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.
Twin Peaks + Forest Hills
Twin Peaks ParkYou're not considered local until you've climbed the calf-straining hills leading up to Twin Peaks. As part of the Mission Blue Butterfly Conservation Project, keep your eyes peeled for the endangered beauties from atop the 31-acre park. // 501 Twin Peaks Blvd (Twin Peaks), sfrecpark.org
J.P Murphy Playground
A large grass area with some nice shrubbery shoulders a modestly sized playground. Not much in the way of frills; there are, however, three tennis courts and a basketball court at the adjacent Golden Gate Heights Park. // 1960 9th Ave. (Forest Hills), sfrecpark.org
Midtown Terrace Playground
Complete with modern-day play structures and moated by the surrounding dense tree coverage, Midtown Terrace Playground is a tiny (playable) oasis tucked in the outskirts of Forest Hills. Bring the family dog along to appreciate the well-cute grassy areas just outside the playground. // Clarendon Ave. and Olympia Way (Forest Hills), sfrecpark.org
Golden Gate Heights Park
Golden Gate Heights harkens back to an older San Francisco, one with much less people and much more wildlife. Head west to see the ocean views and what's left of the park's sand dunes. But please stay on the trail; Golden Gate Heights Park is already eroding away fast enough because of nearby development. // 12th Ave. and Rockridge Dr. (Forest Hill), sfrecpark.org
With a sweeping view of San Francisco and East Bay, it's no wonder why this five-acre park was named after a winged hunter. Tread carefully if you do decide to treat yourself to those views; Hawk Hill is, too, eroding quickly. // 14th Ave. and Rivera St. (Forest Hill), sfrecpark.org