San Francisco/Twin Peaks-Lake Merced

Southwestern San Francisco is made up of several hilly neighborhoods that include some of the city's highest peaks, beautiful parkland, and tranquil neighborhoods tucked in the hillsides, where you'll find spectacular views and quiet parks. Running from the Twin Peaks to Lake Merced at the very southwestern corner of the city, the area includes the Twin Peaks neighborhoods, West Portal, and Miraloma Park before stretching southwest to Ingleside, SFSU and Lake Merced. It is bordered by the Sunset neighborhood on the northwest, the Castro-Noe Valley district to the northeast, and I-280 to the southeast.


Twin Peaks-Lake Merced Map

The name Twin Peaks stems from the fact that it consists of two almost identical peaks. It is practically at the geographical center of the city, and at an elevation of over 900 feet it offers spectacular 360 degree panoramic views of the city and the bay. Although the peaks remain undeveloped, the foot of the hillside is peppered with residential houses, taking advantage of the spectacular vistas.

The weather in Twin Peaks is always markedly windier and chillier than in neighborhoods at lower altitudes, so bring along appropriate cool-weather dress and err on the side of excess.

Miraloma Park is a quiet, pleasant residential district of single-family homes on the east side of Mt. Davidson. Homes were first built in the neighborhood in the late 1920s and construction continued in waves through the 1950s. The neighborhood therefore offers a variety of architectural styles: from 1920s classic to mid-century modern.

West Portal is a small business district on the western side of San Francisco's largest hills. The name refers to the western end of the Twin Peaks Tunnel, a subway tunnel which runs under the Twin Peaks and connects to the Market Street subway tunnel to Downtown.

Forest Hill is an often overlooked neighborhood atop the Twin Peaks Tunnel, with a subway station on the way out to West Portal. One of the first neighborhood developments on the west side of the city, Forest Hill's first houses were built in the 1910s with the opening of the Twin Peaks Tunnel. The neighborhood is beautifully landscaped, with wide, curving streets, terraces, parks, and elegant stairways with ornamental touches.

Lake Merced is a freshwater lake which now serves mainly as a recreational spot, surrounded by much parkland. It was the last area of San Francisco to develop, making it the best place to put the large San Francisco Zoo and the campus for San Francisco State University, which is the heart of another small business district.

Ingleside is a mostly residential neighborhood tucked between San Francisco State University on the west and City College of San Francisco on the east. Ocean Avenue is the main commercial corridor of this neighborhood. A new shopping district on Alemany Boulevard in the southern section of this neighborhood promises several restaurants as well as shopping.

Get in

MUNI Metro K, L and M lines serve the area. From Downtown, all three lines travel underground through the Twin Peaks Tunnel, stopping at the Forest Hill station before emerging aboveground at West Portal station. After West Portal, the lines run on the surface. The L line runs west through the Sunset neighborhood to the San Francisco Zoo. The K and M lines split up as they head through Ingelside, with the M-line stopping at the San Francisco State University, before meeting up again at the Balboa Park BART station near the City College. The K and T lines overlap in the Twin Peaks tunnel, so "K" trains inbound to Downtown will be redesignated "T" as they pass through West Portal station.

Muni bus lines which serve the area include the 36-Teresita, 37-Corbett, 43-Masonic, 44-O'Shaughnessy and the 48-Quintara/24th Street lines in the Twin Peaks area, and the 18-46th Avenue, 23-Monterey, 28-19th Avenue, 29-Sunset and 57-Parkmerced lines in the Lake Merced and SFSU area.


A peacock wandering the grounds of the zoo


Lake Merced



Sutro Tower, seen from Twin Peaks




Go next

Routes through Twin Peaks-Lake Merced

Balboa Park  SE  NE  Castro Financial District
Sunset  W  NE  Castro Financial District
Balboa Park  SE  NE  Castro Financial District

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, May 17, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.