Best of San Francisco: 12 Reasons to Love the Richmond District
by Cynthia Cummins
Reading time: 3 minutes
Cynthia is owner and founder of Kindred SF Homes and a top San Francisco Realtor. Check out RealEstateTherapy.org for refreshing reflections on the meaning of home and for more “best real estate advice” (since 2013).
The Richmond District got jealous when I recently extolled the virtues of the Marina District here. So today I’m writing about the wonderful qualities of what’s known in SF Realtor’s parlance as District 1.
I currently live in one of the “hottest” hoods in town (which shall go unnamed), but I’m always pining for the Richmond. If you’re wanting to get outside for some fresh air, recreation and space, there’s nothing like that chunk of territory perfectly positioned within quick walking distance of the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Don’t believe them when people tell you the Richmond is too far out there, or too foggy, or too boring. Here are 13 reasons to love it:
- “Outside Lands” real estate, as evinced by price-per-square-foot, is a relative bargain.
Richmond lots are deep and burgeoning with greenery. You just don’t realize it because houses stand hip-to-hip and you can’t see the backyards.
- Green things are growing there. Fogmongers claim it’s socked in west of Arguello (or some other imaginary line) and inhospitable for gardening. Not so. Check out the dahlias and lemon trees thriving in those huge yards. Talk to homeowners who raise vegetables there.
- Golden Gate Park is the brightest, hunkiest jewel in SF’s crown. (I still don’t understand what the fuss is about Dolores Park; it’s puny and crowded by comparison.) GGP has fields, trails, lakes, museums, a botanical garden, a Japanese tea garden, a rose garden, a dahlia garden, fly-casting ponds and buffaloes!
- The Presidio.
- And did I mention Ocean Beach and the magnificent Pacific Ocean? And Land’s End, Sutro Park, Sutro Bath ruins, Lincoln Park Golf Course, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and Baker Beach?
- It’s one of the safest neighborhoods in the city.
- Want an authentic, diverse, and highly localized shopping experience? Forget the pretendscape of Valencia street and check out Clement Street. Or Geary.
- Commuting in any direction is easy peasy. Tech shuttles along Park Presidio. Numerous MUNI lines. Quick access to 1, 101, 280.
- Kid friendly: Playgrounds. Rec centers. A carousel. Community gardens. Libraries. Bike paths. Cheap eats. (And while we’re still social distancing, may I once again say “Golden Gate Park?” 1,000+ acres compared with Dolores Park’s 15.)
- It’s quiet. So quiet.
- If music is your thing, it’s perfectly located for the big festivals at GGP. Once the covid crisis is over you’ll once again be able to “Hardly Strictly” for a coupla hours, then stroll home for lunch and a nap.
- Green Apple Books, Toy Boat Dessert Café, B Star, Kabuto Sushi, House of Bagels, Tommy’s, Angelina’s, Lokma, Breadbelly, Schubert’s, Balboa Theater, Beach Chalet, Park Chalet, Gables Office Supply, Gaspare’s Pizza, Simple Pleasures Cafe, Fiorella Clement, Cheap Pete’s, San Francisco Archery and so much more.
Photo: Claudia Lorusso