Affectionately known as SOMA, this eclectic urban neighborhood is a patchwork of office buildings, hotels, art spaces, showrooms, and digital companies. It also has some of the best weather in the city. Those who live here most likely reside in a contemporary loft or condo—or perhaps in one of the area’s few Victorian homes. Historically, the neighborhood was the epicenter of the city’s gay club scene, but these days SOMA offers a wider range of nightlife offerings, from more mainstream dance clubs and live-music venues, to laid-back lounges and wine bars. Some world-class restaurants are peppered throughout the area, and several significant arts organizations, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art(SFMOMA), are within walking distance. In terms of everyday needs, SOMA is home to some of the city’s only big-box chain stores, including a Bed Bath & Beyond and Costco, as well as a neighborhood Trader Joe’s and the co-op Rainbow Grocery. 

More restaurants and shops, a large indoor mall, landmark theaters, and museums are also to be found at the northern border of the area on Market Street. Flat streets make it easy for bicyclists to get around, while convenient access to public transportation, freeways and the Bay Bridge eases the daily commute. © 2016 Maryann LoRusso

The Alice Street Community Gardens is a small, serene urban garden maintained by area residents.

The Alice Street Community Gardens is a small, serene urban garden maintained by area residents.

Victoria Manalo Draves Park is an intimate public space featuring a community garden, softball field, basketball court, and playground.

Victoria Manalo Draves Park is an intimate public space featuring a community garden, softball field, basketball court, and playground.

Rainbow Grocery is a warehouse co-op market known for its organic vegetarian items, bulk goods and supplements.

Rainbow Grocery is a warehouse co-op market known for its organic vegetarian items, bulk goods and supplements.

Open to the public at 10 a.m. from Monday through Saturday, the San Francisco Flower Mart is a great place to pick up some blooms from local growers.

Open to the public at 10 a.m. from Monday through Saturday, the San Francisco Flower Mart is a great place to pick up some blooms from local growers.

 The Cartoon Art Museum was founded with a gift from Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.

 The Cartoon Art Museum was founded with a gift from Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.

The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of Bay Area history.

The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of Bay Area history.

Right around Highway 80 are the offices of several tech companies, including Twitter and Yelp. 

Right around Highway 80 are the offices of several tech companies, including Twitter and Yelp. 

Sightglass Coffee pours out potent cups of its single-origin, tiny-production coffee.

Sightglass Coffee pours out potent cups of its single-origin, tiny-production coffee.

111 Minna is an art gallery by day, party space by night. 

111 Minna is an art gallery by day, party space by night. 

Bar Agricole is a sophisticated eatery known for its sultry architecture and inventive cocktails.

Bar Agricole is a sophisticated eatery known for its sultry architecture and inventive cocktails.

The shops and restaurants at Westfield Mall are just a walk away.

The shops and restaurants at Westfield Mall are just a walk away.

Moscone Center is the largest convention and exhibition complex in San Francisco.

Moscone Center is the largest convention and exhibition complex in San Francisco.

Opened in the late 1980s by R&B artist and Steve Miller Band alum Boz Scaggs, Slim’s is a showcase for touring bands from around the world. 

Opened in the late 1980s by R&B artist and Steve Miller Band alum Boz Scaggs, Slim’s is a showcase for touring bands from around the world.