The Best Parks in San Francisco

San Francisco is a delightful place to visit in September and October. The weather is mild and often sunny. The summer tourists have returned home, and the area markets and restaurants are well-stocked with the bounty of the fall produce and wine harvest. The city also offers a number of beautiful parks where you can enjoy the weather and the many facets of this fascinating city. Below are just a few of my favorites:

Golden Gate Park. An discussion of San Francisco parks has to start with Golden Gate Park. This rectangular, 1017-acre park is located in the heart of the city, just north of Haight-Ashbury. Opened in the 1870s, Golden Gate Park is larger even than New York’s Central Park. There are a myriad of activities inside the park. You can marvel at the twin windmills, gifts from Queen Wilhemina of Holland, explore the Japanese Tea Garden, or visit the several museums located within Golden Gate Park. There’s even a small herd of buffalo. Admission is free, although some of the attractions within carry a fee.

The Presidio. Located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge along the northern shore of San Francisco, the Presidio was part of a US Army base for more than 200 years until the site was turned over to the National Park Service in 1994. Today, the area is open to the public and offers spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, and the striking Palace of Fine Arts Museum, which is located within the park.

Yerba Buena Gardens perspective shot

Yerba Buena Gardens

Yerba Buena Gardens. This urban green space, near the Moscone Convention Center, sits between the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Performing Arts Center. The area is also home to several smaller museums. Within the park are an ice-skating rink (seasonal) and a carousel. You’ll also frequently find street performers entertaining the passers-by.
Creative Commons License photo credit: darinmarshall

Creative Commons License photo credit: Bob Jagendorf