Bernal Heights

Bernal Heights Summit

Not too many city dwellers are familiar with this unique hilltop neighborhood, but Bernal Heights residents don’t mind.  They’re happy to keep it a secret.  Looking South from the Mission district, you can see a bald hill encircled by little pastel houses.  It’s brown in the summer and fall, turning a magical green during the winter and spring.  That’s Bernal Heights.  Located about three miles from downtown, the neighborhood is bordered by Mission Street to the West, Cesar Chavez (Army) Street to the North, Bayshore Blvd. to the East and Alemany Blvd. to the South.  Bernal Heights enjoys the same sunny weather as its neighbor, the Mission District.  But unlike the Mission, not much about Bernal Heights is trendy.  You see fewer tattoos and piercings, and more small children.  The neighborhood is generally understated and low-key.  But don’t assume that just because the streets are quiet, the residents are apolitical: they have a long history of taking ownership of their neighborhood to preserve its village-like feeling.  An eclectic mix of people live here—gay, straight, black, white, Asian, Latina, artsy, blue-collar, professionals, old and young—and when asked, they cite diversity and love of community as the area’s greatest virtues.

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