During the Gold Rush, railroad tycoons chose Nob Hill to put down roots, launching an upscale neighborhood that endures to this day. At Nob Hill’s apex, Grace Cathedral stands in gothic glory, staring down the elegant Fairmont Hotel just across Huntington Park. The views are spectacular, the restaurants and taverns world-class, and the Masonic performance venue a wonderful perk.
Nob Hill’s architectural history is marked by the 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire, which swept through neighborhoods East of Van Ness. When Nob Hill was rebuilt, charming flats and apartment buildings replaced the stately mansions of yore. This higher density makes for a lively neighborhood with lovely commercial shops lining Hyde and Polk Streets, while the famed Powell Street cable car rolls right through Nob Hill on its way to Fisherman’s Wharf, escorting tourists through this slice of grand old luxury in the heart of San Francisco.
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