Upscale, somewhat secluded Russian Hill is a unique and charming place to live. Named for the 1800s discovery of Russian tombstones—thought to be the final resting place of fur traders from a Russian fort north of San Francisco—the neighborhood perched over San Francisco Bay is known for its large, architecturally diverse homes (a few of them historical landmarks), gorgeous views, and proximity to some of the liveliest parts of town. The homes and streets of Russian Hill are among the city’s most frequently photographed, while Lombard Street, “the crookedest street in the world,” as well as some of the city’s most picturesque staircase streets, including parts of Vallejo and Green, are popular with tourists. The city’s “steepest street” on Filbert is where movie producers love to take car action shots. And Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series was inspired by the cobbled, tree-lined Macondry Lane.
For more private recreation, residents enjoy the vistas at both the Ina Coolbrith neighborhood park and George Sterling Park, home to the popular Alice Marble tennis courts. The San Francisco Art Institute on Chestnut Street features several Diego Rivera murals and is a cultural treasure. Even though the neighborhood is reasonably secluded, Russian Hill is within comfortable walking distance to the wonderful assortment of restaurants, nightlife, and shopping in the nearby neighborhoods of North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Marina. © 2016 Maryann LoRusso