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Neighborhoods in San Francisco

Discover Everything To See & Do in the Pacific Heights Neighborhood

The Pacific Heights neighborhood is a truly beautiful and classically San Francisco neighborhood. It embodies the San Francisco you see in the movies.

Although this is one of the neighborhoods in San Francisco that is a little off the beaten path, there are still several things to see and do in this elegant and high end neighborhood.

After falling in love with this neighborhood years ago, I decided to make it my home for several years.

lyon street stairs

It is one of the few areas in San Francisco that survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, so you can still find old, colorful Victorian homes from the late 1800s. This upscale neighborhood also has gorgeous mansions lining several of its famous streets.

Residents of San Francisco first accessed this part of the city after the cable car lines were built in the late 1800s. The steep hills surrounding the neighborhood made it tough going, but offered some of the most amazing views of the bay. Once the residents were able to get to the neighborhood, they started to build the fabulous homes that still stand today.

Top Attractions & Activities

With its gorgeous views and beautiful homes, Pacific Heights is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco. I love to explore it as I walk around and see the neighborhood. Here are some of my favorite things to see and do.

Alta Plaza Park: Soak In the Views of the City of San Francisco

Alta Plaza Park sits at the top of the Pacific Heights neighborhood. This gorgeous park is the perfect place to get some of the best views of other neighborhoods in San Francisco. This is a popular hangout for the locals and is also surrounded by historic Victorian beauties. I love to grab lunch on Fillmore Street and then come here to eat as I soak in the views.

Alta Plaza Park is between Jackson & Clay and Steiner & Scott Streets.

Lyon Street Steps: Catch Amazing Views of the Bay

One of my favorite places in Pacific Heights is the Lyon Street Stairs. From this vantage point, the view of the SF Bay is breathtaking. The Lyon Street Stairs are a beautifully manicured set of steep stairs that span an entire block. Locals love to come here and run or walk the stairs as they enjoy the views.

You'll find the Lyon Street stairs on the corner of Lyon and Broadway streets.

Spreckles Mansion: Swing by Danielle Steel's House

Danielle Steel is one of the most famous residents of the Pacific Heights neighborhood. She lives in one of the most famous historic mansions - the Spreckles Mansion - on the eastern side of Pacific Heights. While you can't truly stop by for a visit, you can admire her beautiful mansion from the street.

You'll find the Spreckels Mansion on the corner of Washington and Octavia streets - right across from Lafayette Park.

Billionaire's Row: Gaze Up at the Huge Mansions on Broadway Street

Pacific Heights is also home to some of the most expensive houses in the world. They are so large and pricey that a two block stretch of the neighborhood is dubbed Billionaires Row. You will find this area along Broadway Street between Broderick and Lyon streets (it ends at the Lyon Street Stairs I mentioned above). You can either stroll along the street on your own or take a free San Francisco Public Library walking tour where you can learn the history and the story behind some of these mansions.

Learn More: San Francisco Public Library Walking Tour

TV Houses: Visit the Outside of Other Famous TV Houses

Just a few blocks away from Billionaires Row, you'll find two other famous houses. The first one is the Party of Five house located at 2311 Broadway Street. The story line for this show was set in San Francisco, so they used the outside of this house on Broadway to create that vision.

Another famous house in this neighborhood is from the TV show Full House. They also used just the outside of the house at 1709 Broderick Street. The story line for this show was also set in San Francisco and each episode featured both this house and the famous Alamo Square neighborhood. Because they used Alamo Square in every show, many people think this house is located there. Instead, it's located in the beautiful Pacific Heights neighborhood.

If you want to see even more of the places where movies and TVs were filmed in San Francisco, then you should check out the Half Day Movie Tour. On this tour, your local guide will take you to see where movies such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Basic Instinct, Vertigo and Milk were filmed. In addition, you will also get the chance to see the island where Clint Eastwood said his now famous line "Make my day" in Sudden Impact. It's a fun way to see a different side of San Francisco.

Learn More: My Experience on the SF Movie Tour

Fillmore Jazz Festival: Enjoy Music With the Locals

The Fillmore Jazz Festival is one of the best summer festivals in San Francisco. This festival is held on Fillmore Street near the Pacific Heights and Japantown neighborhoods in San Francisco. The festival features several stages with live jazz performances. You can also find dozens of food vendors and artists selling their hand crafted items. This festival is always held on or around the July 4th holiday.

Learn More: San Francisco Festivals

Haas-Lilienthal House: Marvel at the Beauty of the Inside of a Victorian

The Haas-Lilienthal House is a historic beauty that was completed in 1886. It's a Queen Anne-style Victorian house. It's the only private home from that time period that is open to the public. When you visit this house, you'll get the chance to see authentic furniture, the circular corner tower, and photographs describing this home's history.

Learn More: Tips to Visit

Pacific Heights Hotels

This is another one of the neighborhoods in San Francisco that offers a few great lodging options. Here's a quick overview of some of my top picks.

