With only 800,000 residents, the Greater San Francisco area is a network of small, distinct neighborhoods just a short drive or Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) ride apart.
One of the world's most visited cities, often because it is one of California's most cosmopolitan cities, San Francisco is a unique place to live as well as leave your heart.
San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any other city and its politics are as lively as its arts scene.
Other major draws to the region include it's proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the pristine Sierras, a technology mecca, and the nation's premier wine region.
The San Francisco metro area's median price for single family homes at the onset of 2006 was $715,700 and for condos, $603,000, among the highest in the nation for a major metropolitan area.
Four neighborhoods that offer a range of home prices and good value in an area that also hosts one of the nation's most expensive housing markets were selected.
In San Francisco, old Glen Park mixes Victorians, parks and easy access to the heart of the city.
Renters and first-time home buyers a little farther from the city's hub can discover charm in the unsung Inner Sunset, within the Sunset District.
Across the bay in Oakland, affluent Rockridge offers great access to public transportation, a cozy neighborhood and Craftsman-style homes.
And south along the Pacific Ocean, provides a small-town feel with surfing and reasonable commute times to the big city.