San Francisco’s Marina District, or simply “The Marina” as it is known by locals, is quickly becoming the neighborhood of choice for the city’s affluent 20-somethings and 30-somethings. It offers courtside seating, so to speak, at the upscale waterfront of San Francisco Bay. Its attraction is further enhanced by its proximity to trendy boutiques, galleries, restaurants and cafés. By last count there were 38 restaurants, over a dozen trendy nightspots, 45 stylish boutiques and accessories shops and several dozen additional self, home and pet pampering places. Most are along Chestnut and Union Streets -- two of the most stylish streets in the city.
Until San Francisco’s devastating 1906 Earthquake, this area was tidal marshland and sand dunes. Much of the rubble rendered by the catastrophe was dumped here and was combined with sand and rocks from the Bay to create buildable land. In 1915 developers held the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition here, then demolished most of the buildings in order to construct homes and businesses. The iconic Palace of Fine Arts is the only structure still standing from the Exhibition.