This diverse neighborhood has the feel of a small town with an urban edge. Many of the streets in the Excelsior are named after countries and cities such as Peru, Excelsior, and Avalon, and the homes here range from single-family Victorians to newer houses and high-rise apartment buildings. The neighborhood was once home to Grateful Dead singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia, and today hosts the annual “Jerry Day,” which draws thousands to the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in John McLaren Park. The area’s other claim to fame is being the filming site of the award-winning 1967 movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
The neighborhood offers plenty of spots for residents to gather, including Excelsior Playground and nearby Crocker-Amazon Park. The annual Excelsior Festival, Sunday Streets, and the Excelsior Art Walk are all popular community-building events that pay homage to the neighborhood’s cultural diversity. For everyday needs, the shops, restaurants, drug stores, coffee houses, and cafes that line Mission Street are within walking distance from most homes, and a Safeway supermarket is just outside the neighborhood. Several MUNI lines run through the Excelsior, BART is accessible via both the Balboa and Glen Park stations, and street parking is ample for those who drive to work. ©2016 Maryann LoRusso