If you look at a map of San Francisco it is speckled and checkered with green splotches, there are countless parks for whatever rhyme or reason you feel like getting some fresh air. Here are my top park picks in the city:
Twin Peaks, 501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114
The quintessential tourist view. There is a beautiful winding road leading up to a large parking lot.
You will be amongst a crowd, but the unobstructed 360 degree view is worth it.
Walk around and take a look at the sprawling city.
Remember this is called Twin Peaks, be sure to take the short stroll to the other side, it’s much quieter over there.
At the top of the hill there is a geological marker.
There is still wildlife at this popular place. You may spot a number of birds, even a hawk perched hillside.
If you want to make a hike out of it, you can walk up from the base for a great workout.
Tank Hill, 2 Belgrave Ave San Francisco, CA 94117
Located in a residential area not far from Twin Peaks, though it feels a world away.
This is a quiet spot which you may have completely to yourself. A small park in a residential neighborhood, Tank Hill is one of the many hilly summit parks which affords a spectacular view of the city.
Buena Vista Park, Buena Vista & Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
Another view park?! I never even heard of this one, but as I was driving around I saw a topiary peace sign.
Intrigued, I had to park and go inside. You can’t really tell there is anything in there, because from the outside it’s all covered in thick green brush.
There are many staircases, a boardwalk, and paved walking paths. I’m dubbing this the local view, because it was made up almost entirely of people walking their dogs. So if you’re with your pooch – you’ll be right at home here. The views aren’t as expansive as the previous two parks, but nonetheless pretty.
Find yourself a quiet corner and wait for the birds, there were plenty on my visit.
Cayuga Park, 301 Naglee Ave San Francisco, CA 94112
Definitely the oddball park, but if you love quirk this may be your favorite spot of all. I would have never have entered this little neighborhood if I didn’t go searching for the park, filled with amazing and unique wooden sculptures carved by Demetrio Braceros who worked for the parks department.
The little woodsy paths will reveal countless hidden treasures, leave no stone unturned.
Go on a hunt to find all of the beautiful flowers.
Come for a jog around the paved path or bring your kiddo to the playground. There are restrooms and plenty of street parking. Don’t miss this wonderful little gem.
Dolores Park, 19th St & Dolores Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
The designated hip spot in the Mission District, this park is great for picnicking, people watching, Frisbee, and more. There’s a soccer field, tennis/basketball courts, a playground, off leash dog park, and of course the view of the skyline. There are often festivals held. Try viewing at night when the city lights up for a different experience.
Do you have a favorite park in San Francisco?