If you’re new to San Francisco, then it’s important to be aware that our city has a variety of microclimates. One minute you can be driving around with the top down, sweating, and the next you’re turning on the seat warmers. If you’re considering purchasing a home here and are particularly weather sensitive, it’s important to know which neighborhoods tend to have the most favorable climates.
Of course, San Francisco has citywide fog and wind no matter where you go. But some areas have longer periods of time during a given day when the sun shines and the wind is at a minimum. So here’s a quick rundown:
Bernal Heights. Make a good garden space a priority in Bernal, because you’ll be able to spend a lot of time enjoying it. And the Cortland retail strip is usually pretty hoppin’ because you can wander in and out of the shops and restaurants and not have to keep zipping and unzipping your jacket.
The Mission. Bernal’s neighbor is the Mission, which also shares in the weather fun. The nice part about the Mission is that the dining scene has exploded, so there are tons of restaurant options, as well as unique shops along Valencia and throughout the neighborhood. If your commute involves walking to BART at either 16th/24th and Mission, your morning and evening strolls won’t force you to confront driving winds.
Noe Valley. I live in the part of Noe that’s defined as “Upper Noe”—the area bordered by Guerrero, Cesar Chavez, 30th Street, and up as far as Diamond. For the most part, you can avoid the high winds in Noe, but it does depend on how into the “valley” part you are. Most days when I walk my dogs in the late afternoon, I’m wearing sunglasses and have a light jacket on. However, up there in Diamond Heights, the fog hangs thick. And when I drive down, say, Clipper, from Portola in the Twin Peaks area, I typically experience a transition from no sun and heavy fog to sun. There’s a notable difference every time.
South Beach. Located right off The Bay, South Beach is blessed with lots of sun most of the time. This is conducive to a very desirable, urban lifestyle that involves walks to the Ferry Building, runs along the Embarcadero, and Giants games.
South of Market. The blocks are long in SoMa, but that’s okay because if you’re running, biking or walking, you’re not being blown into traffic. The neighborhood is always developing, and it’s definitely the most urban area in this list. But having good weather is key to enjoying those shared rooftop decks that pervade SoMa living.
Mission Bay. Constantly in development, Mission Bay has amenities like Mission Creek Park, the ballpark, and outdoor dining. Developers have taken advantage of the on-the-Bay setting by incorporating as many deeded outdoor spaces as they can in condo complexes.
Potrero Hill/Dogpatch. Potrero is a well-established neighborhood offering a mix of residential and industrial properties, and Dogpatch (a.k.a. the Central Waterfront) has truly been transformed over the past decade into a hub for local businesses, restaurants, wine bars and the like. The T Muni line connects Dogpatch to downtown, and the freeways are extremely convenient to access.