Resident Picks: Our Favorite Open-Air Hangouts This Summer
While San Francisco is amongst the most cosmopolitan cities in the nation, brimming with high-rises and diverse microhoods, there is one thing that each urban pocket doesn’t fall short on: open space. From green parks with iconic views to trails lined with soaring cypress trees, the city is full of open-air spots to kick back and enjoy the warmth of summer. Take a look at a few resident favorites below.
Palace of Fine Arts
While San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts is a sure sight to see, replete with rich history and an array of ever-changing theatrical acts and entertainment, it’s also the ideal spot to unwind and take in the grounds’ natural splendor. The exterior features multiple lush walkways with beautiful eucalyptus trees and a lagoon teeming with wildlife, from swans to turtles and frogs—the perfect place to bring curious little ones.
At The Harrison, you needn’t stray far to find the perfect patch of green. Rincon Park, located just moments from your doorstep along the waterfront, is home to SoMa’s most iconic bow & arrow sculpture and proves to be the ideal spot to unwind and take in the colors of sunset—with unimpeded views of the Bay Bridge, to boot. So, next time you need a breath of fresh air, head to “Cupid’s Span” for a true urban escape.
Through the Presidio Gate lies Lover’s Lane, one of the city’s most enchanting trails to stroll and explore—not just with your loved one, but with nature lovers, art lovers, history lovers and more. The city’s oldest trail is a likewise a birdwatcher’s paradise with stunning Monterey cypress and eucalyptus trees and home to natural sculptures like “Wood Line,” brainchild of renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy.
It’s been just over a week since the Salesforce Park opened to the public and there’s no denying that it’s become one of the most coveted open-air hangouts in all of San Francisco. The expansive 5.4-acre rooftop park is teeming with lush and distinct gardens, open grassy lawns, an outdoor amphitheater, a children’s play space, a restaurant, cafe and more. San Franciscans are flocking to this new sky-high jungle to explore, partake in fitness classes and immerse themselves in a completely unique urban landscape.
For a quintessential al fresco San Francisco experience, look no further than Alamo Square. Encompassed by architecturally distinctive homes, including the ever-famous “Painted Ladies,” Alamo Square offers views of both the Golden Gate and Bay Bridge, allowing San Franciscans to retreat from urban living and take in the city’s beautiful expanse. We recommend arriving at sunset with a blanket and picnic for an idyllic summer night spent with friends and family.
One of the most popular parks in all of San Francisco, Dolores Park is set amidst 16 acres with vast open space, two off-leash dog areas, a soccer field, six tennis courts and much more. So, whether you want to read beneath a shady tree or host a sunset picnic with friends, Dolores Park is amongst the most sought-after spots in the city to take in the fresh summer air.