One of San Francisco’s biggest districts, SoMa (South of Market) encompasses several communities, including South Beach, Mission Bay, Rincon Park, AT&T Park, and Yerba Buena Gardens. A mix of commercial, residential, and entertainment neighborhoods, SoMa is a vibrant cultural hub of San Francisco that continues to evolve.
SoMa stretches from the Embarcadero to 11th Street on the south side of Market Street. This district is home to warehouses, startup offices, high-end dining, nightclubs, museums, loft buildings, and sky-high apartment towers. Hop-on hop-off tours often include a stop on Market Street near the Ferry Building. For a guided visit, opt for a bike tour or walking tour of the craft beer scene to visit microbreweries and craft beer bars.
Cultural attractions include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the California Historical Society, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. There’s also upscale mall shopping in Westfield Centre, as well as designer shops and boutiques in this area.
Things to Know Before You Go
- SoMa is ideal for art and culture lovers, baseball enthusiasts, and night-clubbers.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as SoMa is a vast area.
- There is a lot of metered street parking, but pay attention to posted and temporary signs about prohibited parking during street cleaning, construction, and certain times of day.
How to Get There
Almost all of San Francisco’s modes of transport can get you to SoMa or close to it, including BART, the light rail, Caltrain, the Powell-Hyde Cable Car, and several MUNI bus lines, including 5 and 38. If you’re on foot, walk south a few blocks from Union Square.
When to Get There
For shopping and museums, go in the late morning, avoiding the start-of-the-business-day rush. Some museums offer special weekly or monthly evening hours, including SFMOMA and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, both of which are open late Thursday. Experience some of San Francisco’s alternative culture at the Folsom Street Fair in September, or the How Weird Street Faire in May.
Baseball fans don’t want to miss this waterfront home of the San Francisco Giants—winners of the 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Series Championships. AT&T Park is also known for its views of San Francisco Bay and better-than-average stadium food, such as Hawaiian poke and Dungeness crab. Catch a game, take a behind-the-scenes tour, or go for a concert.