Twin Peaks has an above average violent crime rate and an above average property crime rate for San Francisco.
Twin Peaks refers to both the two prominent hills for which its named and the surrounding neighborhood. Twin Peaks Boulevard runs a figure eight around these hills and they are a very popular spot to hike and take in breathtaking panoramic views of the city. This area is the geographic center of San Francisco and that gives it a level of visibility (literally) and familiarity that similar residential neighborhoods don’t have.
Its high altitude lets it sit above its more urban surroundings, accessible by only one bus or several sets of intimidating staircases that connect it to its neighbors. One of these is the Iron Steps, which are actually wooden and a bit treacherous, but a well known fixture of the area. The peaks form a divide for the fog pushed in from the Pacific Ocean, which means that the west-facing slopes often get fog and strong winds, while the east-facing slopes receive more sun and warmth — this is something to keep in mind when looking for a place to live.
Much of the land in this area was too steep to develop as is and had to be terraced and many of the road names reflect this practice (Graystone Terrace, Villa Terrace, Perego Terrace). Much of the housing is 50s- and 60s-era modern and boxy homes and apartment buildings, built with new (at the time) technology and materials, allowing some of the backs of homes to drop below street level and afford incredible views of San Francisco.
Some complain that this purely residential neighborhood feels a bit like a condominium complex, with the narrow, winding streets acting as alleys between the different wings of the complex. The Twin Peaks Improvement Association has worked hard to discourage the city from giving out business permits in the area, so much of Twin Peaks is open space and off limits to further development. As a result, there are no businesses operating in this neighborhood, and its lack of accessibility makes it a near necessity to own a car.
While there are some restaurants and amenities along the edges of the neighboring areas, any walk will include huge hills and windy weather.
The population tends to be older and less diverse, though the majority still rent. It is free of most other urban nuisances such as most crime, graffiti, homelessness, bad smells, and noise, although the trade-off is that it is missing many of the benefits of city life as well.
You get great views, a reprieve from urbanism, but also some very windy and foggy weather and there’s some effort involved to get even the most basic things (although with the preponderance of delivery services in San Francisco, this isn’t an issue for those who can afford it). And for those who do choose to live there — waking up with your home just above the fog line can be a magical experience that makes it all worth it.
A viewing area on the north peak offering vistas of San Francisco and San Francisco Bay.
These stairs ascend Twin Peaks and are some of the last remaining wooden stairways in San Francisco. They are worn and rotten in places, so use extreme caution if you climb them