Bernal Heights: Small Town Living, Big City Views [Sponsored]

With a quaint, small-town atmosphere, artsy business district and panoramic views of the city below, Bernal Heights offers its diverse community a comfortable pace without sacrificing the quintessential San Francisco experience.

Video courtesy of Zephyr Real Estate

Winding around Bernal Hill, one of the city's steepest peaks, this sunny hillside community boasts an interesting history.

In 1839, the Mexican government awarded 4,446 acres spanning from the current Cesar Chavez Street to Daly City—including the hill—to José Cornelio de Bernal, a soldier in the 1776 expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza.

Bernal, who built his house where St. Luke's Hospital now operates, was followed by squatters, a gold rush that proved false and downtown residents fleeing the devastation left by the 1906 earthquake and fire.

After World War II, the neighborhood became home to many families who worked at the nearby naval shipyard at Hunters Point, and during the Vietnam War, many anti-war activists looking for affordable housing took refuge here as well.

Today, few San Francisco residents, and even fewer tourists, venture up the neighborhood's steep, colorful roads, helping to preserve its charming, village-like feel. And Bernal Hill continues to serve as a shared respite for urban wildlife, trail runners, picnickers and local dogs.

Despite its geographic exclusivity, Bernal Heights is not inaccessible. Public transportation and freeway access is easily available along Mission, Ceasar Chavez and Cortland Avenue. Plus, services like Zipcar, Getaround and Scoot make borrowing a set of wheels a breeze.

Although, the neighborhood's plentiful farmers markets, shops, cafes and bars, parks and playgrounds, and cultural events make it easy to remain hill-bound for days on end. On any given Sunday, popular haunts like Precita Park and the adjacent Precita Park Cafe, Holly Park, Hillside Supper Club, The Good Life Grocery, Bernal Yoga and El Rio bar are all buzzing with activity.

The New Wheel bike shop on Cortland Avenue

If you're looking to make Bernal Heights home-base, visit to explore the neighborhood's latest listings.

Since 1978, Zephyr Real Estate has been helping buyers and sellers navigate the city’s 89 highly diverse neighborhoods. Clients who work with Zephyr—now the number one property seller in San Francisco—can expect unprecedented hands-on attention from knowledgeable, local agents supported by innovative processes, expansive networking and unmatched resources.

For questions, and to find your perfect match among Zephyr's nearly 400 San Francisco-based agents, contact the firm through its website or call one of their conveniently located offices throughout the Bay Area. 

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[Editor's Note: This is a sponsored article.]

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Bernal heights small town living big city views sponsored