanic community as well as new urban artisans, and is a center of San Francisco night life. For visitors wishing to get off the beaten tourist paths and catch some local flavor, this is the place to go.