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Pacific Heights - San Francisco

Tour of Classic Architecture and Homes

Classic Architecture near Pacific Heights

These areas are a fun walk and a way to see a highly desired residential S.F. area. Pacific Heights is where all the yuppies in San Francisco live. Pictured above is romance novelist Danielle Steele's home. It is a very expensive neighborhood containing many other multi-million $$$ beautiful Victorian's. The best way to visit is to take a walk down Union Street and its "chi-chi" shopping. There are also a lot of cool cafe's, food, and of course Noah's Bagels.

Pacific Heights is touted as being one of the most affluent areas in San Francisco, and while most can’t afford to live there, the area does boast some of the oldest and most beautiful architecture in the city, making it an interesting place to drive through and see.

Danielle Steele's House in Pacific Heights

Pacific Heights is generally divided into three parts east, west and lower.Both east and west are bordered by Vallejo and California, while Pacific Heights east runs from Van Ness Ave. to Fillmore Street, and Pacific Heights west extends from Fillmore to Presidio.Lower Pacific Heights also extends between Van Ness and Presidio, but is the portion of the neighborhood that is south of California bordered by Pine Street.

Though there are areas that boast fine shops, Pacific Heights is by and large a residential community, filled with unique architecture and breathtaking mansions. If you’re interested in sightseeing in the area I would recommend taking a drive down any one of the streets to see some of the most expensive real estate in the city. Though most of the buildings were built after the great earthquake of 1906, some architecture survived which allows Pacific Heights lays claim to some of the oldest landmarks in the city.Some points of interest for the sightseers:

Pacific Heights Architecture / Home Tour:

Haas Lilienthal House – Built in 1886, the Haas Lilienthal House is a Queen Anne Victorian which has been fully preserved in it’s original design.Located at 2007 Franklin St, it is home the San Francisco Architectural Heritage, which offers tours of the house and grounds. For more information call (415) 441-3004.

The Leale House – Located at 2475 Pacific Ave., the Leale House was built in 1853, is one of the oldest residences in the city.

Atherton House – For the ghost lovers, the Atherton House, built in 1881, is located at 1990 California Street and boasts being one of the most haunted locations in the city, finding it a spot on numerous television shows and place on the haunted tour of San Francisco.

Spreckles Mansion – This enormous limestone mansion was built in 1913 by the sugar baron Adolph Spreckles for his new wife. Though the mansion is surrounded by a large hedge, visitors can still get a good view of the architecture. The mansion is at 2080 Washington Street and is currently owned by romance novelist Danielle Steele and her family.

For the movie buffs, the house used in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, is located on the corner of Broadway and Steiner, while TV lovers can see the Party of Five House just a little ways down on Broadway.

Pacific Heights also boasts two parks, Alta Plaza Park and Lafayette Park, which are small residential parks where locals walk their dogs and can play tennis. They are nice if you’re looking for a place to sit and read or even picnic, because both have views of the bay, but aren’t exactly “must-sees” for tourists.

If you are taking a driving tour through Pacific Heights you may want to stop at the Lyon Street Steps. They are located on Lyon Street and extend upwards from Green to Broadway. They are lined with seasonal landscaping, and when you are at the top on Broadway, you have a spectacular view of the Marina, the Presidio and the bay.

If you are looking for something to do in Pacific Heights besides sightsee, head over to the Fillmore area. Though Fillmore St. extends all the way down through the Marina, the area known as The Fillmore is the section of Fillmore south of Jackson Street.Here you will find tons of shops and restaurants to keep you busy for the day.

Shopping:

The Fillmore has a little bit of everything in the clothing department from high end to second hand offerings. As you walk along Fillmore, you’ll see places that cater to label lovers like Betsey Johnson and Cielo, but you can also find boutiques that house local designers like Erika Tanov, as well as some of the best second hand stores in the city to include, Crossroads Trading Co. and the Victorian House Thrift Shop. There is no shortage of places to accessorize either, and you’ll find places like The Casbah and Paolo for those needs.

You’ll pay for beauty in this area, but you’ll find some great products in some well know stores including, Benefit Cosmetics, L’Occitane and MAC Fillmore. For those looking to pamper themselves even further, try the Relax Now day spa, which offers just about any beauty treatment you can think of.

There are also many specialty shops that include imported home décor such as Aumakua and Nest, to wine shops like Vino!, onto specialty pet stores like that of The Urban Pet.

Dining:

You definitely won’t go hungry on Fillmore or the surrounding area, so here are a few places you might want to check out:

Dining on Fillmore:

The Grove Fillmore – 2016 Fillmore St. (415) 474-1419. Casual restaurant serving up hearty breakfast and a complete array of sandwiches.

Jackson Fillmore – 2506 Fillmore St. (415) 346-5288. Mid-priced restaurant offering quality Italian food.

Elite Café – 2049 Fillmore St. (415) 346-8676. Newly updated version of the old San Francisco staple, features a southern element focusing on New Orleans type fare.

Dining off of Fillmore:

Solstice – 2801 California St. (415) 359-1222. Casual restaurant offering live music or DJ, features comfort food in a trendy atmosphere.

Café Kati – 1963 Sutter St. (415) 775-7313. Cozy atmosphere that offers fusion food done well at a reasonable price.

Quince – 1701 Octavia St.(415)775-8500. Fine dining quality food in an intimate setting. The menu changes daily, so the ingredients are always fresh and the presentation perfect.

Nightlife:

Johnny Lee Hookers Boom Boom Room – 1601 Fillmore They are know for their live blues, but also tout themselves as purveyors of Boogey, Groove and Soul.For a calendar of events and BBR general information, call (415) 673-8000.

The Fillmore Auditorium – 1805 GearyOriginally opened in 1912 as a dance hall,
The Fillmore has become a location for many musicians to showcase their talent. Bands like the Grateful Dead, Santana and Jefferson Airplane all got their starts there, and the venue still houses some great shows. For information call (415) 346-6000.

Pacific Heights is generally very east to get to. If you are going to do the sightseeing thing, I would definitely recommend driving. If you are planning on spending the day on Fillmore, or even just venture there for a meal I would rely on taxis or public transportation. Parking is quite difficult to find, and the parking lots tend to charge a lot for their service. San Francisco's Muni buses have 6 lines that run through the area including the 1, 3, 12, 22, 24 and 31 lines.

By: Colleen Kelly, Copyright SFTRAVEL LLC

 

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