Bernal Heights was once a pasture stretching along the south end of San Francisco before the great Gold Rush. Today, the pastures and meadows are gone, giving way to quaint houses and affordable neighborhoods that make it easy to forget you live so close to the heart of The City. Many of the homes here date back to before the 1906 fire that claimed much of San Francisco, and one can even find homes built from that wreckage. The many surviving structures provide a unique glimpse into the San Francisco storied’s past.
Park lovers can find plenty to do here, from a leash-free dog park to sloping, winding streets, popular among cyclists, joggers, and even soap-box derby racers. There is even a rumor that con artists once laced this park with gold dust to try and entice another gold rush. Large playgrounds can be found at the base of the hill, drawing a diversity of families together.
Northeast of Bernal Heights lies one of the best kept secrets of San Francisco: Potrero Hill. As a result of the Silicon Valley “gold rush” in the 1990s, this neighborhood’s factories and shipyards have been since converted into offices, condos, and fashionable lofts. Where immigrants once built battleships during World War II, now cruise ships dock for renovations, and single-family Victorian homes line the streets just a short commute from the all points of San Francisco.
The area benefits quite a bit from the close proximity to both the California College of Arts and the California Culinary Academy, enriching the area with restaurants and art galleries alike. Up and coming musicians perform nearby, while local come-as-you-are eateries offer breathtaking views of The City at night.
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