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Parks and nature in San Francisco

Top parks

Park
“What to say? One of the great parks of the United States. Just head down the hill to Kezar Stadium (at the very bottom of Willard Street) and you'll see the GGP right beyond it (walk around Kezar to the west to enter the park). You can also enter on Stanyan and Haight (and at many other points). Enjoy the Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, Stow Lake, the Conservatory of Flowers (great night time light shows in the summer and winter) and many, many other features of the park.”
  • 731 locals recommend
Park
“When the weather is nice, you can barely see the grass due to the throngs of people lounging around. Luckily, the park was recently renovated and is big enough that you're bound to find a spot you like. The southwest corner is good for a panoramic view of the city skyline (and usually far enough away from the folks enjoying their herbal refreshments on the northern slope). There's also a nice kid's playground, although it's geared more towards older kids.”
  • 766 locals recommend
Park
“This is one my favorite areas to bike to, or have a picnic at. Spending a few hours by the beach, watching people outside, dogs running by and people exercising while taking in the views of the bay. Get there around noon and relax for a couple hours before making your way to lunch.”
  • 262 locals recommend
Park
“This is another park with great city views, perfect to watch the sunset and take in the landscape that surrounds bernal hill. There is a swing that makes for great pictures! However, remember to dress in layers cause it tends to get chilly as the sun goes down.”
  • 209 locals recommend
Park
“THE PRESIDIO: The Lyon Street Steps also are right next to our beautiful park, “The Presidio”. You can walk there, or catch the #43 “Masonic” bus on Masonic Street, right at the entrance to the park. It will take you into the Presidio. They have a big picnic day there on Sundays with lots of food trucks.”
  • 174 locals recommend
Historic Site
“One of the most photographed locations in San Francisco, Alamo Square's famous "postcard row" at Hayes and Steiner Streets is indeed a visual treat. A tight, escalating formation of Victorian houses is back-dropped by downtown skyscrapers, providing a stunning contrast. The grassy square itself is an ideal midday break. One of 11 historic districts designated by the Department of City Planning, the area includes several bed and breakfast inns.”
  • 131 locals recommend
Garden
“A great little spot to rest and for a change of scenery while exploring the Golden Gate Park. ”
  • 141 locals recommend
Garden
“Its free, inside it is a relaxing place with an array of flowers and plants. ”
  • 125 locals recommend

Playgrounds

Park
“• 4 hour roundtrip, 20 minute walk from home - Nearby park with incredible views of SF - Walk through Haight Ashbury and pick up a drink/snack on the way there or back - Make sure to get to the very top to catch a 360 view of SF”
  • 117 locals recommend
Playground
“Great playground in a very fun San Francsico park, adjacent to the Mission, a reliably sunny and fun neighborhood with great cafes, shopping and dining.”
  • 70 locals recommend
Park
“Great playground and picnic area for family with kids. Great view of the SF Bay”
  • 66 locals recommend
Park
“Just a nice park for sunny days. Lots of young people hanging out. Sometimes they have movies on at night!”
  • 66 locals recommend
Park
“A hidden gem. Peaceful and sunny, this park is perfect to read a book, take your kid to play or just relax for a little before heading to the top of the Bernal Heights Park. ”
  • 58 locals recommend
Park
“There are basketball courts and paths to walk, this park connects our neighborhood to golden gate park. To the left is the upper Haight. It's also the best bike path to golden gate park and the inner sunset.”
  • 37 locals recommend
Park
“This small park is the heart of the Hayes Valley neighborhood. Something is always happening here, and it make a perfect break from one of the best shopping streets in the city.”
  • 29 locals recommend
Park
“The Duboce Park/Noe St. MUNI Metro stop is 5 minutes walk. Get on ($2.75/2 hours) and go east and you can be downtown in a matter of minutes. Go west to the end of the line and voila! You're at ocean Beach (in a matter of a bunch more minutes) and on the way you can stop and explore the Inner Sunset neighborhood (Irving/9th) with it's interesting shops and restaurants, (and direct access down 9th Ave to Golden Gate Park) and the island of hipness (and Outerlands Restaurant, Trouble Cafe, Java Beach, Mollusk Surf Shop and Art Gallery) at the far west end of town. ”
  • 26 locals recommend

Beaches

Surf Spot
“The beach is cold, yes, but it is still a great place to watch waves and surfers, have a BBQ in selected months, and explore nearby trails and famous restaurants, such as the Cliff House. ”
  • 234 locals recommend
Beach
“Great place for viewing the Golden Gate Bridge! It is quiet and usually not crowded. ”
  • 163 locals recommend
Beach
“A hidden gem that mostly locals know about. Enjoy a secluded beach among the most expensive homes in San Francisco.”
  • 35 locals recommend
Beach
“leave your inhibitions and swimsuit at home. If you're not familiar with the Pacific Ocean in SF - only the daring swim it unless it's 100 degrees F outside. The water is bitterly cold! This is predominantly a gay beach, but welcoming of everyone. It's a hike to get down there. At the foot of the stairs there's a small uncrowded beach. Keep going around the big rocks and you'll likely see some things you've never seen before. Keep going til the very end (tide dependent) until the security guard yells at you for going too far and you'll be standing RIGHT under the Golden Gate Bridge - one of the coolest, least-photographed views of the bridge is from right here. ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Beach
“Near Land's End there is a Giant Camera Obscura. It takes 6 minutes to see the entire rotation including views of Seal Rock, the Cliff House, the Great Highway, Sutro Cliffs, and Ocean Beach. ”
  • 4 locals recommend
Motel
“The most expansive omelette menu I've seen. Plus a view of Cliff House and Sutro Baths.”
  • 5 locals recommend
Board Shop
“Surf shop focused on letting you shape your own boards. James, the owner, will drop some knowledge. ”
  • 3 locals recommend
Surf Spot
  • 2 locals recommend

Trails

Trail
“Beautiful (and easy) hiking trail overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Pick a sunny day for the views although I also love the misty fog or as we call him, Karl the Fog! He even has his own instagram @KarlTheFog ”
  • 353 locals recommend
Historic Site
“One of our favorite sightseeing spots in the city is Sutro Baths! It's an old indoor pool that burned down and now leaves really cool ruins overlooking the ocean. ”
  • 138 locals recommend
Park
“Find your way to the rocky peak, and you'll be glad you did! Popular spot to bring dogs (there are fenced and non-fenced play areas), and the sport courts get lots of use on sunny days.”
  • 86 locals recommend
Trail
“Miles and miles of sandy beach and wilderness. Watching the sunset and the hang-gliders from the cliffs is a must! ”
  • 84 locals recommend
Park
“Intimate spot with flower-lined paths & rocky outcroppings offering fantastic views of the city and the bay.”
  • 35 locals recommend
Trail
“Waterfront hiking through wildflowers, with shipwreck views & access to the Sutro Baths ruins.”
  • 24 locals recommend
Park
“Enjoy this secluded and little known place to hike. This is the hill you see front our front yard. It's the highest point in SF and the views and out of this world! Just ask us for the best way to walk up the mountain!”
  • 27 locals recommend
Scenic Lookout
“Take a nice run up and down Lyon steps at the top of Pacific Heights. Look at spectacular views from the top and iconic Pacific Heights homes. ”
  • 22 locals recommend
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