Get a feel for neighborhoods in San Francisco

If you are looking at some of the homes for sale in the Bay Area, you'll want to visit one of the many neighborhoods in the vicinity to get a feel for the metro area. Since San Francisco is such a large, spread-out city, there are dozens of different cultures huddled around short stretches of blocks. Take a look at some of the following communities if you are considering relocating to this northern California city.

Haight-Ashbury
Haight-Ashbury may look like a normal neighborhood of about 10,000 people, however, this couldn't be further from the truth. This area was hippie heaven during the Summer of Love in 1969 and has retained much of the laid-back, relaxed qualities of its previous residents. Also called The Haight, the geographic area stretches from Golden Gate Park to the west to the Panhandle to the north, and Buena Vista Park and Frederick Street serve as the eastern and southern boundaries, respectively. The town name comes from the intersection of Haight Street and Ashbury Street.

In modern times, residents flock to Haight-Ashbury for its painted Victorian houses and bohemian atmosphere. Plenty of young people live here, so the region has many independent bars, clothing retailers and other establishments. The San Francisco music scene also centers here, with record stores like Amoeba Music promoting local bands.

If you are checking out the area, stay in the Red Victorian Hotel for a night, one of the oldest hotels in San Francisco. At 1665 Haight Street, you'll find a unique mix of hippie culture and historical remembrance. Head on down to the Squat & Gobble the following morning for a tasty breakfast or brunch that will help start your day off right.

Cow Hollow
While the name might sound wacky, Cow Hollow is an affluent neighborhood located just to the east of The Presidio, in between Lombard Street and Green Street. It gets its name from its former use as a cattle grazing ground in the early 1800s, before San Francisco became such an urban environment.

If you are young and have some money to spend, this is the place to live in the Bay Area. There are lots of trendy, health-oriented restaurants along Union Street, along with numerous bars and shopping centers. Plus, easy access to the Marina is an added benefit, where you can take a leisurely stroll, go for a jog or just hang around.