Golden Gate and Dolores might get top billing, but San Francisco is literally blooming with public parks—did you know there is one city park per every half-mile here?
Grab your picnic blankets and a good read—here's our complete guide to SF parks, neatly organized for you by neighborhood.
Cole Valley + The Haight
Corona Heights Park (Including States Streets + Piexotto Playgrounds)
Located 500 feet above sea level, lay out your blanket at the park's summit to enjoy your picnic with views of the San Francisco Bay. Come spring and early summer, the park's a great place to watch countless butterflies do their graceful thing. For the young ones, both States Streets and Piexotto Playgrounds have ample equipment to run amok on. // Roosevelt Way and Museum Way (Cole Valley), sfrecpark.org
Mt. Olympus ParkLooking for a lower body workout? Feel the lactic acid burn by climbing this 570-foot summit, was once considered the geographic center of the city. An obelisk is all that remains of the statue that used to be found at its peak. // Upper Terrace (Cole Valley), sfrecpark.org
Once a prime piece of real estate, the city shut down any construction on this SF gem in the 1970s, forbidding housing from being built on top of it. Still pristine some 40 years later, Tank Hill sits 650-feet atop the surrounding verdure, lending itself to sublime views of Cole Valley and beyond. // Clarendon Rd. and Twin Peaks (Cole Valley), sfrecparks.org
This long and narrow green space near Golden Gate Park is both a one-mile commuting stretch for bikers and a place for picnics and pick-up hoops games. While it's not as nice as GGP, it's still a favorite of neighbors who lug out their barbecues to the green on weekends. // Stanyan S. and Fell St. (Haight-Ashbury) sfrecpark.org
Let the kids kick, dribble, and play catch at this small family-friendly park. Dogs, too, are welcome as long as they're leashed. // 1180 Stanyan St. (Cole Valley), sfrecpark.org
A hidden Cole Valley treasure, the Interior Greenbelt is located just south of Golden Gate Park, a click north of Twin Peaks. Covered entirely by blue gum eucalyptus and remnant bushes, there's little here besides sublime hiking trails. On-leash dogs may hike alongside their owners,. // Stanyan St. and Belgrade St. (Cole Valley), sfrecpark.org
Buena Vista Park
The oldest official park in San Francisco, Buena Vista is considered to be a window into the Bay Area. On a clear day, the western side of the green space provides sweeping views of GGP, the Pacific Ocean, and even northward up the coast to the white cliffs of Drake's Bay. // Buena Vista Avenue and Haight Street (Haight Ashbury), sfrecpark.org