Pacific Heights: A Guide to San Francisco Neighborhoods

pacific heights san francisco neighborhood guide
Pacific Heights is famous for its historic Victorian mansions and stunning views of the Bay. You’ll spot iconic movie backdrops in the neighborhood like the mansion from “Mrs. Doubtfire” at Steiner and Broadway and the house from “Full House” at 1709 Broderick. The area north of California Street is best known for being a peaceful residential area, while the southern side of the hill, called Lower Pac Heights, is slightly busier, with medical facilities and other businesses intermixed with homes. Both areas offer easy access to shops and restaurants and direct bus routes downtown. 

We polled real moms who live there to find out what makes this neighborhood a good fit for their families. Want to get the scoop directly from the experts? Join our Pacific Heights Moms Facebook group.

Why Moms Love It 

Pushing strollers up and down the hills of Pac Heights is an instant workout. Two big neighborhood parks and walks down to the Marina make it easy to get outside with the kids. Nearby Union Street in the Cow Hollow neighborhood, Chestnut Street in the Marina District, Fillmore Street, and Japantown give families plenty of choices for walkable kid-friendly activities and restaurants, major retailers and boutiques, and workout facilities. 

Local Family Favorites

With its grassy lawns, lovely views of the city and the bay, tennis courts, large playground, picnic tables (reserve for birthday parties), and off-leash dog-play area, this hilly park is a hot spot for residents of Pacific Heights and visitors. 
A broad, tiered staircase climbs the terraced southern slope of this steep hillside park; when you reach the top, you will find panoramic views of the city and Bay, and a fenced-in playground with age-appropriate equipment for toddlers up through school-aged kids.
This indoor playspace offers drop-in playtime and music and movement classes. 

Childcare and Schools

Here’s the thing about childcare and schooling: Your personal situation will determine the right fit for you, and, while there are options in this neighborhood, your best bet is to check out for an interactive map and comprehensive list of daycares and preschools across the city.  

Likewise, for K-12 schools, we can’t tell you whether the schools here are “good” or not because a good school is based on so many other factors besides test scores. Check out our Tips for Moving to San Francisco with Kids for more help navigating childcare and schooling and a local mom’s take on raising a family in San Francisco.

Learn More 

To get an even better feel for what it’s like to live here, scan our list of 100+ kid-friendly restaurants in the city, find the nearest branch of the public library, and check out the area’s trick-or-treating hotspots.

Check out the other areas featured in our San Francisco Neighborhood Guide for Families.