With its stately Victorian mansions, its hilly, tree-lined streets, and its unparalleled views of the Bay, Pacific Heights is the part of the city many people think of when they imagine San Francisco. Some of the world’s most well-heeled folks reside in these elegant turn-of-the-century abodes, and many of the city’s most famous residences—including the Flood Mansion, the Haas Lilienthal House, and the Spreckels Mansion—are found here. Most of these regal homes, even the more modest-sized ones, are perched on hills overlooking the Marina, the Golden Gate Bridge, and beyond; while walking at such steep angles is an aerobic exercise, the views are unparalleled.

Within the blocks surrounding Fillmore and Union Streets, residents have access to some of the most upscale, fashionable shopping and dining the city has to offer; clothing boutiques, bookstores, wine shops, cafes, bars, spas, fitness centers, and even two movie theaters keep these popular commercial hubs bustling with residents and tourists. For outdoor recreation, both Alta Plaza and Lafayette Parks are idyllic, child- and dog-friendly spots to play and picnic on a beautiful day. And for those who don’t have access to their own private drivers, easy public transportation makes the commute downtown or to Silicon Valley a breeze. ©2016 Maryann LoRusso

Accessible via a tiered staircase, Alta Plaza Park sits on a hilltop and contains sports courts, a grassy area, dog park, and a children’s playground with one of the best views in the city.

Accessible via a tiered staircase, Alta Plaza Park sits on a hilltop and contains sports courts, a grassy area, dog park, and a children’s playground with one of the best views in the city.

Lafayette Park offers grassy lawns, tennis courts, an off-leash dog play area, and beautiful views of the Bay.

Lafayette Park offers grassy lawns, tennis courts, an off-leash dog play area, and beautiful views of the Bay.

Spreckels Mansion, an ornate, pre-WWI home fronting Lafayette Park, is owned by romance novelist Danielle Steele, who has shrouded the house in a giant hedge for privacy.

Spreckels Mansion, an ornate, pre-WWI home fronting Lafayette Park, is owned by romance novelist Danielle Steele, who has shrouded the house in a giant hedge for privacy.

Some of the city’s most spectacular mansions were built on a portion of Broadway known as “Billionaire’s Row.” 

Some of the city’s most spectacular mansions were built on a portion of Broadway known as “Billionaire’s Row.” 

The Haas Lilienthal House is a fully furnished, preserved 1886 Queen Anne Victorian that serves as headquarters for San Francisco Architectural Heritage—and is open for tours.

The Haas Lilienthal House is a fully furnished, preserved 1886 Queen Anne Victorian that serves as headquarters for San Francisco Architectural Heritage—and is open for tours.

The Lyon Steps provides a great workout and, if you make it to the top, stunning views of the Palace of the Fine Arts and the Bay below.

The Lyon Steps provides a great workout and, if you make it to the top, stunning views of the Palace of the Fine Arts and the Bay below.

 Union Street offers some of the city’s most fashionable shopping and dining.

 Union Street offers some of the city’s most fashionable shopping and dining.

Fillmore Street is home to many great restaurants, boutiques, bars and coffee houses, and even an independent movie theater.

Fillmore Street is home to many great restaurants, boutiques, bars and coffee houses, and even an independent movie theater.

Built in 1910, the art-deco-era Clay Theater on Fillmore Street is one of the oldest movie houses in San Francisco.

Built in 1910, the art-deco-era Clay Theater on Fillmore Street is one of the oldest movie houses in San Francisco.

CPMC’s Pacific Campus Hospital on Buchanan serves residents of Pacific Heights.

CPMC’s Pacific Campus Hospital on Buchanan serves residents of Pacific Heights.

Town School For Boys on Jackson Street is one of the most prominent private schools in the city.

Town School For Boys on Jackson Street is one of the most prominent private schools in the city.