You can tell you’ve reached San Francisco’s South Beach and Yerba Buena neighborhoods as soon as you set foot on the southern side of Mission Street. This thriving, if relatively compact, area of San Francisco is markedly more modern than just about every other district in the city.
One of two San Francisco neighborhoods with high-rise buildings of any type, South Beach is lined with new, sleek apartment buildings, and fancy-looking restaurant fronts.
Benefactors of the dot com boom, the South Beach and Yerba Buena areas of San Francisco have quickly turned into a tech paradise.
4th and 5th streets (depending on whom you ask) to the west, the waterfront at Embarcadero to the east, Mission Street to the north, and King Street to the south make up the rough borders of South Beach and Yerba Buena areas.
Offices in this area are diverse, and run the gamut of the technology ecosystem. Here, you’ll find everything from the smallest of tech firms, to Twitter, to IGN Entertainment, and everything in between, like tech PR firms, and websites like CNet (CBS Interactive).
The Moscone Center conference halls regularly host large tech trade shows and gatherings, including MacWorld, Cisco Live and Dreamforce.
But the growing tech landscape is not the only remarkable feature of this area of San Francisco.
AT&T Park, one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country, on 2nd and King, is home to the San Francisco Giants, as well as a number of offseason events such as international soccer competition, and 5k running races for the public. Pete’s Tavern, Pedro’s Cantina, and Momo’s are favorite haunts for Giants fans awaiting the first pitch.
The Embarcadero promenade is home to joggers and exercisers, street performers and picture-takers, coffee shops and upscale restaurants, not to mention views of the San Francisco Bay, and the new LED-infused Bay Bridge pylons.
Art abounds as well. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) opened in 1995, and is a popular attraction, though it will be closed until 2015 for expansion remodeling. The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a home of many contemporary art exhibits, also borders the Yerba Buena Gardens. Yerba Buena Gardens’ four square blocks of parks and attractions feature an ice skating rink in the winter, a bowling alley, and a number of restaurants and public art exhibits.
Shoppers in this part of San Francisco will also rejoice. The Westfield Metreon features a complete movie theater with 3D and Imax experiences. The building also houses a brand new City Target store, and, across the street at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and a number of restaurants beckon. The shopping complex also offers direct access to the Powell Street transportation hub.
Once driven by an underground rave and club scene, much of this type of nightlife has moved southwest to the seedier SOMA neighborhood. South Beach and Yerba Buena now offer a much more above ground (literally and figuratively) bar scene. But don’t look for your standard San Francisco dive here. This area is home to cocktails and sports bars, hotel lounges and waterfront happy hour favorites.
If you’re looking for chic and modern, this is the neighborhood for you. South Beach houses San Francisco’s Caltrain station, baseball stadium, and many of its and entertainment culture centers, and caters almost specifically to the tech world and its employees – commuters and otherwise.