Known by locals simply as “The Marina,” this neighborhood has become the “in” residential retreat for affluent 20-somethings and 30-somethings. It offers a front row seat to spectacular views and the San Francisco Bay, as well as convenience to trendy boutiques, galleries, restaurants and cafes. In fact, a recent article in the San Francisco press listed 38 restaurants, more than a dozen hip nightspots, 45 stylish boutiques and accessories shops and several dozen additional places to pamper one’s self, home and pets. Most of these activities and amenities are along two of the most stylish streets in town,Union and Chestnut.
Originally tidal marshland and sand dunes that were part of the daily life of Native Americans, the area was changed forever by San Francisco’s Great Quake of 1906. Much of the rubble from that catastrophe was dumped here. Combining that massive amount of debris with sand and rocks dredged from the Bay, in 1915 developers first held the celebratory Panama-Pacific International Exhibition on the newly-formed land, then proceeded to demolish most of its buildings and construct homes and businesses.
Today, the only structure left standing from the Exhibition is the iconic Palace of Fine Arts, not just a world-famous façade, but also home to one of the city’s most popular museums, the Exploratorium. Other cultural entities at home in the Marina District are Fort Mason, Crissy Field and The Presidio.