The Greatest Picnic Spots in San Francisco’s Killer Parks

Boasting among the best park techniques within the nation, San Francisco is residence to loads of high-rated out of doors public areas with spectacular views and locations to hold. A sunny day or lazy weekend is the right time to discover a number of the metropolis’s greenest and most beloved gems for lounging, enjoying, picnicking and extra. So get on the market and park it! 

The Greatest Picnic Areas & Park Hangs in San Francisco

In 2022, two beautiful new parks, Tunnel Tops and Battery Bluff, opened within the Presidio. If you happen to’ve not but been to both of those gorgeous parklands, it’s the right time to go to. Tunnel Tops supplies lawns and tables for picnicking amongst its trails for mountain climbing that stretch from the Important Submit to Crissy Discipline. For many who detest to pack a picnic, meals vehicles park across the Tunnel Tops each weekend, and leisure is normally on faucet as nicely. And relying on the time of 12 months, chances are you’ll even be capable to catch an out of doors film underneath the celebs.  

Searching for a much less busy spot to hang around? Battery Bluff sits only a bit west alongside the Presidio Promenade path. Named after the 4 U.S. Military gun batteries Blaney, Baldwin, Slaughter and Sherwood, the park space is tucked alongside the hillside simply above Chrissy Discipline. New picnic tables provide breathtaking views of the Golden Gate, Angel Island, Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay. For a traditional Presidio picnic, head right down to West Bluff. The bayfront web site presents loads of picnic tables, charcoal-burning barbecues, public restrooms and massive, lovely bridge views. For extra enjoyable close by, try The Commonplace’s guides to Crissy Discipline and different adventures across the Presidio

Battery Bluff picnic space on April 22, 2022 | Maryann Jones Thompson/The Commonplace

Dolores Park is the picnic vacation spot for San Francisco locals. Town views from the highest of the hill are legendary, the climate is magically at all times sunny and sure distributors need you to like the entire expertise much more. In reality, the toughest half might be discovering a spot to unfold out! When Helen Diller Playground reopened in February 2022, it was an on the spot hit with households who love the return to old-school sand for slide touchdown zones.

Allan Ndovu, 26, and Allison Lettiere, 23, sunbathe with Lettiere’s roommates’ dogs in San Francisco in Golden Gate Park.
Allan Ndovu, 26, and Allison Lettiere, 23, sunbathe with Lettiere’s roommates’ canine in Golden Gate Park, on August 14, 2022. | Marissa Leshnov for The Commonplace

It isn’t onerous to discover a picnic spot within the miles of grassy expanses in Golden Gate Park. What might be powerful is discovering your pals on a busy weekend. If you wish to goal for a spot to fulfill, contemplate these beautiful meadows. 

  • Robin Williams Meadow: One in all Golden Gate Park’s happiest locations, renamed in reminiscence of a soul who gave a lot pleasure to the world, this stretch of inexperienced lies between the drumbeats of Hippie Hill and the youngsters’ squealing at Koret Kids’s Playground. Although parking right here isn’t straightforward, it exists.
  • Conservatory of Flowers: Seize a patch of grass among the many seasonally curated flower beds on the entrance garden of this nineteenth century greenhouse and watch the skaters, strollers, bikers and joggers go by alongside car-free John Okay. Kennedy Promenade. 
  • Bunny Meadow: As cute as its title, Bunny Meadow sits hidden within the bushes simply throughout Conservatory Drive West from the Conservatory of Flowers. 
  • Mom’s Meadow: An expansive meadow north of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive has a small playground fashionable with households. It is accessible by automotive.
  • Marx Meadow: A midsize spot north of JFK Drive, simply west of Park Presidio that may be a bit quieter and smaller than the grassy areas on the opposite facet of JFK. 
  • Hellman Hole: Essentially the most large of the huge garden areas is discovered on the south facet of JFK. 
  • Lindley Meadow: Yet one more large garden space is positioned on the south facet of JFK. It is a higher spot than Hellman Hole if you’d like a giant spot—however not an enormous spot.

