Understanding the Cost of Living in Sea Cliff

Understanding the Cost of Living in Sea Cliff

  • Beverly Barnett
  • 09/18/22

The coastal city of San Francisco offers residents and tourists plenty of phenomenal activities to enjoy daily. Popular leisure time ventures include hiking or biking in the Presidio, enjoying the Farmer’s Market along The Embarcadero, visiting one of the many museums, simply relaxing on a lazy Sunday afternoon in Golden Gate Park, or dining at some historic restaurants like John's Grill. This restaurant is one of the oldest steakhouses in the city and a favorite of politicians today—Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi have been known to dine here!

Nestled in the northwestern corner of the iconic city of San Francisco lies the scenic neighborhood known as Sea Cliff. Here you will find mesmerizing vistas, timeless architecture dating back to the early 1900s, and the star-studded history of residents. This exclusive neighborhood boasts breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands, with some of the most stunning waterfront mansions right next to the Pacific Ocean. Sea Cliff enjoys easy access to many hiking trails, and coastal nature walks, adding even more value to this prestigious community. Keep reading to gain a little more insight into the cost of living in this luxury community.

What do the homes cost?


Sea Cliff's real estate standard is top tier, and its architectural pedigree attests to this neighborhood's timeless beauty. Julia Morgan, a renowned American architect of the early 1900s (also credited for bringing the famous Hearst Castle to life), designed several Mediterranean-inspired homes in Sea Cliff today. The properties are luxurious and full of color, adding even more grandeur to one of San Francisco's most expensive residential areas. The median price of homes here in August of 2022 was $3,460,000.  Keep in mind that this is entry level in Sea Cliff.  This selling price for 2022 is approximately 17% lower than in 2021, as there have only been 5 sales in 2022 with the highest sale being $5.9M compared to 18 sales in 2021, with the highest sale being $15M.

Passersby can marvel at the lavish designs of homes on Sea Cliff Avenue and El Camino Del Mar, two of the most sought after locations of this exclusive neighborhood. There are many beautiful dwellings that aid in giving the area its affluent status.

How much is entertainment?


Windswept and scenic, Sea Cliff offers the perfect balance of oceanside and suburban life. Not only is the location gorgeous, but it is also conveniently built near several leisure activities for all interests. Baker Beach and China Beach both reside within Sea Cliff's perimeters, in addition to the popular Lands End National Park. Known as one of the best walking experiences in San Francisco, this hike offers a blend of mesmerizing ocean views and urban exploring. The beaches and the park require no tickets to enter and enjoy. Guests only need to pay for parking, depending on how fast spots fill up. Taking a Sunday stroll to Lands End Lookout or seeing the remnants of the Sutro Baths are also cost-free activities.

With memberships ranging from $1500-$2300, the luxurious Lincoln Park Golf Course is the perfect spot to engage in a friendly competition with your new neighbors. If you only want to spend a weekend instead, you can expect to pay as little as $45 for an 18-hole course or $60 for an all-day weekend pass. Or try popping in for a look at the art in the Legion of Honor Museum, in operation since 1924. If you are a true patron of the arts, consider becoming a reciprocal member ($299) and gain free admission to other participating museums. Just show your membership card when at the ticket counter. Admission ticket prices range anywhere from $6 for your little ones and just $15 for adults. Ultimately, Sea Cliff residents have many recreational activities from a range of price points to participate in.

How much does it cost to dine out?


There’s always a reason to celebrate when you live in beautiful Sea Cliff and there are plenty of nearby restaurants where you can get a meal and a drink for a special (or any!) occasion. Of course, the $$$ depends on where you go.  Below are a few fun places.

A quick five-minute drive will take you straight to the doors of Dragon Beaux, a popular hot pot and tea house restaurant that puts a modern spin on its creations for a refined culinary experience. Unique dishes like traditional shrimp dumplings are topped with Chilean sea bass, while BBQ pork puff pastries are paired with the delicate sweet flavors of fresh apples. These delicious bao bun appetizers cost between $9-12 dollars, with an order of 12 Peking Duck buns being $53. If you're coming for dinner, you can expect premium meat selections of live local seafood and Kobe beef sourced directly from Australia. Dishes like Sauteed Scallop and Asparagus in Black Truffles sauce are around $42, while Golden Egg Yolk Dungeness Crab is priced at $52. A typical evening out for two here will cost around $115.

El Monsour, voted one of the most fun dining experiences in San Francisco, offers a culinary experience that transports patrons right into the heart of Morocco. With options like five-course specialties prices at $49-52 per person, you can expect decadent main dishes like marinated Rabbit Tagine and Moroccan Spiced Chicken paired with lemon and olives. Serving traditional North African cuisine, this restaurant will have you mesmerized the moment you hear music and see the talented performers.

Pearl 6101, a small restaurant & bar offering Mediterranean-inspired pastas & seafood along with specialty cocktails, is somewhat new to the area compared to many, and has become a favorite.

Especially fun for the kids and a staple in the community since the 1950’s is Bill’s Place, a retro diner with counter and garden seating, known for serving burgers named after local celebrities.

Last, but not least is a Angelina’s Deli - Cafe’, an area favorite for a quick latte on the way to work, delicious lunch or grabbing something for dinner later. The food is prepared fresh daily.  It’s not uncommon to see a line out the door.

If you prefer staying in and cooking your own meals, general San Francisco grocery prices are around 30% above the national average.

Sea Cliff is known today for its parade of opulent seaside mansions that overlook the water, with an unbeatable view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is the only San Francisco neighborhood that touches the ocean and is one of the most exclusive communities in the Bay Area. The beauty alone will make residing in this refined suburb worth every dollar.

Are you ready to move? Contact Beverly Barnett, a Bay Area real estate professional who specializes in Sea Cliff, to get expert guidance on where to start with purchasing a home for sale in Sea Cliff.



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