Forest Knolls is part of the Twin Peaks district and encompasses Mt. Sutro and the University of California Medical Center. It also borders the Laguna Honda Hospital and the neighborhoods of Forest Hill and Parnassus Heights. As early as 1912, the neighborhood of Forest Hill began as lots for single-family homes that were carved from a 4,000-acre ranch. In 1918, the Twin Peaks tunnel was opened and people started inhabiting the Forest Hill area.

Today, Forest Hill is a an exclusive, and beautifully landscaped area with curving lanes, hills and several examples of Bernard Maybeck architecture, including the Forest Hill Clubhouse. The streets and common areas are beautifully maintained by the Forest Hill Association. Mature trees shade single-story homes built over garages or two-story houses with gables and Tudor styling on many streets. Older homes are often remodeled and converted into lovely apartments.

The neighborhood features points of interest such as the elegant Grand Pacheco Stairway that connects Magellan Drive to Castenada Avenue. West Portal offers one of the most pleasant shopping districts in the city, a medley of restaurants, salons, coffee shops, antique dealers, and flower shops. Parking is abundant and Muni runs several lines to and from the area.

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