The Portola is part of the larger Excelsior district in the very southeast section of the city, between Bernal Heights and Bayview. It’s known as the “secret neighborhood” with its own public radio station, KALW (91.7 FM), local website, and a strong community feel. Housing is still relatively affordable and many residents own local businesses within the area. We polled local moms to find out what makes this neighborhood a good fit for their families.
Why Moms Love It
Like the broader Excelsior district, this is a friendly neighborhood with many long-time residents who value the close-knit community they’ve built and continue to invest time and resources into improving. It’s an older neighborhood that hasn’t fully gentrified yet, which has kept housing costs lower and preserved its “old San Francisco” feel. There are a few great places to walk, but you’ll also find yourself using a car to run errands in the suburbs south of the city, which can be convenient if you’ve got kids in tow.
Local Family Favorites
Works with residents to provide family support, community building, organizing, address neighborhood concerns and develop concrete solutions.
This recently renovated and thriving community center offers a wide selection of games, sports, programs, and classes, including after-school activities for kids. The large, inviting playground has climbing structures bordered by beautiful trees. Tennis courts, athletic fields, and picnic areas are also available.
The Portola’s newest green, gathering space offers a new shared outdoor space with a kiosk for posting neighborhood notices and activities, an art piece and a landscaped area for sitting and playing.
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.
Neighborhoods.com is a full service brokerage and an easy to use online real estate resource that helps people find the perfect home as well as the ideal neighborhood. We believe that the neighborhood you live in is just as important as the home you live in. The people, places, schools and amenities that surround your home have an enormous impact on your quality of life. When you’re looking for a place to live, you aren’t just picking out a house. You are also deciding who your children will play with and who you might become friends with. So while many people search for their dream house, we believe you should look for your dream home. And your neighborhood is a huge part of that dream.