Whether you live in San Francisco or are just visiting, your legs are bound to get a workout given all those hills. It won’t seem like work at all if you take kids and dogs along and there’s a reward at the top of the hill.
Huntington Park atop Nob Hill, for example, has fountains, a recently renovated playground and, usually, quite a few dogs hanging out with their people. Its location across from famous Grace Cathedral and the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins hotels gives it added cachet. Corona Heights Park is another hilltop aerie, offering great city views, a web of trails and a fenced, off-leash dog park.
And then there are parks with views, playgrounds, trails – and tree swings. Bernal Heights Park is one; Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park another. Quite a few of these swings (including those a Land’s End Trail, Billy Goat Hill and Tank Hill near Twin Peaks) are a bit hidden, so you’ll have to do some sleuthing (and asking) to find them.
Golden Gate Park, of course, is full of family-friendly attractions, including four off-leash dog areas, miles of trails and unbeatable people- and dog-watching opportunities.
If you want to get out of town without really getting out of town, head to Treasure Island, where you’ll enjoy postcard views of the city skyline, long strolls by the shore and, on the last weekend of every month, a giant flea market that dogs are welcome to explore along with the rest of the family.
Photo by jefffielding (CC).