Idyllic Pacific Heights, San Francisco’s most desirable address is famous for its historic homes—including Painted Lady Victorians—high-end shopping and dining on Fillmore Street, two hilltop parks, and billionaire residents. Everything in this neighborhood comes with postcard-worthy views across San Francisco Bay.
Visitors head to Pacific Heights in San Francisco to take in its bay views and to admire the architecture of its historic homes, but big bus tours don’t usually drive through the neighborhood. Instead opt for a smaller-group activity, such as an open-air trolley tour, vintage VW bus tour, or architecture walking tour to get the inside scoop on the historic neighborhood. Or catch a glimpse of its mansions from air on a helicopter tour.
Highlights of the neighborhood include Lafayette Park at Washington and Octavia streets, where you can view Spreckels Mansion, owned by Danielle Steel, and a second park, Alta Plaza. Many historic homes line Broadway, and the Haas-Lilienthal House, built in 1886 in the Queen Anne style, is open for tours on select days.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Pacific Heights is mainly residential, with Fillmore Street its main commercial strip.
- The neighborhood is a draw for history and architecture buffs.
- There is street parking in Pacific Heights, but pay attention to parking restrictions.
How to Get There
Pacific Heights is easily reached by cab or shared-ride vehicle, or take Muni buses 1, 3, 10, or 22. Alternatively you can drive your own vehicle or go as part of a tour.
When to Get There
The neighborhood is a pleasant place for a walk at almost any time of day—go in the early morning or evening to get the best light for photos of the bay, or head to one of the parks in the afternoon to see dog-walkers in action. July and August are usually the foggiest months while September and October bring the most sunshine.
Just south of Pacific Heights sits Japantown, where you can get a different San Francisco experience. This tiny neighborhood is packed with Japanese restaurants, shops, and cultural sights. It especially comes alive during events such as the Cherry Blossom Festival. From Pacific Heights, walk south on Fillmore to Post Street.