A spectacular city by a bay, San Francisco is full of energy, unmistakable beauty, diversity and pulsating neighborhoods. The city feels larger than life and is full of extremes. While it’s a technology capital, it can also have a provincial feel. San Francisco has a long history of welcoming all people, and it’s ready to welcome you.
What Makes San Francisco Great
- There’s always something to do: From outdoor activities to cultural events to festivals, there’s no shortage of things to do in San Francisco. Plus, many of the activities are free.
- Food is abundant: San Francisco has a huge culinary scene. With 39 restaurants for every 10,000 households in 2012, it’s simple to eat somewhere new every day.
- Dogs welcome: San Francisco is a dog-friendly city. In fact, there are more dogs than children here.
- Vehicles not needed: The city has a multitude of private and public transit options, including BART, ferries, Muni, ride-hailing, bike sharing, and e-scooters.
- Green spaces: San Francisco has lots of places to breathe fresh air, from the cliffs of Lands End to Golden Gate Park’s open fields.
San Francisco Weather
San Francisco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with average highs in the 60s to 80s throughout the year. Winters tend to be moist and mild. Summers are warm. It’s important to keep in mind the city is full of microclimates because of maritime influences and its sharp topography, making it common for some areas to be warmer than others. Fog is also prevalent, even during the summer.
San Francisco Neighborhoods
San Francisco has more than 100 neighborhoods. When choosing an area to call home, consider its background and history, as well as its proximity to places that improve your quality of life. Popular neighborhoods include:
- Pacific Heights: Affluent and an architecture lover’s dream, this area is dotted with Edwardian, Victorian, chateau, Mission Revival, and modern homes with fabulous views.
- Outer Sunset and Outer Richmond: If you don’t get sticker shock from the city’s housing costs, these areas are great for first-time home buyers as properties tend to have more square footage and larger lots.
- Marina District: A nature-packed neighborhood, the Marina District has a mix of college grads and long-time residents because of locally owned shops, gyms, and quaint places to eat. If you’re lucky, your place might even have a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Mission Bay: Thanks to new construction and renovation efforts, Mission Bay draws in new residents each day.
- South of Market (SoMa): With live music venues and festivals, unique nightclubs, recording studios, museums, and art galleries, sprawling SoMa attracts artists, musicians, and art lovers. It’s also where the Giants play. A nearby train station also attracts Silicon Valley commuters.
- Mission District (“The Mission”): This neighborhood is a food haven. You’ll find common dishes to those you won’t know how to pronounce. Because the area has a large Latino community, you’ll find culture is of great importance.
- Castro District: This area is synonymous with the LGBTQ culture. The thriving neighborhood has lively happy hours and a bustling nightlife. It’s also close to Twin Peaks’ incredible views of the city.
- Noe Valley: This family-friendly area is known for its nice weather, farmer’s market and boutique shops.
- Hayes Valley: A popular neighborhood among young professionals, this area has upscale boutiques and trendy restaurants. It’s also within blocks of other neighborhoods, making it simple to explore.
- Richmond District: Spanning from the Presidio, past Golden Gate Park, to the ocean, this neighborhood covers 50 blocks. Outer Richmond to the west is closer to natural attractions. Inner Richmond is popular among foodies.
Average Housing Costs
At the time of publication, the median price of a home in San Francisco is $1.6 million. A one-bedroom apartment typically costs more than $3,000 per month. The further west or south you go, the more affordable the real estate.
Things to Do in San Francisco
- Alcatraz Island: While Alcatraz tours abound, not many know about the exclusive night tours that allow you to see the infamous prison in a different light.
- Pull out your Halloween costume: Costumes are en vogue throughout the year because of the number of events that give you opportunities to dress up—from Bay to Breakers to the How Weird Street Faire to Santacon.
- Hit the farmer’s market: San Francisco is home to more than 15 year-round markets, which means you don’t have to wait for summer to savor fresh produce.
- Wine tasting: Napa County and Sonoma County are part of the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the world’s best vintages are just a couple of hours away.
- Go to another country without a passport: San Francisco is full of gems like Chinatown and Japantown—neighborhoods where culture is king. In these areas, you’ll find residents enjoying many of the same types of shops, restaurants and businesses found in their native countries.
If San Francisco seems like the perfect place to make your dream of living a big city come true, check out the employment opportunities at Solairus.