North Waterfront Neighborhood Vibe
This neighborhood is Ground Zero for tourists, with Fisherman’s Wharf summoning visitors from around the globe. Hotels to house those tourists, tchotchke shops to sell them trinkets, and other attractions to lighten their wallets take up several blocks on the north edge of the neighborhood. Low-rise office buildings fill other blocks, and a few large condo buildings on Lombard Street fill in the rest.
Popular North Waterfront Home Styles
It’s a rare neighborhood in San Francisco with no housing older than the 1970s, but that’s the name of the game in the North Waterfront. Several large condo developments on Lombard Street comprise the bulk of the housing in the area, and they’re not at all evocative of the Victorians or Edwardians of older San Francisco neighborhoods. But that’s OK — not everyone wants to live in a 100+ year old home.
Getting Around in The North Waterfront
The F-Market streetcar line runs along the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf; train cars from around the world, labeled with their city of origin, are used on this route. A couple of bus lines also serve the neighborhood. Drivers who commute to the South Bay can hop on the Embarcadero and access I-280 easily. It’s also a very walkable neighborhood, with the very flat Embarcadero inviting pedestrians to stroll all the way to downtown.
In what would now be decried as a completely crazy plan, there used to be an elevated freeway running along the Embarcadero, blocking views of the Bay and isolating the east side of the road from the west. After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 damaged the freeway, it was pulled down and the Embarcadero took shape as the welcoming boulevard that it is today. The North Waterfront neighborhood certainly benefited from this upgrade. The neighborhood sweeps around the northeast corner of San Francisco, from Fisherman’s Wharf to Broadway. It’s a very walkable neighborhood — flat, for the most part, except the eastern side of Telegraph Hill.
Single-family homes are non-existent in this neighborhood, with condos making up the whole of the housing pool. Large condominium buildings are clustered in the area on Lombard Street, all of which were built between 1975 and 1995. The construction certainly doesn’t scream San Francisco, but the location near the Bay makes up for it.