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Mt. Davidson and West Portal are home to around 72,000 residents who enjoy a quiet, village-like communities without sacrificing the benefits of urban living and easy access to downtown.
The Mt. Davidson/West Portal area consists 25,000 households in sixteen neighborhoods. We know- it's a lot, but we didn't draw the map either.
Forest Hill, Midtown Terrace and Forest Knolls form the area’s 3 main northern neighborhoods. Forest Hill offers some of the most beautiful single-family homes, built by notable architects along wide, curving leafy streets with decorative streetscapes. Originally developed in a man-made forest, the trees have now beautifully matured for homes that feel like a country house within the city.
For higher density housing (and the according price reduction) Forest Knolls and Midtown Terrace feature a less manicured but natural environment of mostly mid-century 2-3 bedroom homes and some high rise living spaces. Pride in home ownership is evident here with many houses being carefully maintained by the original owners who purchased their homes new in the 50s and 60s.
In the center-west sits the Mount Davidson neighborhoods of Sherwood Forest (complete with a Robinhood Drive), Miraloma Park and Diamond Heights. The easternmost of these neighborhoods are set higher in the cool air of the ‘mountain’ while on the west, Sherwood Forest is sunnier, overlooking the very pricey neighborhoof of St. Francis Wood.&
Residents of Mt Davidson enjoy its natural unique natural position as San Francisco’s highest peak at 927 feet, offering a 40 acre park with sweeping views to the south towards San Bruno and north, facing the city skyline. At the geographic center of San Francisco, Mt Davidson is named after the American geographer George Davidson. Yelpers rate the experience 5 stars as Mt Davidson has great views and is an easy day out for families. That and it offers the chance to reenact movie history as the filming location for Clint Eastwood’s 1971 Dirty Harry ‘cross scene’.
These areas are not set in the typical grid style. Here the streets are planned with nature in mind, curving in line with the stunning views. However some streets can be quite steep and narrow, so be sure to choose the right street for you. While foggier than other parts of San Francisco, Miraloma Park and Diamond Heights do receive their fair share of sunshine. Typical housing in these areas are narrow, tall and clumped together with influences of mission architecture.
To the sunnier south: Montgomery Heights, Balboa Terrace, Mount Davidson Manor, Ingleside Terraces, Westwood Highlands and Sunnyside.
More affordable housing can be found in Ingleside, an area seeing lots of renovation and rejuvenation. For higher-end neighborhoods, Mount Davidson Manor gives it away in the name. Despite not actually being near to Mount Davidson itself, this neighborhood has generally better views, larger houses and more modern finishes. For more space, Sunnyside offers wider streets and a suburban feel with a quiet family enclave, made up of closely built 60s duplexes.
Finally, on the east side are two of the area’s most prominent neighborhoods: St. Francis Wood and West Portal. St. Francis wood residents are some of the most satisfied in San Francisco in an area designated one of the nation’s ‘best residence parks’. The area was developed and released in 1912, inspired by the City Beautiful movement. It is known for its lavish houses and street scaping, which an active St. Francis Home Association together with other groups maintain even today. The fine homes in this neighborhood follow strict protocols, including that houses keep a minimum 20 ft setback from the street and 25% space on either side from the property boundary. These factors have resulted in St. Francis Wood being one of San Francisco’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
West Portal on the other hand offers a smaller village atmosphere. The area is comprised primarily of narrow and tall single family homes with many including a front or back yard. West Portal Avenue forms the main neighborhood promenade. It backs up to the major transport hub of West Portal Station and is a surprisingly very walkable area. Here you will find an unusual amount of friendly mom-and-pop establishments, which give the area its unique village character.
There are all the major conveniences, including a Starbucks and Walgreens, public library, cinema and even bookstores. The large selection of local restaurants here also rivals that of other more centrally located neighborhoods, featuring Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Mediterranean, Mexican and other cuisines.
Many families are attracted to West Portal because of its high quality private and public schools. The local public school, West Portal Elementary, received a 9 out of 10 GreatSchools score and has a campus-style setting nearby the West Portal Playground.
Overall, the sixteen neighborhoods of Mt Davidson and West Portal offer a range of family homes and neighborhoods, close to downtown without the noise and tourists.
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