San Francisco Summer Housing GuideWritten by Thomas Martino
Whether you’re an intern looking for a quiet place in the hills or a street bustling with coffee shops, boutiques, and pubs, you’re sure to find a place to call home for the summer. But figuring out where you want to live in San Francisco is a lot easier than actually finding a place to live, competition here is fierce and you have to be on top of your game when contacting landlords and tenants searching for a new roommate. Not to mention SF is one of the most expensive cities in the country with rent typically starting around $1,050 per month.
A great resource to use for finding summer housing in San Francisco is PadMapper. PadMapper eliminates the hassle of digging through rental listings on craigslist by providing a map that shows the location of each rental listing that’s on craigslist. Remember, competition is tuff in SF, so treat your house search just like searching for an internship, respond to as many ads as possible to make sure you have plenty of options when it comes time to choose.
Below is a list of San Francisco’s most popular neighborhoods to help you get a feel for each when deciding where to live. While we did our best to accurately reflect each area, we still encourage you to research each location thoroughly — considering things like cost, proximity to public transportation and safety.
South of Market (SoMa)
Walking score: 94
During the week you can find this neighborhood bustling with employees from top tech companies like Zynga, Dropbox, Klout, Foursquare and Wikipedia, which makes this place a dream come true for someone interning at a startup. But more than just a tech hub, baseball fans will be excited to know that the San Francisco Giants are right in their backyard. SoMa also boasts tons of other perks like its central location to public transportation (Bart, Muni, Caltrain) — and major intersections like Van Ness, Mission and Powell Streets.
While there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants in SOMA, you can’t call yourself a local without visiting 21st Amendment — a popular brewery, famous for its local ale, energetic crowds, and SF Giants Preparties.
The Marina/Cow Hollow
Walking score: 91
If you have a soft spot for amazing views and architecture, then the Marina is the perfect neighborhood for you. With its panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, chic boutiques, expensive restaurants, countless spas and small dogs, people often refer to the Marina as the “Beverly Hills of San Francisco” — and the rents live up to the nickname! This neighborhood is all-access. Spend the morning jogging along the harbor followed by a fancy mimosa brunch or shopping on nearby Union Street.
Walking score: 86
Cancel your gym membership if you decide to live in Noe Valley, because you will get plenty of exercise from walking up and down the hills of this historic neighborhood. With its tree-lined streets, quaint cafes and Victorian homes, Noe Valley is a mixture of families and young professionals. This charming neighborhood is ideal for someone who wants peace and quiet after a long day.
Walking Score: 96
Nob Hill is one of San Francisco’s signature neighborhoods. Originally the home of wealthy tycoons like Leland Stanford (founder of Stanford University) and The Big Four (entrepreneurs of the Transcontinental railroad), Nob Hill is now the home to young, hip professionals. Very close to the Financial District and Union Square, its location makes it a highly coveted place to live. The neighborhood boasts lots of fun cafes, vintage shops and most notably — the cable car!
Walking Score: 95
One of San Francisco’s most popular neighborhoods, the Castro District is well known for its LGBT activism. Because of its rich history, busy nightlife and quirky stores, it’s a favorite stop for many. Notable landmarks include the Castro Theater and Harvey Milk’s campaign headquarters.
Walking Score: 97
The Mission is considered the melting pot of San Francisco. With young hipsters, activists, immigrants and working class families calling this area home, it truly lives up to its rep as one of San Francisco’s most diverse neighborhoods. Follow the savory smells and you won’t have to walk very far to find great food in The Mission. Tacos are rumored to be $1.50.
Walking Score: 95
This popular neighborhood should really be known as “The Hippie” because it was here that birthed the 1960s-70s Peace-Love movement, that’s most often associated with San Francisco’s culture. These days the area consists mostly of retail shops and restaurants. However, there are still plenty of mural-lined streets, quirky shops, and alternative clubs and bookstores, so that students choosing to live here can still enjoy remnants of the era.
All walking scores are based on ratings from Walkscore.com which is a great tool when searching for housing.