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VIA’s Favorite Parks

Most everyone has some nostalgic memories of parks. There were the neighborhood parks where you played as a child. There were, maybe, the special parks that had tennis courts or basketball courts where you practiced a sport until darkness took over. There were also the National Parks where you experienced many wonders of the world. And there was always the park experience where you would go to get away from the urban jungle and have a little time communing with nature.

As the weather gets summery, it’s time to rediscover the beauty and magic of going to the park. To that end, may we suggest our top 5 parks in San Francisco that are worth taking the time to visit. Be aware that this list will not include the obvious…Golden Gate Park. Everyone is probably aware of the amazing attractions that live in this 1,000+ acres that span half way across the city. So, excluding Golden Gate park and not in any particular order, here are Hotel VIA’s favorites.

Dolores Park, located in San Francisco’s historic Mission District, is nearly 16 acres of grassy lawns with stunning views of the City skyline and Bay. The park has a soccer field, tennis courts, a basketball court and a wonderful children’s playground. The park also hosts family-friendly events such as free film screenings and other fun events. But the beauty of Dolores Park is that its spaciousness is a welcoming environment for everyone whether they just want to get some sun, play some Frisbee, have a picnic or just sit around and do some amazing people watching. When visiting Dolores Park you are within steps of Mission Dolores, one of California’s original missions, as well as some of the best eating and snacking experiences in the City.

Salesforce Park, one of San Francisco’s newest parks, is located in the heart of San Francisco’s downtown and is elevated about 70 feet above the city streets. The park is an example of how a city can build green spaces in dense urban centers. A free gondola ride takes you up to find more than 5 acres of lush, rolling meadows and gardens, a fountain that “dances”, a children’s play area, an amphitheater and even a beer garden. The length of Salesforce Park is equivalent to 4 and a half football fields creating a great space for a nice urban walk. The elevated park hosts lots of free events including yoga classes, concerts and movie nights under the stars. Until you descend, you don’t remember that you are such a dense urban area surrounded by high rise buildings.

Glen Canyon Park is an incredible wild refuge in the middle of San Franciso with naturally forested slopes, dramatic rock formations and one of the few remaining free-flowing creeks in the City. An extensive network of hiking trails leads through a variety of habitats. The 70 acre park has almost 4 miles of trails and is full of native plants, wildflowers and Eucalyptus trees. The many changes in elevation along the trails offer excellent views of San Francisco. In the canyon, city noises disappear, replaced by the soothing sounds of nature. Glen Canyon Park also has baseball fields, picnic areas, a large playground and a rec center with a climbing gym. Best of all, this natural oasis is easily accessible by public transportation.

Crissy Field is 100 acres of adventure. Located at the very tip of the San Francisco peninsula, Crissy Field offers a range of activities as well as spectacular views of some of San Francisco’s most iconic landmarks. The park has beaches for swimming and its tidal wetlands and dunes are recreational as well as home to many native species of fish and fowl. Miles of hiking trails include paths to the Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point. At the Outpost play space kids can swing, climb and crawl on huge play structures made from things found in nature. Sounds great, right? This is only the tip of the iceberg of everything that Crissy Field has to offer.

China Basin Park is San Francisco’s newest park. At the nexus of Mission Creek and the San Francisco Bay, China Basin Park’s hilly lawns sit on the waterfront with Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, across the creek. Miles of pedestrian and bike paths connect several of San Francisco’s south of Market neighborhoods in what is becoming the coolest neighborhood in the City. A perfect place to enjoy the sounds of baseball and watch for those home runs coming out of the park and splashing into McCovey Cove. When there are no games, the serenity of the water and grassy knoll in the sunny South Beach neighborhood allows a calming break from the hectic urban life. And the best thing about the new China Basin Park…it’s location across the street from Hotel VIA.

Come to the City. Enjoy our parks. Book your room at Hotel VIA and we’ll make sure you have a stay as beautiful as our city parks.

Posted May 23rd, 2024

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