Bernal Heights

Once a San Francisco skunkworks flying pirate flags filled with humble Victorian cottages owned by ladies who loved ladies and looked forward to long dog walks. Then it gentrified. Silicon Valley stock options splurged on homes here. Dwell magazine arrived next to document the results. While it might be one Bernal, the neighborhood has several distinct geographic vibes and styles. It’s not complicated, perhaps recently algorithmically optimized?

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Precita Park

Bernal Heights Seen From Twin Peaks

Southern View From Bernal Heights Park

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Bernal Heights Neighborhood Vibe

Quirky homes, great weather, and a historically relaxed vibe create a beloved location that inspires the fierce defense and praise of neighborhood residents. Block parties and friendly neighbors are the norm in this neighborhood.

 

Popular Bernal Heights Home Styles

Primarily single family homes, with condos in older wood-frame buildings belonging to smaller (typically 2 – 4 home) associations. When originally built the neighborhood wasn’t an affluent area, and many homes began as one- or two-room shacks that were expanded as necessity demanded and money permitted. Get ready for some quirky and “very Bernal” floor plan layouts.

 

Getting Around in Bernal Heights

Public transit to, from, and through Bernal is primarily via Muni buses, although residents on the Northwest corner of the hill are within walking distance of the 24th Street BART station and those on the southwest side can walk several blocks to the Glen Park BART station. Commuters to Silicon Valley love the neighborhood for its convenient access to the I-280 freeway.

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More About Bernal Heights

Bernal Heights has a reputation for quirky homes, but to many residents, it is a beloved location that inspires their fierce defense and praise.

 

Bernal Heights was sparsely populated until the great quake of 1906. Buildings on the hill escaped the quake relatively unscathed, and it suddenly became a rather popular destination for families and residents seeking some assurance of safety after they watched their city burn to the ground.

 

It was not a particularly affluent district, and many of the houses started as one- or two-room shacks, with additional rooms being added as necessity demanded and money permitted, which leads to the quirky and “very Bernal” homes that exist today in the ‘hood.

 

Shopping and dining are centered around Cortland Avenue, with homes within a short walking distance of this area being a highly desired item. Cortland is filled with organic food shops, a variety of ethnic restaurants, and lots of funky little shops owned and run by neighborhood residents.

 

Public transit in the area is primarily via Muni buses, although residents on the northwest corner of the hill are within walking distance of the 24th street BART station and those on the west side can walk several blocks to the Glen Park BART station. Commuters to Silicon Valley love the neighborhood for its convenient access to the I-280 freeway.

 

Homes on the west side of Bernal Heights will often have great views of Twin Peaks, while homes on the east side are known for having views of the San Francisco Bay (although homes on the east side can also get a heavy amount of freeway noise from the 101).

 

There are numerous parks in the neighborhood, and even some hidden slides, with Precita Park on the north slope being one of the neighborhood favorites. The area also has a reputation for being a very dog-friendly area, so if you are looking for a pooch-centered community, this might be your perfect neighborhood.

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