When my children were young, and my family and I lived in Noe Valley, we always enjoyed taking day trips to North Beach. First stop was the library for a little story time, followed by a visit to the playground next door. The Joe DiMaggio recreation area also includes an indoor swimming pool, two tennis courts, a basketball court, large open black-topped area, and a bocce ball court. All of these areas today continue to be well-used, with children and adults of all ages playing ball, roller skating, biking, or sometimes simply sitting back to watch the action.
As the kids grew older we would hike up Telegraph Hill just to experience the remarkable views from the top. Of course, we couldn’t leave the area without seeing the WPA murals in Coit Tower too. Our return usually involved stopping for a slice of pizza, desert, and/or cappuccino at one of the many local bakeries. Even today, this is still one of my favorite city hikes.
Although the neighborhood has changed a bit over the years, a strong bind remains between merchants, home owners, and renters who love their neighborhood’s character and work to keep a balance between old and new.
Saints Peter and Paul Church looks out onto Washington Square, a center piece of the neighborhood. In the park you will find people practicing Tai Chi, walking dogs, chatting with friends, reading the newspaper, or relaxing while enjoying the visual experience of San Francisco city living. Washington Square serves as the social hub of this vibrant area.
There are three commercial streets in the North Beach/Telegraph Hill neighborhood:
Many of these local merchants have been in business for 50 years or more, adding to the neighborhood’s unique charm that residents and tourists alike have all come to adore.
There’s a Catholic elementary school connected to Saints Peter and Paul, as well as a public elementary and middle school located in the center of the neighborhood. Galileo High School, on the corner of Bay Street and Van Ness Avenue, is also close by. Grocery shopping is a breeze here as well, with Chinatown to the south and Trader Joe’s and Safeway—both fully equipped with parking and access to public transportation—to the north on Bay Street.
Although North Beach and Telegraph Hill are small neighborhoods, the individual character of each place and difference in property values are quite obvious when looking at home prices. North Beach is listed under 8D on the San Francisco REALTORS® map, while Telegraph Hill is 8G. There are currently six condos and one Tenancy in Common (TIC) on the market in North Beach, ranging from $299K–$735K. Telegraph Hill has three homes for sale, priced from $1.23M to a whopping $9.5M, for a magnificent 4BR/3.5BA home with a romantic patio and dramatic views. Right now, prices for condos and TICs in North Beach start at $369K and inch upward to $3.9M.
Whether you’re interested in luxury living, or looking for a starter-home within budget, there is something for everyone in North Beach/Telegraph Hill. Keep in mind—all San Francisco neighborhoods that feature a plethora of homes with a view, or within blocks of coffee shops, popular restaurants, and public transportation—fly off the market when properly priced to sell. If you like being in the heart of the action, good weather, and even better views then North Beach or Telegraph Hill are two neighborhoods to consider. You can leave your car behind during the day if you’d like, and if you don’t own one, the Financial District, Downtown, and BART are all within walking distance.
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