San Francisco has for as long as we can remember been synonymous with progressiveness and at the forefront of change. That, alongside fantastic parks, great outdoor activities, and incredible restaurants, has resulted in San Francisco being voted the world’s best city to live in the annual TimeOut survey. Furthermore, although those are the major contributing factors, it’s also San Francisco’s emphasis on community and community-orientated projects that have made it a favorite location for many.
While one of the downsides of living in San Francisco has always been the price of the property, rent, and the limited space this has been combated through a concerted effort to take advantage of the city’s wonderful weather and create outdoor communal spaces for everyone to enjoy. Through an initiative labeled the “Shared Spaces Program”, the city has allowed restaurants and stall owners to use public spaces – such as parking lots, sidewalks, and unused lots – as effectively free real estate and allow for extended open-air seating areas. These areas are referred to as ‘parklets’ and there are now over 1,700 across the city. The parklets allow for the business operators to utilize them to personalize and decorate how they choose – creating an explosion of personality across the city streets.
However, it’s not just within the city itself that makes it the most loved city to live in – it’s also the surrounding parks that make it such a destination. There are countless hikes available, all with memorable views. And if you’re willing to take on a short drive, there are even more incredible locations within driving distance from the city. In short, thanks to a combination of fantastic inner-city developments, the cultural milieu, and the available natural resources, it’s unsurprising that San Francisco managed to wine TimeOut’s top prize.