Within the shadow of the double spires of Sts. Peter and Paul, North Seaside residents collect in its sq. on daily basis to do tai chi, stroll, learn, eat and take heed to the cathedral’s bells toll. It’s a picnic spot equally nice for people-watching and for closing your eyes as you lay on the grass after a giant meal.

Francisco Park simply previous to its opening in April 2022 | Courtesy Francisco Park Conservancy

Neighborhood effort and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Division mixed to remodel the once-abandoned reservoir web site into Francisco Park, which opened in April 2022. The scenic park is stuffed with lush native landscaping and boasts a number of the most awe-inspiring views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, Marin County, the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. Along with a fenced-in canine park, Francisco Park has a completely People with Disabilities Act-compliant pathway starting at Bay Avenue that results in the garden space and kids’s playground. Picnickers can get pleasure from listening to the hum and clanging of the Hyde Avenue cable automobiles as they ascend and descend Russian Hill.

Identified by neighbors as certainly one of SF’s “best-kept secrets and techniques,” George Christopher Park’s panoramic views and Glen Canyon path entry have been enhanced by a model new playground that opened in April 2021. A $5.2 million renovation added buildings for large and little youngsters, swings, an creativeness backyard, a playhouse, a pure dry riverbed and a efficiency stage. 

A stroll round San Francisco’s model of the “Excessive Line” is actually a must-do for locals and guests alike. Loop via a number of blocks of elevated lawns, unbelievable gardens, fountains and up-close-and-personal views of the skyscrapers. There’s even a play construction for children and younger tech staff to climb round. The park isn’t actually a fantastic spot to picnic, however it’s completely a
spot to laze about on a sunny afternoon. There are a number of entrances to the park, however probably the most handy is on the east finish of Natoma Avenue, simply previous Second Avenue, the place an elevator brings guests as much as the park.

San Franciscans benefit from the solar at McLaren Park on Feb. 7, 2022. | Camille Cohen

You would spend a complete day adventuring in SF’s second-largest park. Miles of trails go via a marsh, meadows, redwoods and lakes resulting in gorgeous views, together with an intimate take a look at the landmark La Grande Water Tank. However once you simply need to lay out a blanket and hit the grass, goal for the McLaren Park Playground Picnic Space (also called the “Redwood Picnic Space”) that reopened in 2020 after a giant refurbishment. The Peru Picnic Space is one other nice place to picnic. Each picnic areas sport A-1 play buildings when you’re so motivated.

Opened in September 2020, the seven-acre Crane Cove Park on San Francisco’s Pier 70 features a multipurpose garden, plazas, barbecue areas and a pocket seashore. The park additionally options pathways for pedestrian and bicycle entry and gardens. You too can be taught concerning the wealthy historical past of Pier 70. It’s straightforward to spend a protracted afternoon watching the curler skaters and bikers having fun with the close by paths. Afterward, wander over to the ever-popular Souvla in Dogpatch for some crispy Greek fries.

Sure, it’s loopy touristy, nevertheless it’s simply beautiful. And with tourism a bit down, there are fewer people to compete with once you’re attempting to feed the swans. In all seriousness, a blanket plopped on the garden going through the pond and the columns will present a day’s value of stable people-watching and wonderful, historic views.

Trek up the units of stairs to the highest of this Pacific Heights park, and also you’ll get a nice garden, a fantastic canine zone and views across the metropolis. Bear in mind to carry a jacket—it will get chilly up there!

Folks stroll within the Bernal Heights Park with the San Francisco skyline within the background on Friday, June 10, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Commonplace

Presumably one of many highest parks in SF, Bernal Hill is thought for its namesake summit, the place a telecommunications tower shoots up into the sky. This picnicking location shouldn’t be for the faint of coronary heart: Most of the pathways to the summit are steep and sloped, and getting from base to high is just about a full exercise. However as soon as climbed, you’ll discover breathtaking 360-degree views of town and the bay. Although it could actually get chilly and windy at evening, the mountain has loads of flat spots for a sundown picnic or afternoon sunbathing session.