Tall sandy bluffs, barren beaches, and consistently stellar hang-gliding are the key features of beautiful Fort Funston. Hugging the southwest corner of San Francisco's windswept coastline, this protected area includes the last remnants of the sand dune ecosystem that used to blanket the western half of our city.

Hikers will find an abundance of trails (also fine for horseback-riding) and dogs can run freely off-leash here. In fact, it's the only spot within the Golden Gate Recreation Area where canines get that privilege.

Renamed after Major General Frederick Funston, the windswept headlands once housed a series of barracks, coastal batteries, and a Nike Missile launch site. Now, Fort Funston is popular with hang-gliders who take advantage of an intermediate launch area; plenty of hang-gliding shops nearby offer lessons and repair. You'll also find the Fort Funston Native Plant Nursery and did we mention the views?