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Gardens, Parks and Beaches

the best gardens, parks and beaches in San Francisco

An Easy Redwood Forest Walk In Muir Woods National Monument/North Bay

Pros: An old-growth stand of redwood
Cons: Weekend congestion
Best For: A weekday morning walk among giants

What is The Presidio?

Pros: 1491 acres of National Historic Monument
Cons: Could take a lifetime to explore
Best For: History, nature, and a great place to live and/or work

Sutro Baths/Ruins of a Victorian Bathing Palace

Pros: A glimpse into another era
Cons: Slippery when wet
Best For: Northern California at it's finest

Fort Mason Community Garden

Pros: A stunningly beautiful, semi-edible community project
Cons: The 5-7 year wait list for a garden plot
Best For: Sitting at the picnic table or a walk-through any time of the year

Crissy Field/Presidio

Pros: Recently renovated/ astoundingly beautiful/beloved by locals, tourists and their canine friends
Cons: The fog blows in with a vengeance, mostly in the afternoons
Best For: Walking the promenade, flying a kite, admiring the view of the Golden Gate Bridge, coffee in the Warming Hut

Baker Beach/Presidio

Pros: A stunning mile of rugged Pacific coastline
Cons: Waiting for the fog to lift and the sun to shine
Best For: The classic Northern California beach experience

National Aids Memorial Grove/Golden Gate Park

Pros: Garden, meadow and redwood grove for remembrance
Cons: So many San Franciscans lost to AIDS
Best For: A spiritual gathering or solo contemplation

Japanese Tea Garden/Golden Gate Park

Pros: The oldest Japanese tea garden in the U.S.
Cons: Disturbing lack of tranquility at peak tourist moments
Best For: Arriving between 9 and 10 a.m. Mon/ Weds/ Fri for free admission, rainy days, cherry blossoms in Spring

Golden Gate Park

Pros: Over 1,000 acres of park, conceptualized in 1870
Cons: Not very safe at night
Best For: It's museums and scenic beauty

Lafayette Park/Pacific Heights

Pros: An idyllic hilltop neighborhood park with tennis courts, picnic tables and a view
Cons:Gets pretty windy up there
Best For: Bringing your canine for a romp with the local four-legged residents of Pacific Heights

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