Situated in the north-central district of San Francisco rests the lush and exclusive region of Marina — an area renowned for its palatial homes, sweeping bay views, and irresistible opulence.
The bordering neighborhoods, each with their own distinct persona, have gone through several transformations throughout the years, from a place defined by coastal dunes and dairy farms to the grounds for international expositions to one of the most affluent and coveted regions of the world-famous city. And while this cluster of neighborhoods maintains San Francisco’s electrifying vibe, it’s also prized for its serenity and quiet.
The area of Marina, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, and Presidio Heights has a decidedly upscale ethos, a mood that mirrors the exquisiteness of its posh estates. Nancy Pelosi, Larry Ellison, and Ann Getty are just a few of the luminaries who call this pocket of San Francisco home, which ought to give you a sense of its distinction and status. It also has a vibrant and friendly atmosphere. You’ll often find your neighbors walking their pups in one of the area’s dog-friendly parks or picking up fresh, seasonal produce at the local farmers’ market.
This desirable district is home to several of the city's most compelling and dynamic restaurants, along with a handful of adorable cafes with outdoor seating. You’ll find the latter at the esteemed Montesacro Marina, a place that bills itself as the country’s first pinseria — a Roman specialty that elevates the entire concept of a pizza. Their eponymous pinsa is nothing short of unforgettable with its buffalo mozzarella, artichokes, and Calabrian chili.
Spruce, a luxe venue in Presidio Heights, is just as enticing, with its collection of artisan libations and dishes ranging from seared Hokkaido scallops with melted leeks and caviar vin blanc to olive and almond roasted halibut. Stay for a slice of their creme fraiche cheesecake with citrus jam and honeycomb — it’s downright divine.
Garibaldis Restaurant is another popular spot, not only for its excellent California-Mediterranean cuisine, like maple-brined pork chops but also for its handcrafted cocktails. Their Presidio Paloma is extraordinary. And when residents of this region are in the mood to peer out at panoramic vistas, they head to Ironwoods at the legendary Presidio Golf Course.
With spectacular museums, fabulous galleries, top-of-the-line luxury shopping, cultural sanctuaries, beautiful parks, and a bevy of outdoor recreational opportunities, San Francisco and the Bay Area as a whole positively teems with pleasurable activities.
Those fortunate to call Marina, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, and Presidio Heights home don’t need to travel far to bask in several of California’s finest offerings. Splendid views of Alcatraz and the bay abound on the waterfront at the ever-vibrant Marina Green, where residents and visitors alike picnic, play Bocce ball, or just lounge in the grass with a book.
The Palace of Fine Arts is a sight to behold no matter how many times you encounter it. Constructed in 1915, the intricate, Greco-Roman monument features a glimmering lagoon and a slew of Instagram-worthy photo ops. Tunnel Top Park at the peak of Presidio Heights is just as enticing with its eye-catching art installations and 14 acres of open space.
On days when the Mediterranean side of San Francisco’s mild climate emerges with a burst of sunlight, residents of this tony neighborhood pack up their picnic baskets for a trip to Crissy Field, which offers awesome vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge that connects San Francisco to Marin.
The top-performing schools in this stylish region are one of the biggest draws it has for families with young children. A few of the leading schools in this area include:
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