San Francisco/The Avenues

Green roof, California Academy of Sciences

Lush Golden Gate Park, foggy Sunset, hilly Richmond, and the steep cliffs of Lands End make up The Avenues of western San Francisco. A mostly residential area, this is where you will find one of the most ethnically-diverse populations of the city, San Francisco's main beach, charming shops and restaurants, spectacular coastline scenery, and the massive Golden Gate Park with its many gardens, lakes, pastures, and forests. The area is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west, Lake Street on the north, Arguello Blvd and Stanyan Street (from Lake to Frederick Street) and 7th Avenue (from Lincoln to around Golden Gate Heights Park, or about Quintara) and 19th Avenue (from Quintara to Sloat) on the east, and Sloat Blvd on the south.

Understand

The Richmond is a neighborhood bordered on the north by Lincoln Park and the Presidio, Arguello Boulevard on the east, Golden Gate Park on the south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. The Richmond is divided into the eastern Inner Richmond and western Outer Richmond by CA Highway 1 (Park Presidio/13th Avenue), which runs north-south.

San Francisco's Sunset District covers a large, mostly residential area on the west side of San Francisco. It is bordered on the west by Ocean Beach, on the north by Golden Gate Park, on the south by Sloat Boulevard, and on the east by a vague boundary roughly around 7th Avenue. It was built on a grid pattern and the vast majority of the housing in the area was constructed between 1920 and 1950. Sunset is divided into the eastern Inner Sunset and the western Outer Sunset by CA Highway 1 (19th Avenue).

The Sunset's majority population is Asian-American, and this increases west of 19th Avenue in the Outer Sunset, where Chinese and Chinese-Americans make up a little bit less than 40% of residents. A sizeable Irish and Irish-American population also exists in the Sunset.

On clear days you will see many locals and tourists watching the sunset at Ocean Beach; still, the name "Sunset" is a bit of a misnomer as the area is often covered in fog due to its proximity to the cold Pacific Ocean. However, whether or not the sun is shining, it is a charming neighborhood to visit.

Get in

Map of The Avenues

By Muni

Richmond's central east-west artery is Geary Boulevard. Frequent bus service from downtown via Union Square is provided by the 38-Geary and the 38R-Geary Rapid buses. Even though the district only spans eight blocks from north to south, there are also parallel bus lines 1-California and 2-Clement north of Geary and lines 31-Balboa, 5-Fulton and 5R-Fulton Rapid south of Geary Boulevard.

Much of the Sunset neighborhood is accessible via the N-Judah and L-Taraval Muni Metro light rail lines. East-west bus lines through Sunset include the 23-Monterey, 48-Quintara/24th St, 66-Quintara and 7-Haight/Noreiga.

North-south bus lines which connect Richmond and Sunset through Golden Gate Park include 18-46th Ave, 28-19th Ave and 29-Sunset. Additionally, the 44-O'Shaughnessy runs up from Twin Peaks to the southeast and through Golden Gate Park past the de Young Museum, continuing up 6th Avenue into the Richmond neighborhood.

By car

Running north/south through the area and serving as the major traffic artery is Highway 1 (19th Avenue). In Sunset is another major road called Sunset Boulevard, located between 36th and 37th Avenues and running north/south from Lincoln Way to Sloat Boulevard. On the western edge of the district is The Great Highway, which runs north/south along Ocean Beach. Geary Street is the central east/west artery through Richmond. Fulton Street runs east-west, marking the northern edge of Golden Gate Park while Lincoln Way runs east/west along the southern edge of Golden Gate Park. The southern border is marked by Sloat Boulevard which runs east/west.

See

  •   Moraga Street Stairs (on a steep pedestrian only section of Moraga Street between 15th and 16th Avenue). Stair risers comprise a colorful mosaic added during a 2005 renovation of the stairs. Climb to the top then go left or right to find a way into Grand View Park.

Golden Gate Park

Sunrise at Stow Lake

Golden Gate Park (between Fulton Street on the north, Lincoln Way on the south, Stanyan Street on the east and Ocean Beach on the west). 5AM-midnight. Free.

