The Financial District has a high violent crime rate and a high property crime rate for San Francisco.
The Financial District (also called Downtown) is the most visible and trafficked neighborhoods in San Francisco. The land now occupied by the Financial District was once a small bay called Yerba Buena Cove. During the 1849 Gold Rush, hundreds of ships were abandoned when their crews docked and took off in search of gold. In the 1950s the cove was filled, burying the abandoned and sunken ships.
Looking out at the high rises, banks, and commercial buildings, it’s difficult now to imagine that this area was literally built from the ground up. The adjacent Union Square area at its southwest corner is a major hotel hub and shopping district. It lies along Market Street, encompassing multiple BART and lightrail stops, making public transportation a breeze. Most housing consists of high rise condos and large apartment buildings, and the cost of living in this area is on the high end for San Francisco.
The Financial District is primarily a business district, crammed with cars and pedestrians during weekdays, and clearing out in the evenings and on weekends. Traffic can become gridlocked during rush hour, creating a case against owning a car in the area.
Many of the cafés and lunch spots close up shop when the businesspeople grow sparse, but a few high-end restaurants, such as Piperade, can be found after hours. You’re likely to see fellow diners in formal attire following their workdays, in a city where a suit and tie can be a rare sight. Head down to Union Square and you’ll find crowds late night shopping and roaming around, creating an incredibly cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The Financial District ends at the Embarcadero, the large avenue running along the Bay. On one side lies Sue Bierman Park, an expanse of green with plenty of sun that provides relief from the hectic sidewalks and streets of the Financial District. Across the street at the historic Ferry Building a daily market can be found, supplementing the many grocery stores and other amenities available in the area.
Theaters, galleries, and movie theaters provide entertainment, and some university campus buildings make their home here. Weather is generally sunnier than other parts of the city, unless you’re caught in the shadow of a high rise.
No public schools are located in the Financial District, another reason besides the chaotic environment that the neighborhood may not be the best fit for families with young children. The Financial DIstrict is dotted with hidden public parklets, which can be fun to search for and the sound of the trumpet player in the crisp night air in Union Square can be magical.
These neighborhoods are ideal for unmarried professionals and couples without children. And if you work in the area, you might never find a reason to leave.
A one block public plaza with plenty of seating space. It is surrounded by a major shopping district and is a popular tourist destination.
A 5.3 acre park on the eastern edge of the Financial District. It lies across from the Ferry Building and the Bay with playground equipment and a long stretch of grass perfect for picnicking or stretching out.
A weekly farmer’s market on Thursdays from 10am-2pm, with fare from a number of farmers as well as artisan food purveyors.
One of many hidden public spaces throughout the city, this POPO is a 15th floor sun terrace featuring sundial art, landscaping, and seating. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-6pm.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @kore_collective, @serpico____, @jorieh, @lil_missfit_ish, @farro10, @donnalouise323, @orlandoroyce, @ildukko, @yuppieguides, @explorer_4you, @art_official_sf, @anabananamarie, @smixity, @susiebrown, @nicolas2bert, @borja_thegayexplorer, and @igimangaya for your great photos of this neighborhood!