Geographically, Bernal Heights is bounded on the north by Cesar Chavez Street (the Mission district), San Jose Avenue (Noe Valley & Glen Park) to the west, US 101 (Old Bayshore and Potrero Hill) to the east, and I-280 (Portola, the Excelsior) to the south. It is located very close to the new Mission Bay neighborhood and downtown San Francisco and has convenient commute access via freeways plus public transportation including BART. At its center lies Bernal Heights Summit , a rocky hilltop grassland open space popular for dog walkers and nature lovers, which enjoys incredible downtown San Francisco and Bay views as well as a collection of urban flora and fauna. There are several hidden landscaped stairways that connect many of the streets, some of which remained unpaved until recently.
The hillside community is primarily residential with a commercial strip on Cortland Avenue on the south which includes a historic public library with nearby Holly Park for recreation. Precita Avenue cafes are located on the north side with its family oriented Precita Park. The area is truly one of the warmer climes of the city, remaining mostly clear of the coastal foggy marine layer that flows in and out of the city, particularly in the summer when the Fiesta on the Hill Street Fair and Outdoor Cinema are popular with the residents.
Bernal Heights architecture is eclectic featuring rustic hillside cottages, a generous sprinkling of Victorians and Edwardians, some vintage converted farmhouses, spacious modern new designer digs and some multi-family dwellings, many with outstanding views. Its residents are equally diverse exhibiting a strong sense of neighborhood with its own community center and newspaper, the Bernal Journal. It is truly a hidden gem and currently one of the “hottest” real estate markets in the city.