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Famous view of San Francisco at Alamo Square
Golden Gate Bridge from Bakers Beach area in San Francisco at sunset

San Francisco has a lot to offer in the form of outdoor attractions. With many parks, beaches, golf courses, and other natural areas, you can soak up some Vitamin D almost anywhere. Below are a few of the great public parks and beaches throughout the city.

Alamo Square Park

Alamo Square Park is the focal point of the Alamo Square neighborhood. It takes up four city blocks on the top of a hill that overlooks a large part of downtown San Francisco. On clear days, expect to catch a view of the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco City Hall, and the Transamerica Pyramid building.

Across from the park on Steiner Street is the row of Victorian houses known as the “Painted Ladies.” These houses, built between 1892-1896 can be seen in the opening credits to the hit ‘90s family sitcom Full House.

Learn more about Alamo Square Park.

China Beach

China Beach is located in a small cove off of a San Francisco cliff. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This extremely clean beach offers great views of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. Families love this spot, with its grills and picnic tables for public use.

To learn more about China Beach, visit the National Park Service’s website.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is a rectangular shaped park located in San Francisco. It is 20% larger than Central Park in New York City. The park contains many different attractions, including:

  • De Young Museum—a fine arts museum opened in 1921
  • Japanese Tea Garden—the oldest public Japanese garden in the US
  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • National AIDS Memorial Grove
  • Kezar Stadium—home to the San Francisco 49ers from 1946-1970
  • Polo Fields
Click here to learn more about Golden Gate Park and all of its other features.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is located on the west coast of San Francisco. It is next to Golden Gate Park and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The best beach-friendly weather occurs during early spring and late fall in San Francisco. Fast currents and strong waves have made Ocean Beach one of the Bay Area’s top spots for surfing.

To learn more about this primarily locals-only beach, click here.

The Presidio

The Presidio is a part of the National Park Service, located on the northern part of San Francisco. It was a former military base, but it is now a protected natural area. The park, which is also a California and National Historic Landmark, offers fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. It has many wooded areas and hills for hiking.

Learn more about visiting the Presidio.

Visit the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department’s website to learn more about the natural attractions this city has to offer. Use their park finder tool to find the park, beach, or outdoor area closest to you!