This formal rail yard is now one of San Francisco’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods, thanks to the creation of a new UCSF research campus and hospital complex that has made the area a center of bio-tech research. Mission Bay’s wide boulevards and vacant lots are steadily filling in with luxury apartment complexes, condos, and university campus buildings, many boasting pretty waterside views. Parks and green spaces are popping up throughout the neighborhood, part of the sprawling Bay Front Park area development that already includes a playground, dog park, and several recreational spots. 

Mission Bay is home to one of the newest branches of the San Francisco Public Library, located in a multi-use facility that comprises a health center, senior housing, and a community room. Old Navy, part of the Gap clothing retailer, is headquartered in Mission Bay, adding to its hip factor, and baseball fans appreciate the fact that the neighborhood is located just across Mission Creek from AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. The neighborhood is steadily gaining some great new restaurants and retail stores, and its light rail stops and bus lines can take residents anywhere in the city in a snap. Additionally, a new bike path that runs along the greenway from China Basin to Candlestick Point provides an easy, earth-friendly way to get around town. ©2016 Maryann LoRusso

Hidden among the big buildings and overhead freeways, Mission Creek Park is a pleasant place for strolling and dog walking. Besides benches and grassy knolls, it has a boat launch area, kayaks, and courts for tennis, basketball, and volleyball. 

Hidden among the big buildings and overhead freeways, Mission Creek Park is a pleasant place for strolling and dog walking. Besides benches and grassy knolls, it has a boat launch area, kayaks, and courts for tennis, basketball, and volleyball. 

Mission Bay is easily accessible by Caltrain, which operates a commuter rail service between San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Mission Bay is easily accessible by Caltrain, which operates a commuter rail service between San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

The first true light-rail line in the mostly streetcar MUNI system, the T-Third Street runs through Mission Bay and connects to the existing MUNI network along the southern Embarcadero and below Market Street.

The first true light-rail line in the mostly streetcar MUNI system, the T-Third Street runs through Mission Bay and connects to the existing MUNI network along the southern Embarcadero and below Market Street.

Once the site of railroad car turnaround, Mariposa Park (opening in late 2015) will include an expansive sun-drenched lawn and a trellis-shaded plaza just across the street from the UCSF Benioff Children’s hospital.

Once the site of railroad car turnaround, Mariposa Park (opening in late 2015) will include an expansive sun-drenched lawn and a trellis-shaded plaza just across the street from the UCSF Benioff Children’s hospital.

A work in progress, Mission Bay Commons is a pretty stretch of grassy areas—a great place for lunching, lounging and playing.

A work in progress, Mission Bay Commons is a pretty stretch of grassy areas—a great place for lunching, lounging and playing.

A pocket park at Mission Bay and Terry Francois Blvd. includes a plaza and benches.

A pocket park at Mission Bay and Terry Francois Blvd. includes a plaza and benches.

The Fourth Street Bridge and the Francis “Lefty” O’Doul Bridge are both working drawbridges designed by J.B. Strauss, whose firm, the Bascule Bridge Co., later designed the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Fourth Street Bridge and the Francis “Lefty” O’Doul Bridge are both working drawbridges designed by J.B. Strauss, whose firm, the Bascule Bridge Co., later designed the Golden Gate Bridge.

Stem Kitchen boasts a chef’s table, on-site garden, bocce ball court and a lawn with views of San Francisco Bay.

Stem Kitchen boasts a chef’s table, on-site garden, bocce ball court and a lawn with views of San Francisco Bay.

Marlowe is a stylish and lively restaurant serving Californian comfort food in a hip, sprawling space.

Marlowe is a stylish and lively restaurant serving Californian comfort food in a hip, sprawling space.

University of California’s Mission Bay Campus is responsible for spurring much of the area’s growth. 

University of California’s Mission Bay Campus is responsible for spurring much of the area’s growth.