Editor’s note: It’s that time again – some 25,000 Realtors will meet up Oct. 28-31, for the biggest real estate event of the year, the National Association of Realtors’ annual convention and tradeshow. Inman News created this five-part offbeat guide to the not-to-miss real estate event. (See Part 1: Party on with the Realtor ‘in’ crowd; Part 2: NAR tradeshow: A story of celebrities, no-shows and free stuff; Part 3: Presidential Suite: Best room in the house and Part 5: Inman Video: Cool San Francisco Bay Area hangouts.)
If you’re the type of tourist who likes to see how the locals live in addition to visiting all the regular attractions, you’ll find this guide to a few San Francisco neighborhoods useful. The Inman Stories crew has created neighborhood movies to capture the flavor of these San Francisco districts. Take a day to patrol these ‘hoods where you’ll no doubt find history, beauty, great people, unforgettable food and all the charm of a typical day in the city by the bay.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in North America. Filled with exotic smells, sights, tastes and delights, it is one of San Francisco’s most alluring districts for tourists. This neighborhood, which also produced the very first fortune cookie, is a thriving home for thousands of Asian immigrants.
It’s Italy on the West Coast! A landmark for the Beat culture. Home to Coit Tower, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Washington Square, Joe DiMaggio, Beach Blanket Babylon, Grant Street – the oldest street in San Francisco, Cafe Trieste and the list goes on. This neighborhood, more than any other, can claim birth rights to Fog City, and has guarded that Barbary Coast feel through every street, every strip-club, restaurant and bar. If you come to San Francisco and want to get some great food, taste some history, or pay homage to Kerouac and Ginsberg – you have to put your feet down in North Beach.
Whether it’s fine dining or a quiet stroll, the Richmond district offers residents a taste of San Francisco far from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Located next to Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, this diverse district has a friendly neighborhood atmosphere and lots of good eating and shopping, usually just a quick walk away. If you’re heading that way, be sure to stop on Clement St. for dim sum or some of the city’s best Burmese cuisine.
Want to go to the beach? The Sunset has a big one and easy access to Golden Gate Park, and the zoo. Ninth Ave. and Irving area offers some of the best sushi in the city, great bakeries and one of the world’s best-stocked video stores. Relaxed and more affordable for home buyers, the Sunset is becoming more and more popular.
Probably the hippest place in San Francisco, the Castro also has a reputation for being one of the most welcoming. It’s also one of the city’s sunniest neighborhoods with plenty of unique shops, a one-of-a-kind movie theater and great dining.
If you really want to see how the locals live, check out Noe Valley with its bustling main-street atmosphere surrounded by quiet lanes. A haven for baby strollers, the district also sports fine dining, fun cafes and plenty of places to take the kids.
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