Portola

This simple, out-of-the-way neighborhood maintains a local feel.

As a little-known neighborhood leaning toward the outskirts of San Francisco, Portola maintains a simple community feel. This unassuming residential area is home to independent bakeries, family-run pharmacies, and beloved McLaren Park. Although it shares a border with two infamously rough neighborhoods, Portola is a quiet community that takes care of itself. Public transportation is not convenient here, but the neighborhood is easily accessible by car—Portola is situated at the intersection of two major interstates.

See places to stay Save this neighborhood

On the Map

Portola is bordered by Visitacion Valley, Bernal Heights, Excelsior, and Bayview

  • Public transit is Difficult
  • Having a car is Easy

San Francisco International Airport: 20 minutes by cab without traffic or 52 minutes by bus/BART
Golden Gate Park: 55 minutes by public transit
Fisherman's Wharf: 50 minutes by public transit
The Ferry Building: 40 minutes by public transit

Portola: A Private Neighborhood in San Francisco's Fringes

USA SF Portola mb

Portola's serene main street is no match for the serenity of its side streets. Its small businesses sport modest awnings as colorful as the neighborhood's homes.

USA SF Portola mb

The neighborhood's cheery cafes, pastry shops, and delis create a distinctly village vibe despite their big city zip codes.

USA SF Portola mb

When's the last time you had griddle cakes at a diner? In Portola, you could make it your daily ritual.

USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb

And when you did, your server would probably order it in before you could take your seat at the table.

USA SF Portola mb

Portola is personal like that.

USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb

Portola's no-fuss attitude emanates from the neighborhood's do-it-yourself sensibilities.

USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb

Local schools ensure that Portola remains feeling youthful.

Pixel
The neighborhood has a GORGEOUS park within walking distance with an incredible view of San Francisco."

Claire

Visited in 2012

Life In Portola

USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb

A mix of cultures collides in Portola.

USA SF Portola mb

The neighborhood supports strong Latino and Chinese communities.

USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb

Street art enlivens the sides of Portola's businesses.

USA SF Portola mb
USA SF Portola mb

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Michael Blumenfeld is a commercial photographer based in San Francisco. When not shooting, he loves rooting for the Giants, haunting used-book stores, and following his appetite around the city. He's inspired each day by the energy and diversity of the Bay Area. This project for Airbnb was a great opportunity to tread both the beaten and unbeaten paths of a city he feels privileged to call home.

Michael Blumenfeld

View website »

Similar to Portola

  • Double the viewing pleasure.

    • wraparound views
    • tourists
    • popular
    • windswept
  • Epic greenspace. Organic treasures.

    • charming
    • community
    • quaint
    • trails
  • Sunshine in San Francisco's fringes.

    • parks
    • outskirts
    • sun
    • blue collar