Great Sand Bank. A day-long drive from Downtown San Francisco during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, few folks resided in Central Richmond; its rolling, sandy terrain was considered inhospitable to parks, gardens or homes. Much has changed since the mid-1800s when the neighborhood was only suitable for garish amusements, roadhouses and saloons.
The Central Richmond today gives entree to the very best of San Francisco’s treasured urban parks. Entering Golden Gate Park from the rose garden at Fulton and Park Presidio, there’s easy access to the de Young Museum and California Academy of Sciences, as well as Strybing Botanical Garden, Stow Lake Boathouse and the Japanese Tea Garden. Walking east, it’s easy to visit the Conservatory of Flowers or the Children’s Playground. To the west are Spreckels Lake, Chain of Lakes, GG Angling and Casting Club, the Buffalo Paddock, GG Archery Field, GG Disc Golf Course, GG Golf Course, and of course Ocean Beach.
On the north side of the district, trails and roads lead into The Presidio from 15th Avenue and to Baker Beach and more Presidio trails from 25th Avenue. Lands’ End, Sutro Park and the ruins of the Sutro Baths are also nearby, and it’s possible to enjoy multiple variations of walks and hikes that link some or all of these sites together. You can hike from Ocean Beach, up to Lands’ End, along the coastal trail to Baker Beach, then on to the Presidio and even further to Crissy Field. Or you can just stroll around Sutro Park, take a turn through Mountain Lake Park, or amble along Lake Street.
Outdoor recreation and entertainment aside, the neighborhood has some of the best city living imaginable, with a friendly and diverse population, historically significant architecture, terrific public transportation, fabulous civic venues, bustling shopping streets, and an enviable safety record. Plus, with a plethora of restaurants offering an amazing array of cuisines at a price for every budget, it's possible to dine one's way around the world without leaving home.
Lot sizes in the Central Richmond tend to be larger than in most parts of the city; luscious gardens and expansive yards are common here. Reports of foggy, cool weather are exaggerated, especially since all of San Francisco is prone to the cool, grey summer weather that is typical for an ocean side Mediterranean climate. Housing stock has a wealth of architectural integrity, with the majority of properties dating from the 1920s when gracious public rooms, high ceilings, hardwood floors and other beautiful details were the norm.
In addition, the Central Richmond is surprisingly convenient for transportation: Terrific bus lines crisscross the neighborhood, and Park Presidio, 25th Avenue and Fulton Streets allow instant vehicle access to I-280 (southbound), SFO Airport, Hwy 1 (northbound), and the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin, and Fell/Oak streets for access to and from 101 and 80E