Moving to Marina & Cow Hollow, made easy

Get housing costs, school ratings, safety rankings, walkability scores,
and more with our ultimate Marina & Cow Hollow guide.

These two neighborhoods share geography but that's about it: one is loud and boisterous while the other is a more mature scene.
Studio / 1 BR
25% Complete
3,350
2 Bedrooms
37% Complete
5,000
3 Bedrooms
50% Complete
6,800
4 Bedrooms
100% Complete
13,490

Good For
  • Couples without kids
  • Empty nesters / Retirees
  • Families
  • Nature lovers
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students

 

What's around
  • 13 Grocery stores/markets
  • 54 Nightlife options
  • 137 Fitness options
  • 284 Shops
  • 14 Banks
  • 6 Schools
  • 153 Restaurants

 


PUBLIC TRANSITGood

WALKABILITYExcellent
Safety

Marina has a low violent crime rate and a below average property crime rate for San Francisco.

  WHAT’S LIVING IN Marina & Cow Hollow LIKE?

Lying along the Bay on the north side of San Francisco, this area was unoccupied marshland until the 1906 earthquake, when brick and rubble from the destroyed parts of downtown were dumped here to create unstable dwellings.

Then, in 1915, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition was built and ran along the Marina for a year, hosting 60,000 visitors a day in its many magnificent buildings and exhibits. The only relic that still stands is the Palace of Fine Arts, along the edge of the Presidio.

After the Exposition, the waterfront became prime real estate and was built up quickly, though not carefully, and the earthquake of 1989 caused a fire that destroyed buildings on unsteady foundations. Afterwards there was a huge push to revamp the area, turning it into a neighborhood known for its luxury and beauty.

The Marina and Cow Hollow are separate neighborhoods, with the Marina stretching from the Bay to Lombard Street, and Cow Hollow running several blocks south until it blends into Pacific Heights.

The stereotypical residents of the Marina are young, attractive professionals in athletic wear partying like they’re still in college and spending their parents’ money. Cow Hollow is less infamous and stands in as the slightly more mature older sister, where the stereotypical residents of the Marina might move when they start a family.

The Marina has a bad reputation, which is blamed on its young and privileged residents, and particularly the corresponding overactive nightlife in the neighborhood. Bars and small clubs pack in on Lombard and Fillmore Streets, and they are known for their heavy drinking and large singles scene, reminiscent of typical American college bars, though its residents are generally post-collegiate.

You'll find incredible restaurants along Chestnut Street, high-end shopping and spas on Union Street, and architecture ranging from modern loft-style apartments, preserved Edwardian and Victorians, and charming single family homes.

And while the Marina is less diverse than many of the neighborhoods in San Francisco, and its vibe does run younger, it is also beautiful, sunny, and mainly flat. It’s sandwiched between the Presidio (a huge park and land reserve), with a long strip of open land known as Crissy Field along the Bay, and Fort Mason to the east, a former United States Army post, which hosts museums, nonprofits, and green space.

Several bus lines run through the neighborhoods, and while basic amenities tend to be more expensive here, a Safeway is tucked into its northeast corner. Nightlife is also mainly confined to a few main streets, so those living slightly away from them will have no problem avoiding it if they wish.

The Marina and Cow Hollow are beautiful neighborhoods to watch the sailboats and cargo ships pass by during the day and if you’re close enough, listen to the foghorns gently bleat as you fall asleep at night.

Marina and Cow Hollow are bordered on the north by the Bay, on the east by Russian Hill, on the south by Pacific Heights, and on the west by Presidio.

Marina-Cow Hollow San Francisco Neighborhood Guide

 

Local Flavor   Marina & Cow Hollow LOCAL schools

6-8 GRADES
Marina Middle School
Parent Rating:
Type:Public
Distance:0.16 mi
K-2 GRADES
Tule Elk Park Children Center
Parent Rating:
Type:Public
Distance:0.19 mi
K-8 GRADES
Saint Vincent De Paul
Parent Rating:
Type:Private
Distance:0.27 mi
K-8 GRADES
Lilienthal (Claire) Elementary School
Parent Rating:
Type:Public
Distance:0.36 mi
PK-8 GRADES
AltSchool Fort Mason
Parent Rating:
Type:Private
Distance:0.40 mi

 

Local Flavor   Marina & Cow Hollow Local Flavor

Bar None
Bar None 1980 UNION STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA MAP
http://sfbarnone.com

This bar perfectly encapsulates the reason that the Marina has a bad reputation: here you will find skee ball, beer pong, and a never-ending college party atmosphere.

Crissy Field
Crissy Field CRISSY FIELD, SAN FRANCISCO, CA MAP

Once an important military airstrip, this 130-acre stretch of land along the Bay is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and very popular among walkers, joggers, and frisbee players.

SFMOMA Artists Gallery
SFMOMA Artists Gallery LANDMARK BUILDING A, BLDG. A, 2 MARINA BLVD, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123 MAP
https://www.sfmoma.org/artists-galler

A nonprofit featuring rotating exhibits of contemporary artwork by local artists.

Lulu Lemon Athletica
Lulu Lemon Athletica 1981 UNION STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA MAP
http://shop.lululemon.com

A yoga-centric international athletic apparel company. Their logo is a common sight on clothes in the fitness-focused Marina.

The Plant Cafe Organic
The Plant Cafe Organic 3352 STEINER ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123 MAP
http://www.theplantcafe.com

A Californian mini-chain serving fresh, organic salads, burgers, wraps, and juice bar.

Palace of the Fine Arts
Palace of the Fine Arts 3301 LYON ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123 MAP
https://www.palaceoffinearts.org

Originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, it is the only structure from the Exposition that was saved after residents petitioned to preserve the beautiful Greco-Roman palace-esque building and surrounding lagoon. Today it holds a coworking space, performance art, and other events.

   

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