Hotel Drisco

Address: 2901 Pacific Ave.
Room Rates: Rooms starting at just under $300 a night

hotel driscoHotel Drisco is one of the highest rated hotels in San Francisco. This four-star beauty is set among the gorgeous Victorians and mansions in the Pacific Heights neighborhood.

Guests rave about this historic and elegant lodging option. It's also in a quiet and serene neighborhood - away from the chaos of the city.

At the Hotel Drisco, you get breakfast, parking, and high-speed Internet. A business center, fitness center and room service are also available. In addition to these amenities, you can also request a suite.

Discover recent guest reviews and compare prices for the Hotel Drisco on TripAdvisor.

Jackson Court San Francisco

Address: 2198 Jackson St.
Room Rates: Rooms start at around $220 a night

jackson courtThe Jackson Court is a small, two and a half star hotel on the eastern side of Pacific Heights. It's set in an historic brownstone mansion built in 1900 with a beautiful flower lined courtyard.

Guests consider this hotel elegant and serene. Each of its 10 guest rooms are uniquely decorated and offer both antique and modern furnishings.

At the Jackson Court, you will receive free breakfast and can access free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. In addition, you will also find a well-equipped business center and a game room.

Read recent guest reviews and find the best price for the Jackson Court San Francisco.

Other SF Hotel Recommendations

Discover recommendations for some of the best hotels in other neighborhoods in San Francisco. You can also find the top hotels by budget and based on certain amenities.

Best Bars

Pacific Heights is another one of the neighborhoods in San Francisco that has a good bar scene. In this neighborhood, you will mostly find locals - out for a night on the town. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Harry's Bar: This bar attracts a young clientele. They have several drink specials and offer several large TVs to watch your favorite team. They also offer pub food including burgers, nachos and an amazing gourmet mac and cheese dish. 2020 Fillmore Street

  • Lion's Pub: The Lion's Pub is a true local San Francisco bar. There are no signs and its sometimes hard to spot. The only give away is the sign on one of the doors that says 'use other door'. Other than that, it looks like the first floor of a house in the neighborhood. They have great cocktails made from fresh ingredients and hand squeezed juices. 2062 Divisadero Street

  • Solstice: Solstice is both a bar and a restaurant on the corner of California and Divisadero Streets. This is another spot where you mostly find locals. Grab a drink at the bar or ask for a table and enjoy a drink with your dinner. 2801 California Street

Top Restaurants

This is one of the neighborhoods in San Francisco that is not really known for their food. However, there are some good options here if you look around a little. Here are just a few of my favorites.

  • Elite Cafe: One of my favorite restaurants in this neighborhood is the Elite Cafe. This gem, in the heart of the Pacific Heights neighborhood, offers some of the best southern food in the city. Make sure you're hungry before you arrive because their menu offers a large variety of hearty foods. No matter what you order, make sure you try some of their buttermilk biscuits - they are amazing. 2049 Fillmore, $$

  • Dinos Pizza: Another local favorite in this neighborhood is Dino's Pizza. They serve both pizza and pasta and it's always crowded here. If you are looking for a casual option, then this is the place to try. 2101 Fillmore Street, $$

  • Jackson Fillmore: Jackson Fillmore is a small, neighborhood restaurant in Pacific Heights. This Italian restaurant offers personalized service and a good wine list. It's another busy restaurant with many regulars returning time and time again. 2506 Fillmore Street, $$

Here are just a few others to try here:

  • Fresca: Peruvian, $$, 2114 Fillmore Street
  • Tataki: Sushi, $$, 2815 California Street
  • Frankie's Bohemian Cafe: Burgers, American, $$, 1862 Divisadero
  • Pizzeria Delfina: Italian, Pizza, $$ 2406 California Street

Getting Here

Pacific Heights is one of the neighborhoods in San Francisco that's easy to get to by public transit. There is also plenty of parking on the western side of the neighborhood, so driving is another good option.

Public Transit from Union Square

2 Sutter and 3 Jackson: Both the 2 Sutter and 3 Jackson buses have several stops just a few blocks from Union Square. You can pick up both along Sutter Street and take them all the way to Pacific Heights. The 2 Sutter will drop you off at the southern end just north of Japantown. You want to exit at the Fillmore Street stop.

The 3 Jackson turns onto Fillmore Street where you can get even closer to all of the attractions, restaurants, and bars in this neighborhood. You can exit at any of the Fillmore Street stops.

Public Transit from Fisherman's Wharf

No bus runs directly from Fisherman's Wharf to Pacific Heights, but there a couple of easy ways to get here with just one transfer.

30 Stockton + 22 Fillmore: Your best option is to hop on the 30 Stockton at the Hyde and North Point stop. Take it to the Fillmore Street stop in the Marina district. From here, you'll cross the street and pick up the 22 Fillmore. This bus will take you all the way up the hill to the Pacific Heights neighborhood. You can get off at any of the Fillmore Street stops after Jackson Street.

More Great Neighborhoods in San Francisco

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North Beach

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