The Best City Parks in San Francisco
San Francisco has plenty of green spaces where you can hang out and relax. Here are some of them:
- Golden Gate Park
At 1,017 acres, Golden Gate Park receives 13 million guests annually, making it one of the most visited parks in the United States. Populated by countless trees and flowering plants, it’s a true oasis in the middle of the city.
The park is home to many attractions, including:
- California Academy of Sciences
- De Young Museum
- Conservatory of Flowers
- San Francisco Botanical Garden
- Japanese Garden
- Stow Lake
- Buffalo Paddock
- Ocean Beach
Spend a quiet afternoon biking or boating. Explore the museums, go for a stroll along the beach, or roll out a blanket and have a picnic.
- Alamo Square
This peaceful and scenic park offers views of the surrounding Victorian homes, or the “painted ladies”, as locals call them. Go for a relaxing stroll, sit on a bench, or simply admire the architectural gems on display. The quiet atmosphere lets you get away from the hustle and bustle of SF.
There’s a playground where kids can work off some energy, and a designated area for dogs.
You can also walk to nearby Divisadero, where you’ll find neighborhood eateries that serve pizza, BBQ, and burgers. Grab some food and head back to the park for a nice picnic.
- Bernal Heights Park
Enjoy panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge at Bernal Hill. Watch red-tailed hawks fly overhead, and feel the cool breeze as you admire the scenery. Work those leg muscles as you hike up the steep slopes, claim a picnic table, and enjoy the park’s serene atmosphere.
Park attractions include a children’s playground with rubber mat surfaces, the Bernal Heights Recreation Center, a community garden, and the Rock Labyrinth, a gravel passageway that goes up the hill.
- Twin Peaks
At an elevation of 922 feet, Twin Peaks offers some of the best views of the Bay Area. Catch a glimpse of Market Street and Sutro Tower in the distance. There’s a car-free area where you can go biking and people watching. A renovated trail provides access to the northern side of the peak.
- Grand View Park
Also known as Turtle Hill, Grand View Park is home to native plants like the Franciscan wallflower, beach strawberry, and bush monkey flower, just to name a few. Walk up the Moraga Steps that lead to the park and admire the greenery. A short soft-sand trail surrounds the hilltop.
- Mission Dolores Park
At 16 acres, this park features tennis courts, a basketball court, a soccer field, a playground, and off-leash dog areas. Needless to say, there’s plenty to do here – enjoy a friendly match of tennis, watch the kids play, go for a quick jog, or sit on the grass and simply admire the scenery. The sight of open spaces and swaying palm trees will put you in a deep state of relaxation.
For more information, visit the San Francisco Recreation & Parks website.