Once an area of sand dunes, Golden Gate Park is a roughly 1/2 mile-by-four mile urban oasis, with windmills, bison, museums, lakes and a carousel hidden among its charms. At 1,017 acres, it is 174 acres larger than New York's Central Park, so unless you have a bike, you'll want to plan which area you want to visit, especially along the east (Stanyan street) to west (the Ocean) axis. During the summer to October, a free shuttle bus circulates. On Sundays and holidays, JFK Drive between Transverse and Kezar is closed to vehicular traffic; this car-free zone is popular with walkers, cyclists, and runners. The number 5 trolleybus runs along the park's north boundary (Fulton Street), and offers the most frequent service across the park and to downtown. The N streetcar runs two blocks south of the park's southern boundary with similar service as the 5 bus.

In the treetops at the California Academy of Sciences

Lands End

Overlooking Sutro Baths

A component of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Lands End defines the extreme northwestern corner of San Francisco, with majestic views of the Marin Headlands, the Golden Gate Bridge from the ocean side, and the Pacific Ocean itself. A portion of the Coastal Trail runs along the steep, rocky coastline of the area, from the Cliff House north to the Golden Gate, providing a spectacular hike with views of shipwrecks and jagged coastline. Atop the hill overlooking the coast is the famed Legion of Honor art museum, surrounded by the spacious lawns and the golf course of Lincoln Park, so named because it was the end point of the transcontinental Lincoln Highway.

The #18 Muni bus terminates at the Legion of Honor museum at the center of the park, traveling south through Richmond and past Golden Gate Park, while frequent service to downtown is offered by the #38R Geary Rapid buses, which terminate at Point Lobos Avenue and 48th, next to Sutro Heights Park and right around the corner from the Lands End Lookout and the Cliff House. Drivers will want to take the El Camino del Mar Drive through the small Seacliff area on the northwest side to view some fancy mansions between Lincoln Park and the Presidio.

The Legion of Honor

Do

Movie theaters

Buy

Eat

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget $10 or less
Mid-range $10 - 20
Splurge $20 or more

A thriving restaurant area is to be found in the Inner Sunset around 9th Avenue and Irving Street. There is also a major Asian shopping district in the Outer Sunset on Irving from 19th to 27th Avenues with restaurants, supermarkets, a Taiwanese bakery, and tapioca drink places. Another small restaurant and shopping district in the Outer Sunset is located along Noreiga Street.

In the Richmond district there is a major Asian shopping district on Clement Street from 2nd to 12th Avenues with restaurants, markets, a number of dim sum (Cantonese snacks, literally `touch-the-heart') vendors, Hong Kong style bakeries, as well as Japanese, Thai, Burmese, and Korean restaurants, and tapioca drink places. Most other ethnic cuisines are represented as well. Not many tourists here.

Budget

  •   Gordo's, 2252 Clement St (between 23rd and 24th),  +1 415 387-4484.
  •   Gordo's, 5450 Geary Blvd (between 18th and 19th),  +1 415 668-8226.
  •   Gordo's, 1239 9th Ave (between Lincoln and Irving near Golden Gate Park),  +1 415 566-6011.
  •   King of Thai Noodle House, 639 Clement St (between 7th and 8th),  +1 415 752-5198.
  •   King of Thai Noodle House, 346 Clement St (between 4th and 5th),  +1 415 831-9953.

Mid-range

  •   Marnee Thai, 1243 9th Ave (between Irving St and Lincoln Way),  +1 415 731-9999.
  •   Marnee Thai, 2225 Irving St (between 23rd Ave and 24th Ave),  +1 415 665-9500.

Splurge

Cliff House

Food Markets

Drink

Bars

Coffee

  •   Royal Ground Coffee, 5301 Geary Blvd (at 17th Ave),  +1 415 751-5282.
  •   Royal Ground Coffee, 2342 Clement St (between 24th and 25th),  +1 415 387-5282.

Sleep

Connect

Go next

Routes through The Avenues

END  W  E  West Portal Financial District
END  W  E  Haight Financial District


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, August 04, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.