Sep 28, 2017 | San Francisco | Best Of | Dan
The 8 Best Public Parks in San Francisco
While there is no shortage of sights to see and things to do in San Francisco, a favorite and free activity for locals is visiting the many excellent parks around the City. Whether you want to walk your dog, take a jog, or just relax with some friends, you are sure to find a place that fits your needs. We've put together a list of the 8 must-visit parks and some tips of how to get the full California Delicious experience at each.
1. Dolores Park
Prepare for the unexpected...
On the western edge of the Mission District sits Dolores Park. While it has a soccer field, tennis and basketball courts, a playground, and two off-leash dog play areas, the real attractions at Dolores are the world-class people watching and often sunny microclimate.
Delicious Tip: Stop by the famous Tartine Bakery for a to-go baked snack on your way in. The menu may not be consistent, but they never fail to deliver on taste.
2. Chrissy Field
Bring a kite...
If you're looking for a family-friendly spot with easy beach access and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, look no further than Chrissy Field. Situated at the northern tip of the Presidio, this former Air Base is the perfect place to fly a kite, let your dog off the leash, and breath some ocean air.
Delicious Tip: Fuel up on your way in with a cup of joe from Dynamo Donut and Coffee. Their maple donuts should not be missed.
3. Golden Gate Park
Throw the ball around...
Larger than Central Park and with ten times the character, Golden Gate Park sprawls from the Haight-Ashbury District to the Pacific Ocean. We could write a book on the seemingly endless attractions this park offers, from the Japanese Tea Garden to De Young Art Museum to the eccentric spectacle that is Hippy Hill, but it is probably best you explore it for yourself.
Delicious Tip: Drinking is a-ok in many parts of the park, so bring some California craft brews and settle in for an interesting day!
4. Alamo Square
Find a date...
As romantic a park as any you could find in the City. Surrounded by iconic and adorable pastel Victorian homes (dubbed the Painted Ladies) and overlooking the San Francisco skyline, this is the perfect place for a date. Bring a sweater!
Delicious Tip: Looking for a picnic to round out the experience? Head one block over to Lunchpad and enjoy an unbeatable artisan sandwich or salad.
5. Billy Goat Hill
For the view...
On a hilltop on the outskirts of Noe Valley lie some of the best views San Francisco has to offer. Check out Billy Goat Hill for a perfect panorama of the City and its profile-picture-perfect rope swing, which has a knack for mysteriously disappearing only to be replaced days later.
Delicious Tip: There aren't many food options right nearby, so be sure to grab some tasty snacks on the way in. You can't go wrong with the amazing selection at Cheese Boutique, just a 20-minute walk away.
6. Ocean Beach
Walk your pup...
Surfs up! On a sunny day, Ocean Beach is the ideal place to catch some waves, let your pup off the leash (yes, it is dog friendly), or build an epic sand castle. In the twilight hours there is no better place to host a bonfire and take in the views of the Pacific Ocean skyline.
Delicious Tip: If the beach gets too foggy, head over to Cliff House for a bowl of clam chowder while overlooking the Sutro Baths.
Go during Off the Grid...
This former U.S. Army fort provides a truly unique San Francisco experience that everyone can enjoy. Officially San Francisco's largest park, you can easily spend an afternoon here hiking on the trails, touring the historical sites, and taking in the views.
Delicious Tip: Off-The-Grid hosts a food truck picnic at the Presidio parade grounds every Sunday from Spring to Fall. Be sure to check it out for some delicious and unique treats!
8. Fort Mason Green
Booze it up...
For a lively park experience complete with lawn sports, dogs, and unbeatable sunset views, then Fort Mason Green is the place to be. Located in the Marina District up the stairs from the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, the Green is a go-to spot for an afternoon picnic or to toss around a frisbee.
Delicious Tip: Before bringing your blanket and spike ball out to the grass, stop by Greens Restaurant for brunch. Their colorful and filling selections along with the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge will make you forget it's all vegetarian!
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