Tree-lined Lake Street is a residential idyll combining some of the best aspects of living in San Francisco: picturesque properties, a bike path, convenient transportation lines, nearby but not-too-close commercial uses, and expedient access to parks, playgrounds and beaches.
Folks who find their way to Lake Street tend to remain for a long time, convinced there is no better place to live in the city.
The area dubbed Lake Street (sometimes erroneously called the “Lake District” which, in fact, is a destination in England) stretches from Arguello Boulevard in Presidio Heights to 28th Avenue in Sea Cliff. Its southern border is California Street and to the north are Mountain Lake Park and The Presidio.
In a city filled with ample prospects for outdoor recreation, Lake Street offers a heaping helping of fresh air and greenery. The Presidio is chock full of places to hike, bicycle and run, with trails meandering to picnic spots, secret (and not-so-secret) beaches and vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay and the Marin Headlands. Mountain Lake Park has a beloved kids’ playground, grassy meadows, walking paths, tennis courts, a half basketball court and – no surprise – a lake stocked with fish. Rochambeau playground (at 24th and 25th Avenues) and Richmond playground (at 18th and 19th Avenues) round out destinations for the “younger crowd.”
Housing stock is varied, but consists mainly of handsome Victorian and Edwardian structures, with a preponderance of single family homes. Especially appealing are properties on the cul-de-sac blocks ending in The Presidio north of Lake Street, as well as the homes along West Clay Street.
Public transportation is a cinch with lines like the California 1, and there is a terrific, flat bike path running the length of Lake Street.
All along Clement Street (parallel to Lake two blocks south) are shops, restaurants and cafes offering a variety of food, wares and services. Among Clement’s many neighborhood “institutions” are Green Apple Books, Toy Boat Dessert Café, Schubert’s Bakery and the Four-Star Theater. Favorite stops along California Street (which unlike Clement is actually within the Lake Street district) include the Village Market, Miss Tilly’s Ballet School, Bazaar Café and Angelina’s Deli.