The North Beach district in San Francisco has managed to maintain its old world rustic charm while smack-dab next to the city’s Financial District. Yet high-rises are still far enough away not to loom over the usually sunny neighborhood where residents and visitors linger over cappuccino and brioche while reading the newspaper or exchanging gossip in the local cafes.
For this reason, among others, the 41,000-member American Planning Association named North Beach one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods in America. The planners praise its physical attributes as well as the community spirit, which has helped preserve the ambiance and vitality of North Beach.
The San Remo Hotel is a definite contributor to the district’s allure. Built in 1906 and still operating as a moderately-priced hotel drawing guests from around the world, the San Remo has changed very little from its colorful early days, when it housed laborers, merchant seamen, immigrant families, artists and poets. Today’s visitors — tourists and business travelers — appreciate the antique furnishings, comfortable surroundings and warm welcome they experience every time they check in. Some things, fortunately, never change.