There’s no shortage of green spaces in the Golden City. Visit these parks and enjoy a fun, relaxing day out.
- Golden Gate Park
One of SF’s gems, this park attracts over 13 million visitors each year. At 1,107 acres, it features numerous gardens, trails, picnic groves, lakes, and cultural venues. Go boating on Stow Lake, visit the Japanese Tea Garden, and browse the permanent collection at the de Young Museum.
Other highlights include the Golden Gate Park Golf Course, Herschell-Spillman Carousel, and California Academy of Sciences. Bring the kids, amble around with your dog,go horseshoe pitching, cast a line – the possibilities are endless.
- Ocean Beach
Located on the west coast of SF, this gorgeous stretch of sand boasts wind swept dunes and unobstructed views of the Pacific. Enjoy the cool ocean breeze as you go on a relaxing stroll along this scenic three-mile expanse. An esplanade runs along the seawall and leads up to Cliff House, a historic home built in 1863.
You can bring your board and ride the waves. Or you can just roll out a blanket and have a nice picnic.
- Aquatic Park
Aquatic Park Cove commands stunning views of the city and the Bay. The pier offers perhaps the best views of Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island in all of SF.Enjoy swimming, sailing, and other water-based activities. Free parking is available at Van Ness Avenue.
- Crissy Field
Judging by the fantastic beaches and tidal marsh overlooks in the area, you wouldn’t think Crissy Field was a former military airfield. It’s more evocative of fairy tale scenery than an airbase, and a quiet afternoon spent here will leave you feeling rejuvenated after a long week at work. A promenade with views of the water and the Golden Gate Bridge is ideal for walking, jogging, and biking.
- The Presidio
Explore the nature trails at the Presidio – scenic overlooks at the Bluffs and Inspiration Point trails will leave you breathless. This famed national park also offers some of the best picnic spots in SF. Bring a blanket or a few picnic chairs, and share some snacks with friends.
You’ll also get the chance to observe wildlife. Keep an eye out for the hawks and foxes that scour the area for prey.
- Lands End and Coastal Trail
Tucked away in the southwestern corner of SF, Lands End offers great hiking opportunities. The dramatic and windy trail is surrounded by cypresses and wildflowers.Parts of the trail will also give you a glimpse of wrecked ships and the ruins of the Sutro Baths. At 3.5 miles, the loop is moderate, making it suitable for beginners and casual hikers.
The Coastal Trail starts at Lands End and extends all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. This 9.1-mile loop is a longer hike, but it’s also more rewarding. Dogs are allowed on this trail, as long as they’re kept on a leash.
YBG is surrounded by cultural venues and family-friendly attractions. You’ll find the Children’s Creativity Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Museum of the African Diaspora within the vicinity. The YBG Ice Skating and Bowling Center is close at hand, as is Metreon, a four-story shopping center.