Affectionately known as SOMA, this eclectic urban neighborhood is a patchwork of office buildings, hotels, art spaces, showrooms, and digital companies. It also has some of the best weather in the city. Those who live here most likely reside in a contemporary loft or condo—or perhaps in one of the area’s few Victorian homes. Historically, the neighborhood was the epicenter of the city’s gay club scene, but these days SOMA offers a wider range of nightlife offerings, from more mainstream dance clubs and live-music venues, to laid-back lounges and wine bars. Some world-class restaurants are peppered throughout the area, and several significant arts organizations, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art(SFMOMA), are within walking distance. In terms of everyday needs, SOMA is home to some of the city’s only big-box chain stores, including a Bed Bath & Beyond and Costco, as well as a neighborhood Trader Joe’s and the co-op Rainbow Grocery.
More restaurants and shops, a large indoor mall, landmark theaters, and museums are also to be found at the northern border of the area on Market Street. Flat streets make it easy for bicyclists to get around, while convenient access to public transportation, freeways and the Bay Bridge eases the daily commute. © 2016 Maryann LoRusso