Cole Valley is centrally situated and one of the smallest neighborhood in the city. It borders Haight-Ashbury, Inner Sunset, Twin Peaks, and the Castro and has all the charm you could want in a San Francisco neighborhood – tree-lined streets, well-maintained Victorian homes, and easy access to Golden Gate Park. Walking and biking scores are high in this neighborhood, making it a great jumping off point to explore other parts of the city. We polled local moms to find out what makes this neighborhood a good fit for their families.
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Why Moms Love It
Cole Valley is a very walkable neighborhood, and you’ll see plenty of other families strolling the streets, especially along Cole Street and Carl Street, the two main corridors for dining and shopping. An ice cream shop, craft store, and other mom & pop-type stores give this neighborhood a classic, idyllic feel.
Local Family Favorites
Sports fields, a community center, and wooden play structure mean there’s something for everyone at this neighborhood park.
Smack in the middle of the city is a dense hillside forest that’s perfect for exploring and hiking with the family.
In the southeast section of Golden Gate Park, you’ll find a large playground and carousel that’s always full of children, both locals and visitors.
Shop here for unique toys, housewares, and accessories. They also host community events throughout the year, making it a familiar, welcoming spot to neighborhood residents.
Who wouldn’t love this full-service 1930s style soda fountain and classic lunch counter, serving ice cream, sodas, and savory items using locally sourced organic dairy and produce? Everything is made in-house.
Nearby in the Inner Sunset, AcroSports has gymnastics and tumbling classes for children 15 monts+ and adults.
Childcare and Schools
Here’s the thing about childcare and schooling: Your personal situation will determine the right fit for you, and, while there are options in this neighborhood, your best bet is to check out Winnie.com for an interactive map and comprehensive list of daycares and preschools across the city.
Likewise, for K-12 schools, we can’t tell you whether the schools here are “good” or not because a good school is based on so many other factors besides test scores. Check out our Tips for Moving to San Francisco with Kids for more help navigating childcare and schooling and a local mom’s take on raising a family in San Francisco.