Upscale and fun-loving, the Marina is shorthand among locals for of-the-moment boutiques and bars. But it’s also bursting with cultural landmarks and occupies one of the city’s most picturesque stretches of waterfront.
History: Following the earthquake and fire that devastated San Francisco in 1906, the Marina (then called Harbor View) was where the city showed off its big revival with the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Much of the neighborhood is built on landfill that contains the remains of downtown buildings destroyed in the quake.
Don’t Miss: Chestnut Street, the Marina’s main commercial strip, is an obvious starting point for shoppers and noshers alike. To catch the salty bay breeze, take a scroll to the Marina Green (watch out for joggers and cyclists). From there, it’s an easy walk to Fort Mason, where you can scope out the Civil War batteries on the bluffs or grab a bite at Greens Restaurant, a high-cuisine classic for vegetarians. On the far side of the neighborhood, the grand, Grecian-style Palace of Fine Arts is the only edifice remaining from the 1915 Exposition.