Known for its awe-inspiring views of the city, historic architecture, and sophisticated vibe, Pacific Heights is one of the most desirable places to live in all of San Francisco. Boasting panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, multiple parks, and numerous attractions, there is much to love about this part of the city. For individuals and families who are moving to the area, living in Pacific Heights is a goal of many.
Where is Pacific Heights?
Pacific Heights is located on the northern end of San Francisco. It borders other top San Francisco neighborhoods, including Cow Hollow and Union Street to the north, Presidio Heights to the west, Polk Gulch to the east, and Lower Pacific Heights to the south.
The total area of Pacific Heights is 0.967 square miles. It is encompassed by the 94109, 94115, and 94123 zip codes. It is 1.9 miles from Pacific Heights to Downtown San Francisco, which equates to a less than 10 minute drive in average traffic.
Individuals residing in Pacific Heights enjoy the convenience of easy travel — both by vehicle and public transportation. The neighborhood is located along Van Ness Avenue, which makes it easy to get around all of San Francisco (and to the Golden Gate Bridge).
For those who want to take public transportation, Pacific Heights is served by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Residents can opt to take either the California Cable Car or travel by bus. There are multiple bus routes that routinely stop in the Pacific Heights neighborhood.
Map of Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights History & Overview
Pacific Heights was established in the 1870s. The first residents built stunning Victorian-style homes throughout the area. One of the first homes to ever be built in Pacific Heights— dating back to 1853 — still stands to this day. It can be viewed at 2475 Pacific Avenue. This home is exceptionally rare, as most homes in the area were constructed (or reconstructed) after the devastating 1906 earthquake that hit San Francisco.
To this day, the history of Pacific Heights is well-preserved. Homes feature a wide range of architectural styles that have been popular through the decades — including Château, Mission Revival, and Edwardian.
Another interesting fact about the area is that, throughout the years, multiple countries have set up their consulates in Pacific Heights. Countries that have established consulates include Greece, Italy, China, Germany, and Vietnam.
Pacific Heights demographics:
- Neighborhood population: 21,925
- Household income: $121,826
- Educational attainment: 89.2 percent high school diploma (or higher), 60.9 percent bachelor’s degree (or higher)
- Median age: 40.4
- Foreign-born population: 34.3 percent
- Racial & ethnic composition: 37 percent White, 35 percent Asian, 16 percent Hispanic, six percent two or more races, five percent Black, one percent other
What’s it Like Living in Pacific Heights?
Pacific Heights is a luxurious and expensive place to live. Back in 2013, the neighborhood received the distinction of being the “most expensive neighborhood in the United States.” Experts agree that if Pacific Heights were to be given its own zip code, it would be the most expensive zip code in the entire nation. Unsurprisingly, the neighborhood is also home to San Francisco’s most expensive residence — which last sold for a whopping $40 million.
Due to its high-priced, upscale real estate scene, Pacific Heights routinely attracts billionaire residents. Politicians, tech moguls, authors, and socialites have lived in Pacific Heights throughout the years.
Aside from its luxury real estate, there are a multitude of benefits of living in Pacific Heights. No matter where you go within the community, you are guaranteed to be treated to scenic views that are nothing shy of breathtaking. Many parts of Pacific Heights feature stunning panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and of the San Francisco Bay.
Those who are in search of top-tier amenities and conveniences will be impressed by the offerings in Pacific Heights. Residents appreciate having walkable access to highly-rated schools, Presidio of San Francisco, multiple markets (including Whole Foods), two family-friendly and dog-friendly community parks, and a wonderful collection of cafes, bars, and restaurants along Fillmore Street.
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Things to Do in Pacific Heights — Best Restaurants, Attractions & Shopping
Curious about the things to do in Pacific Heights? Although the neighborhood is heavily residential, there are select locales that feature shopping, dining, and attractions. Most activities are family-friendly and dog-friendly, and there are numerous hotspots that can be enjoyed at no cost. Planning a meal out? There are excellent restaurants in Pacific Heights that serve up superb dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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One of the most important things to find when moving to Pacific Heights is a go-to place for your morning cup of coffee. Well-known for their specialty coffee selection and slow brew methods, Blue Bottle Coffee is a trendy and upscale cafe in the neighborhood. Blue Bottle is open 6:30am – 7pm daily, and is located at 2453 Fillmore Street.
