Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist in your own backyard.

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6 reasons to visit San Francisco now

San Francisco (CNN) – Yes, San Francisco is changing, but don’t panic. The touristy classics aren’t going anywhere. You can still watch the fog swallow up the Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field for years to come.

Visitors will notice the Bay Area is in flux. They’ll see a city struggling with growing pains, a booming food scene and the last years of some classic local institutions.

Neighborhoods are shifting, fast

An influx of tech money and a shortage of housing are largely driving San Francisco’s current upheaval. Rents are skyrocketing, pushing out longtime residents and businesses. Some of the city’s character is packing up and leaving with them.

Nowhere is the change more visible than in the Mission. Local groups are trying to preserve the small businesses, street art and Latino culture, but wealthy developers are knocking.

Walk down Valencia Street, now filled with hip new restaurants, boutiques and cafes. Wander up 24th Street and drop in on old classics such as St. Francis Fountain, El Farolito, Brava Theater Center, Galería de la Raza and GG Tukuy Indigenous Arts & Crafts.

A great way to see the housing bubble firsthand is to download the Trulia app and drop in on open houses. If you’ve ever wondered what a million-dollar fixer-upper looks like, here’s your chance.

The farmers markets are epic

The tourist favorite is the thrice-weekly farmers market at the Ferry Building. But the granddaddy of San Francisco farmers markets is more popular with locals and chefs: The Alemany Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday and is overflowing with beautiful Northern California produce.

At the edge of the city in a giant lot covered in murals, the market is the oldest in San Francisco. Start with authentic Mexican street food for breakfast at the El Huarache Loco stand, then walk the aisles of fruits, vegetables, flowers and nuts.

There are Asian specialties such as balut (fertilized duck egg) and sinqua (luffa), and a stand just for sprouts. Don’t miss Tomatero Organic Farm’s piles of kale.

Dropping in on smaller local markets scattered across town is also a great way to explore different neighborhoods.

There’s an app for everything, even if there shouldn’t be

Silicon Valley start-ups like to use San Francisco as a testing ground. Sometimes it’s a first step to global domination, like Uber, but many die quietly and never make it out of a couple of major cities.

The upside is that you can sample a number of ridiculous, awesome or useful services while in town.

Get insider food tips with Chefs Feed and the Infatuation. Take a guided audio walking tour from Detour. If you need a break, use Breather to book a quiet space for 30 or more minutes or Doze to take a nap in a pod.

For delivery, get a full organic meal from Sprig, a kit to cook your own dinner from Plated or anything else with UberRush. Sweet tooth? Doughbies is a site just for on-demand cookie delivery. Really.

Don’t even try to hail a cab. Download a ride-hailing app such as Uber, Lyft or Flywheel.

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We Have Blue Ribbon Schools!

Eight East Bay schools are among the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools, a recognition of their overall academic excellence by the U.S. Department of Education

The schools in our communities are outstanding.  And several of them have just been recognized as 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools for academic excellence.  Schools in Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Moraga, Lafayette, and Orinda are on the list. Curious about certain school districts or boundary lines? Looking to buy a home with enrollment at a particular school? Contact us-we can help!

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