The Sunset District is the largest neighborhood within the city and county of San Francisco, and with a population of over 85,000 it is also the most populous. Golden Gate Park forms the neighborhood's northern border, and the Pacific Ocean (or, more specifically, the long, flat strand of beach known as Ocean Beach) forms its western border. The Sunset District's southern and eastern borders are not as clearly defined, but there is a general consensus that the neighborhood extends no farther south than Sigmund Stern Grove and Sloat Boulevard and no farther east than Stanyan Street (just east of the Parnassus campus of the University of California, San Francisco) and Laguna Honda Hospital. Prior to the residential and commercial development of the Sunset District, much of the area was covered by sand dunes and was originally referred to by 19th century San Franciscans as the "Outside Lands."
Today, the first numbered avenue is 2nd Avenue, starting one block west of Arguello Boulevard, and the last is 48th Avenue near Ocean Beach. The avenue numbers increase incrementally, with one exception: what would be 13th Avenue is known as Funston Avenue, named after Frederick Funston, a U.S. Army general famous for his exploits during the Spanish–American War and Philippine–American War, and for directing the U.S. Army response to the 1906 earthquake.
The east-west streets in the Sunset appear mostly in alphabetical order. These streets are: Lincoln Way (bordering the south side of Golden Gate Park), Hugo (from Arguello to 7th Avenue only), Irving, Judah, Kirkham, Lawton, Moraga, Noriega, Ortega, Pacheco, Quintara, Rivera, Santiago, Taraval, Ulloa, Vicente, Wawona, Yorba, and Sloat Boulevard. "X" was originally proposed to be Xavier, but was changed to Yorba due to a pronunciation controversy.
This thematic map shows the Sunset District's large Asian American population in western San Francisco.
The western part of the Sunset borders the cold northern California Pacific Ocean coastline, so it tends to get much of the fog San Francisco is famous for. The Sunset can be foggy and chilly for some days during summer. The Sunset's finest weather is usually from August through December, when regional air patterns transition from onshore to offshore weather and the area is free of fog. Sand carried by Pacific Ocean winds can be found on roadways and driveways within the first five to ten blocks east of Ocean Beach.
There is a year-round, Sunday morning farmers' market which is located at 1315 8th Avenue (the parking lot between 8th and 9th Avenues). The market is operated by the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association and is sponsored by the Inner Sunset Park Neighbors. The Inner Sunset Farmers' Market offers California-grown produce, fish, eggs, and meat, as well as local food vendors and artisans.
Stern Grove, a heavily wooded park and amphitheater located on Sloat Boulevard between 19th and 34th avenues, is known for its annual summer festival.