Down the road, be sure to enjoy flavorful authentic French cuisine at Chouquet’s. Also located on Fillmore Street, this modern and sophisticated bistro offers both indoor and outdoor sidewalk seating. Popular dishes include the escargot appetizer, Salade Niçoise, Croque Madame, and the Steak Frites.
Your dining experience isn’t complete without sweets! Steps away from Chouquet’s and the many other outstanding Pacific Heights restaurants is Salt & Straw. Lauded for both their traditional and one-of-a-kind ice cream flavors, locals regularly frequent this establishment when in the mood for a treat.
Pacific Heights also has a decent selection of shops in the immediate area. Looking to freshen up your wardrobe upon moving to Pacific Heights? Reformation is a popular women’s clothing boutique located in the neighborhood. This retailer makes their own fashion creations using vintage and repurposed clothing items.
Need to pick up your weekly essentials? Walk, drive, or take public transportation to either Whole Foods Market, Mayflower Market, or Mollie Stone’s Markets. Whether planning a dinner party or your daily menu plan, each grocery store has plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, bakery, meats, and pre-made gourmet selections.
Things to do & attractions
Hands down, the most enjoyable part of living in Pacific Heights is its lush green spaces. Residents are especially partial to the many things to do at Presidio of San Francisco. This sprawling park spans across multiple neighborhoods (including Pacific Heights), and features a wide variety of activities and special events.
When exploring Presidio of San Francisco, locals can check out the Yoda Fountain, the Presidio Theatre, Presidio Golf Course, multiple hiking trails, Presidio Wall Playground, The Walt Disney Family Museum, and breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Looking for the best free things to do in Pacific Heights? Alta Plaza Park is a dog-friendly community park that features panoramic city views of San Francisco, a grand staircase (great for photo ops and exercise), tennis courts, a playground for the kids, and much more.
Lafayette Park is another great free place to visit in Pacific Heights. Located on a hilltop, this park is also kid-friendly and great for dogs.
- Blue Bottle Coffee, 2453 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, 510-653-3394
- Chouquet’s, 2500 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-359-0075
- Salt & Straw, 2201 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-829-2803
- Reformation, 2360 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, 628-200-0773
- Whole Foods Market, 1765 California St, San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-674-0500
- Mollie Stone’s Markets, 2435 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-567-4902
- Mayflower Market, 2498 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-346-1700
- Presidio of San Francisco
- Alta Plaza Park, Jackson St. &, Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-831-5500
- Lafayette Park, Gough St &, Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-831-2700
Schools in Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights is part of the San Francisco Unified School District. The closest highly-rated public schools include Lilienthal (Claire) Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School, and Galileo High School.
Within the neighborhood, there are several excellent private schools for a variety of grade levels. Some of the best Pacific Heights schools include the San Francisco Waldorf School (an elementary school), Hillwood Academic Day School, and Alta Plaza Preschool.
Is Pacific Heights Safe?
Pacific Heights is a safe place to live. According to the latest data, violent crime rates are 47 percent below the national average in Pacific Heights. Total crime and property crime rates are significantly lower than the San Francisco citywide average. In Pacific Heights, total crime is 3,204 for every 100,000 residents, whereas for the city of San Francisco, this figure is 4,938 for every 100,000 residents.
Pacific Heights Real Estate
Renting or buying real estate in Pacific Heights is expensive. Upon moving to Pacific Heights, there are plenty of luxury homes that offer thousands of square feet of space, premium features, and one-of-a-kind architecture. The Pacific Heights median home price is $1.4 million. However, many homes sell for significantly more than this amount. Most standard homes fetch anywhere between $2 million to well over $10 million. Browse Pacific Heights, San Francisco homes for sale.
The average cost of rent in Pacific Heights is between $2,700-$7,000 per month. This range is significantly above both state and national averages. For those who choose to rent an apartment in Pacific Heights, the benefits are plentiful. Gorgeous city views, top-tier building amenities, and the latest interior designs can all be enjoyed by Pacific Heights renters.
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