I loved exploring places that were right across the Golden Gate Bridge. Since I used to train for marathons, I would run from Ferry Building, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and into the Marin Headlands. Here are some spots I loved
1. Slackers Hill
2. Somewhere along the Coastal Trail right after Slackers Hill
3. Tennessee Point – you can continue the Coastal Trail until the Pacific Ocean and eventually reach Rodeo Beach and then Tennessee Point. You can also drive to Rodeo Beach and hike from there.
4. Angel Island
Take a ferry there from SF, Sausalito or Tiburon! You can spend the day biking or hiking. The highest peak only takes less than an hour to hike if you go straight up but there are more trails that go around the island and even a campsite to stay overnight.
5. Fort Funston
It’s a dog park! Come here to pet dogs if you don’t have any.
6. Mori Point
This is in Pacifica. I hear Pacifica Beach is perfect for surfing.
You probably have already heard of Twin Peaks, Bernal Heights and Coit Tower (If not you should head there too). Here are some of my favorite less known views to escape the crowd.
1. Hamon Tower at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park
It’s in a museum with ticketed admission but the Hamon Tower is free! Just go ask any of the staff for directions and enjoy the 360 degree view.
2. Alta Plaza Park
Located in the middle of the Pacific Heights neighborhood, Alta Plaza Park has a great night and day view. There is a dog park, playground and basketball court that is usually empty! After enjoying the park, you can check out some of the most beautiful houses in SF down Steiner or Pierce Street towards the Marina.
3. Grandview Park
Grandview Park indeed has grand views. Being far off in the inner Sunset, you can see all the way to bay bridge! It is right next to the mosaic steps and is a great place for sunset and a picnic. Highly recommend grabbing some good Chinese food in the Sunset and coming here.
4. Corona Heights
This is my favorite city hike in the city. It is about a 10 minute walk from Castro station and offers the most rewarding view! I take everyone who visits SF to this place.
5. Salesforce Tower
I am always on a hunt to find the tallest peak in a city when I visit – even if it’s a man made tower! You need to know one of Salesforce’s 30,000+ employees to get a visit, but it’s well worth the effort! Salesforce has full time employees that are similar to rangers that greet you and the views are incredible on the 61st floor.