When stress creeps in and no amount of coffee can energize your spirit, then nature calls. If you’re in need of some effortless relaxation in the San Francisco area, head out and explore these secret spots. All you need is an afternoon amongst the trees and you’ll feel completely renewed.
1. Glen Canyon Park: Bosworth Street, San Francisco
Glen Canyon Park is a welcome break from the madness of the City. This overlooked park is peaceful and full of hiking/walking trails for all skill levels.
2. Marshall Beach: Lincoln Blvd and Langdon Court, San Francisco
Where can you find a quiet spot to view the Golden Gate Bridge? Marshall’s Beach in San Francisco’s Presidio. This hidden beach is tucked between steep bluffs and remains refreshingly quiet. The only sound you'll hear is the crashing of the waves. You can even fully undress: this is a clothing-optional spot!
3. Golden Gate Heights Mosaic Stairway: Moraga St (btw 15th Ave & 16th Ave), San Francisco
Escape the stress, and explore this hidden gem. Go up the steps and marvel at the view from the top of Moraga! Go during the day to have true solace.
4. Kite Hill: 19th & Yukon Street, San Francisco
If you're looking for a marvelous view of the San Francisco skyline without the crowds, or too steep of an incline, this is your perfect urban hideaway.
5. Ecology Trail at the Presidio: Inspiration Point Overlook, San Francisco
Nature lovers will feel totally rejuvenated on this trail. The Ecology Trail is a short pathway that connects Arguello Gate to the Presidio's Main Post. You'll walk through different habitats like grasslands, native wildflowers in bloom, and towering redwoods.
6. Sutro Heights Park: 48th Ave & Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco
The view of Ocean Beach from Sutro Heights Park is priceless! And the park itself sees very few people since most head straight to Ocean Beach or Sutro Baths.
7. San Francisco Botanical Garden: 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco
Located in Golden Gate Park, the Botanical Gardens are an ideal spot to escape the city and wander through continent-themed gardens. Pictured is the Japanese Moon Garden.
8. John McLaren Park: 116 John F Shelley Dr, San Francisco
John McLaren Park is the second largest park in San Francisco but is almost always overshadowed by its bigger sibling Golden Gate Park. Take advantage of this quiet spot for relaxing, hiking, swimming, golfing, and nature gazing.
9. Immigrant Point Overlook: Presidio, San Francisco
If you stand at Immigrant Point, gazing out at the lovely ocean, the Marin Headlands, and on a clear day even Point Reyes National Seashore. If you're really lucky you may even see dolphins in the sea!
10. Ina Coolbrith Park: Vallejo & Taylor, San Francisco
Near North Beach, the small yet scenic Ina Coolbrith Park in the heart of Russian Hill, is relaxing. Go to the top of the stairway and enjoy the view of Alcatraz, the Bay, and more.