Mission Bay: A Guide to San Francisco Neighborhoods

mission bay san francisco neighborhood guideMission Bay is a section of the broader South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood in the eastern part of the city. It’s a relatively new neighborhood with modern buildings, and it’s still growing. With a CalTrain stop right in the neighborhood, it’s perfect for commuters. It began to boom when the UCSF Medical Center and campus was built, and it will soon welcome the Chase Center (expected to be the new home of the Oakland Warriors NBA team). It’s also near AT&T Stadium, home of the Giants MLB team. Muni light rails and buses make it a convenient spot for commuting downtown or driving out of the city. As a growing neighborhood, everyday amenities like grocery stores and other retail shops are still developing.

We polled local moms to find out what makes this neighborhood a good fit for their families. Want to get the scoop directly from the experts? Join our Mission Bay Neighborhood Group.

Why Moms Love It 

Mission Bay is a clean and safe area, and, because it’s newer, it has a planned, organized community. Mission Bay Parks created welcoming green spaces throughout the neighborhood, sets up events for all holiday seasons, and works to engage the residents in local activities. This, plus the great weather, makes it a nice place for families. 

Local Family Favorites 

This unique park for tots to school-aged children is united around natural themes of water, exploration, and discovery. Two-thirds of the park is made up of natural elements. It’s the perfect place to play and picnic located one block south of Channel Street.
This large area has plenty of walking paths to let the little ones toddler or go for a stroller job. There’s also a small kids play area for children 2-14 years old and picnic areas.
Take advantage of the kids’ classes and book collection at one of the newest libraries in the city.
This is Mission Bay’s community block party, with an outdoor food truck park, fire pits, deck chairs, clean bathrooms, beer and wine for adults and a double-decker bus for the kids to play on!
The weekly farmer’s market makes getting fresh, locally grown produce convenient and fun. 
Come play the city’s only outdoor mini-golf course and experience the history, invention and fun of San Francisco. Explore the stories that inspired each hole by clicking on them in this interactive map.

Childcare and Schools

Because this area is still growing, preschools and K-12 schools are limited, but here’s the thing about childcare and schooling. Your personal situation will determine the right fit for you. 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 which schools are “good” 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.

Learn More 

To get an even better feel for what it’s like to live here, scan our list of 100+ kid-friendly restaurants in the city, find the nearest branch of the public library, and check out the area’s trick-or-treating hotspots.

Check out the other areas featured in our San Francisco Neighborhood Guide for Families.