A historic cable car line once separated SoMa from downtown and the Financial District, but the last decade has transformed this sweeping stretch of prime real estate from a backwater to a hub for the city’s booming tech industry, an international destination for modern art, fine dining and a thriving residential neighborhood within a stone’s throw of San Francisco’s beating heart.


What it lacks in the architectural character and history of some of the city’s historic residential neighborhoods, SoMa makes up for with urban dynamism and access to the best of what the city has to offer. From the Ferry Building and the waterfront Embarcadero to the world-class modern art museum that is the newly expanded SFMOMA, this expansive area tells the story of San Francisco’s changing character, spectacular affluence and fun-loving spirit.


From the historic gay clubs along Folsom Street to the high art at the newly expanded MOMA, SoMa has long been on the cutting edge of San Francisco’s arts and subculture scenes. But in recent years, it has also become home to elite restaurants, gleaming condo towers, creating a single—if sprawling—neighborhood with more to do than some cities.


Despite its location beside the busy Bay Bridge and downtown Financial District, SoMa has some exceedingly pleasant places to escape the buzz of city life, including the two-square-block Yerba Buena Gardens, where free concerts are performed from May through October, and the waterfront, where you can grab a bench and watch seagulls and sea lions for hours.


The aesthetic of SoMa can be described as a blend of industrial grit, high-tech innovation, and urban energy. One of the defining features of SoMa is its industrial past. The neighborhood was once home to a number of factories, warehouses, and rail yards, and many of the buildings in the area still reflect this history. However, in recent years, many of these buildings have been repurposed as live/work spaces for tech startups, artists, and other creatives, adding to the neighborhood's innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.


It’s impossible to overstate the joys of a commute-free life. Living close to where you work and play means gifting yourself hours of free time to do the things you enjoy.