Pacific Heights is an affluent neighborhood of San Francisco, California. It is located in one of the most scenic and park-like settings in Northern California, offering panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz and the Presidio. Its idyllic location provides a temperate micro-climate that is clearer, but not always warmer, than many other areas in San Francisco.
The Pacific Heights Residents Association defines the neighborhood as inside Bush Street, Presidio Avenue, Union Street, and Van Ness Avenue.
Pacific Heights is situated on a primarily east-west oriented ridge that rises sharply from the Marina District and Cow Hollow neighborhoods, to the north, to a maximum height of 370 feet above sea level. The streets of Jackson, Pacific, and Broadway extend along some of the most scenic areas along the hill's crest. The section of Broadway Street extending from Divisadero to Lyon Street is known as the "Gold Coast." Pacific Heights features two parks, Lafayette and Alta Plaza, each with spectacular views of the city and the bay. Easily visible to the north, for example, are the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and Alcatraz Island.
Lower Pacific Heights refers to the area located south of California Street down to Post Street. Though previously simply considered part of the Western Addition, this new neighborhood designation became popularized by real estate agents in the early 1990s.
The oldest building in Pacific Heights, located at 2475 Pacific Avenue, was built in 1853, though the majority of the neighborhood was built after the 1906 earthquake. The architecture of the neighborhood is varied; Victorian, Mission Revival, Edwardian, and Château styles are common.
Several countries have consulates in Pacific Heights. They include Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, and Vietnam.
Most of the neighborhood's boutiques and restaurants can be found along Fillmore Street, south of Pacific Avenue. They include stores like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Athletica and Design Within Reach. Other businesses in Pacific Heights are located on California and Divisadero Streets, as well as on Van Ness Avenue.
Because of its affluence, Pacific Heights has many elite private schools. This includes San Francisco University High School; Drew School (formerly Drew College Preparatory School); The Hamlin School; Convent of the Sacred Heart High School; Stuart Hall High School and Town School for Boys, among others.
Universities and colleges include Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, part of the University of the Pacific and the Academy of Art University.
Famous bestselling author Danielle Steel lives in Pacific Heights.
As of 2013, Pacific Heights was named the most expensive residential neighborhood in the United States, with the median price of a single family home costing $10,250,000.