Bernal Heights is a sprawling neighborhood atop one of the steepest peaks in San Francisco. While it is not an obvious tourist destination, nor heavily visited by San Franciscans in general, the community within its borders keep a bustling small-town feel equipped with all of the essentials of life.
Once infamous for unsafe activity, the area has been in constant revival with the power of its community behind every improvement. Curving down the center of the neighborhood is Cortland Avenue, the main commercial thoroughfare as well as Mission Street in its southern quarter. The entire neighborhood is a hotbed for artists, restaurants, and small-business owners putting down roots around every corner. It is no exaggeration that the community resembles a small town; they even have their own newspaper, the Bernal Journal.
Bernal Heights is alive with green spaces, filled with kids and dogs. On the south end of the district is Holly Park, and at the top of the hill is the massive Bernal Heights Park with views that give way to the downtown skyline, and one of the most popular off-leash dog parks in the city. North of that is Precita Park, recently revived with the arrival of Precita Park Cafe, which shares its sidewalks with the many families that congregate around the northern border of the district.
Bernal Heights is one of the best-kept secrets of San Francisco, a city within a city, hiding behind the chaos while creating its own uniquely invigorating pace of life.