What's the best part about living in the San Francisco Bay Area?
It's a perfect mix of urban living and natural beauty. My family is minutes away from endless city amusements, yet we can walk to the beach. We love to wander and explore San Francisco neighborhoods but we can still be at our favorite campsite in about an hour.
The diversity – from the geography and natural wonders, to the many things to do, to the variety of people, neighborhoods, architecture and entertainment. You can hike on a mountain or visit a farm, then enjoy great ethnic food in a thriving neighborhood the same day. It is nearly impossible to be bored.
The Bay Area is wild and bustling and beautiful and unique. There are amazing restaurants that inspire me to get crazy in the kitchen and festivals that spark my urge to dance. Hop in the car and it's a quick drive to the ocean or the mountains. Then there's baseball, and by baseball I mean: Let's Go Oakland! Most importantly, my girls can look around and see that diversity is beautiful and normal. The will grow up in a place that mirrors their brown skin and crazy curly hair, and I love that.
I hate answering this question for fear that I sound like I'm bragging, but here goes: the crisp, clear light. Easy access to hiking and biking trails. Farmers markets, year round. Tons of performance venues that lure world-class musicians of every stripe to play within an hour of my house. The fact that a "stay-cation" here counts as a desirable "vacation" to everyone else.
See? Sounds kind of braggy. So let me just add: earthquakes are bad!
The weather: Lots of people complain about the fog – I've caught myself doing the same – but no matter how hot it gets during the day the fog rolls in and it acts like natural air-conditioning.
The variety of things to do & see: everything is here within a short drive. The beach. The mountains. The city. Berkeley and Oakland. The Haight. The Golden Gate Bridge. Beautiful areas to bike and hike. Combine all this with the weather and the San Francisco Bay area is a great place to be.
The best thing about the Bay Area is the multi-cultural population and the impulses this brings to the life in the city, access to the outdoors and the abundance of good – fresh food.
Weather, food, activities and access. Access, you say? Yes, access to the mountains, the beach, multicultural activities, the very best in healthcare, and so many more things we take for granted everyday.
It's a toss-up between people and place.
The mix of folks here from around the globe brings an abundance of languages, excellent musicians, dancers, and food to our area. The one-of-a-kind "Lark World Music and Dance Camp" and the "San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival" both spring to mind as examples of the cultural richness and ethos here.
Other wonderful perks of the Bay Area are its tilt toward healthy living (e.g. weekly farmers' markets--with a climate that supports them year-round), and thoughtfulness and concern about sustainable systems of living. Since I arrived from Denver, CO, it has changed the way I eat for the better, and the way I think about consumption and the world.
The Bay Area is world-famous for its breathtaking beauty and Mediterranean climate, and the proximity of its urban center to a large amount of accessible open space.
It is a joy to live here!
I'm a San Francisco/Bay Area native so I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I love that the weather is never to the extremes here. There are so many great outdoor and indoor activities for kids and the food here can't be beat!
I love that I can find great bread and food in the Mission next a pirate store, enjoy the amazing children's collection at the Main Library, take my girls to the free Friday Nights at the De Young, eat ice cream and see an urban farm in Hayes Valley, walk down paper streets to hanging gardens in North Beach, spy flashlight fishes at the Cal Academy, bike along Ocean Beach, see bakers shape sourdough crabs at Fisherman's Wharf or find a pumpkin patch in Cole Valley. How diverse! I love discovering new adventures for my kids.
If that's not enough, San Francisco is an incredible base for day trips. Think the ancient redwoods of Muir Woods, the bunker-studded hills of the Marin Headlands, the goat farm in Pescadero, the aviation museum in San Carlos, the dragon playground at Coyote Point, the Chabot Space Center in Oakland, the lighthouse in Point Reyes.
What I love most though, is the "Yes we can" attitude and I hope my girls grow up learning that the world is theirs if they want it.
So much to do with kids - all close by. Great weather - we even love the fog in SF! Awesome food all over the Bay Area.
The temperate climate is so livable. It is almost always easy to get out and about. There are so many different things to do. Being able to be out of doors in nature or at a cultural event, a plethora of museums of all kinds, too many amazing culinary offerings to match or stimulate any palate, proximity to ocean and mountains, and an overall attitude of healthy living... in body, mind and spirit... create my ideal living environment.
The beach. The mountains. The wine country. The city. The parks. The museums. The sunshine. The fog. The history. The future. In other words, the Bay Area has a bit of everything that's magical to me.
San Francisco is the first city I ever fell in love with and I'm pretty sure the love is mutual. I moved to SF in 1992 and the second I got here, I knew I was home. I felt embraced, accepted, and celebrated. San Francisco is a dynamic city that thrives on diversity. Our differences are what make us interesting and I think my beautiful city by the bay understands this fundamental truth. We can be different in culture, beliefs, sexual orientation, you name it, and still respect and learn from each other.
I'm not sure if I can narrow that down to one answer. For me, it's the people, the weather and landscape, and the variety of food (and my hair is no longer frizzy; that's a plus as well).
I love the beautiful outdoors and the access to fresh, delicious food.
The San Francisco Bay Area is beautiful and it's easy to find lots of outdoor things to do with the kids. Skiing is only a few hours away, and the beach is close too. There are plenty of camping options, as well as cultural opportunities. People in the Bay Area come from all over the world, so you don't have to be born here to fit in.
The SF Bay Area is just so eclectic. No matter your interest, there is always something to do. For me, the best part is I can go hiking in the morning and hitch a ride on BART to watch a world class-Opera Production in the evening, all within the same 24 hours.
The multiculturalism. A walk down a Bay Area street is like a trip around the world. I'm proud to be raising my son in a place like that, because he will grow up with a natural level of acceptance of other people and other cultures. It is also a politically fascinating place to live. Before I lived here, I had the assumption that everyone was a far left-wing liberal, but that's so far from the truth. The beauty of the Bay Area is that every single part of the political spectrum is represented (and accepted) here.
The Bay Area culture trumps all. Innovation is encouraged, nerds are embraced, and there are endless things to explore and discover. Plus, the weather is great (no snow shoveling or hair style-killing humidity), and jeans are an acceptable part of a work wardrobe.
There are a lot of amazing things about San Francisco, but for me, one of the best things is the availability of amazing food. San Francisco is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, as well as year round Farmer's Markets. I love that I can go to a Farmer's Market anytime of the year and buy locally grown, fresh organic produce, meats, grains, really almost anything. This inspired me to make all of my son's food, and share my experience with other moms.
There are so many aspects of the SF Bay Area that I love, but I think it's especially incredible to be in such a short driving distance of so many beautiful areas, from the ocean to the redwoods to the mountains. And the microclimates can be pretty sweet, too -- head to the coast for some natural air conditioning or go inland for plenty of sunshine. The weather in Oakland is pretty close to perfect.
The climate, the water and people of all aspects of life uniting on common ground.