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

Held during the summer, the Excelsior Arts and Music Festival is a free, family-friendly art and music celebration.

Held during the summer, the Excelsior Arts and Music Festival is a free, family-friendly art and music celebration.

Sunday Streets in the Excelsior are family-friendly events featuring music and community-building activities.

Sunday Streets in the Excelsior are family-friendly events featuring music and community-building activities.

Mama Art Café is a colorful eatery that pours organic, fair-trade coffee and homemade soup, and hosts live music and art exhibits.

Mama Art Café is a colorful eatery that pours organic, fair-trade coffee and homemade soup, and hosts live music and art exhibits.

Taqueria Guadalajara is a popular neighborhood joint known for its burritos.

Taqueria Guadalajara is a popular neighborhood joint known for its burritos.

Crocker-Amazon Park has a play structure, baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, a recreation center, a bocce court, picnic tables, and playground. 

Crocker-Amazon Park has a play structure, baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, a recreation center, a bocce court, picnic tables, and playground. 

Adjacent to Crocker-Amazon Park is John McLaren Park, San Francisco’s second largest park after Golden Gate. It has a golf course, an amphitheater, two lakes, jogging and hiking trails, a public pool and an old reservoir now used as a dog swimming area. 

Adjacent to Crocker-Amazon Park is John McLaren Park, San Francisco’s second largest park after Golden Gate. It has a golf course, an amphitheater, two lakes, jogging and hiking trails, a public pool and an old reservoir now used as a dog swimming area. 

Balboa Park is home to Boxer Stadium, four busy ball fields, an indoor pool, and a modern playground.

Balboa Park is home to Boxer Stadium, four busy ball fields, an indoor pool, and a modern playground.