Summer in San Francisco is absolutely gorgeous. It’s not too hot, not too cold, with fog rolling in from the bay and plenty to do. It’s also a hot season for San Francisco real estate. A great way to explore San Francisco’s neighborhoods is through the city’s many parks. If you’re looking for a vacation spot, you need to look no further than your own neighborhood. Tourists flock to San Francisco for a reason — the city’s amenities are some of the best in the world. Explore some yourself this summer at one of San Francisco’s parks.
Visit 10 Best Parks in San Francisco for Enjoying the Summer
With so many neighborhoods to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down your perfect part of the city. We can help! In the spirit of summer, we’ve broken down San Francisco real estate by proximity to the 10 best parks you can enjoy this summer.
Golden Gate Park
The first on our list is probably the most obvious. At a little more than a thousand acres, and more or less rectangular, Golden Gate Park is often compared to New York’s Central Park. Still, it’s larger and it’s got much more going for it. The park has paths and nature spaces, museums and a Japanese tea house, and plenty of other amenities. It’s easily the most obvious “park” in the whole city. It’s almost a neighborhood unto itself, but, in the North West, it’s bordered by the Richmond, Haight-Ashbury, and Sunset neighborhoods.
Golden Gate Park has something for everyone. Families can enjoy the carousel and playground at the park’s east end. Backpackers will love “hippie hill” and the nature trails spread throughout the forests. Nature lovers can enjoy acres of trees, a rose garden, the Botanical Gardens, and dozens of meadows. If you’re interested in museums, there is the California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum, and the Conservatory of Flowers. If you’re feeling sporty, there are soccer fields and tennis courts, hiking trails, and even paddle boats on Stow Lake.
This park features a eucalyptus grove dripping in green ivy and nasturtium flowers. In the Sunset district of the park, the Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove is made up of several different sections including, notably, the Concert Meadow. That’s the primary site of the Stern Grove Festival which runs all summer. Expect a series of performing arts events to take advantage of the natural amphitheatre, under the shade of the eucalyptus trees.
Stow Lake is an artificial lake, tucked right in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Still, this deserves its own separate entry, because we find it so absolutely charming. The paddle boats alone would merit specific mention, but the waterfall and the Chinese cultural pavilion really complete the ambiance. It’s an absolute favourite among the locals. It’s a marvelous summer spot, and the boat rentals alone are worth your attention.
This is just about the best spot in Bernal Heights. Sometimes called “Bernal Heights Summit”, it’s one of the happier effects of the Pacific plate subducting under the North American. The same tectonic stresses that cause the earthquakes also build up the many hills with such astonishing views. It’s a popular spot for dog-walkers, and the view of the bay is hard to top. This is also a hot spot for Bernal Heights real estate, as the neighborhood is perfect for families and also hip enough for a younger crowd, too.
While we’re on the subject of astonishing vistas, we should really touch on this hilltop park. Buena Vista Park, in the Haight-Ashbury and Buena Vista Heights neighborhoods, is the oldest official park in the city. It’s a hundred and fifty one years old, this year. It’s a steep hill, just south of Haight Street, and it covers almost 40 acres. There are plenty of lookouts, including a sweeping view of Golden Gate Park from “the Window”, and on clear days, from the summit you can see all the way to Drake’s Bay. Keep an eye out for the re-purposed headstones from the (now relocated) Victorian cemeteries along the paths.
This park is so popular among locals that on the weekends it can be hard to find a spot! Located in the Mission District and featuring sweeping views of San Francisco’s city skyline, the park features a playground, tennis courts, and acres of grass dotted by shady palm trees. While people in other cities go to the beach in the summertime, Dolores Park is the spot for sunbathing in San Francisco. This ultimate picnic hotspot borders ice-cream shops, cafes, and lots of taquerias, so you can either buy your snacks or bring your own.
Tucked into Ashbury-Heights, at the very edge of Noe Valley, Tank Hill is a favourite spot for watching the 4th of July fireworks, but with another amazing view of the city, it’s a popular spot to close out date-night with conversation and sunsets. It’s a bit of a hike to the top, but it’s worth every footfall.
On Nob Hill, this manicured green space is posher than many other entries on our list. In the North East, it’s a brilliant spot for a dog walk, and the architecture, especially Grace Cathedral, makes for an inspiring space to take in the summer sun. Besides all that, the statuary alone would be worth a few hours’ visit. Pro tip: hop over to the cathedral grounds and walk the outdoor labyrinth.
Alamo Square Park
The focal point of Alamo Square is the neighborhood’s park. Alamo Square Park is a four-block overlook of the “Painted Ladies” mansions along Steiner Street. It’s named for its lone cottonwood tree (in Spanish, an “Alamo”), and it’s a wonderful place to spend a day. Be sure you take full advantage of the tennis courts and the temperate microclimate. No matter what the day is doing, in Alamo Park it’s always crisp.
Glen Canyon Park
Nestled into Glen Park and Diamond Heights, this park follows the gorge of Glen Canyon, with an expansive grassland and nature space. It’s an undeveloped time-capsule, letting you explore San Francisco as it was before any urbanization. In full swing, with the flowers blooming and all the wildlife, it’s possibly our very favourite place to spend a summer’s day. Keep an eye out for coyotes, ravens, and crows, which are all likely to cross your path.
Enjoying the Summer in San Francisco
Summer is always a boon to the San Francisco real estate market. The city comes to life with festivals and nature spaces and street markets and so much more. With so many new houses on the market, there’s never been a better time to contact Danielle Lazier + Associates. Our expert team will work with you to find your dream home, in your perfect neighborhood. Get ready to spend a summer under the eucalyptus trees in Parkside, or taking in the views from Bernal Hill. Get in touch today, and find out what we can do to make your San Francisco real estate dreams come true!