Welcome to our latest column on Cutline Speaks! We have Cutliners on both coasts and we often share our favorite spots with each other… so now we’re sharing them with you!
This week, we’re focusing on where to find the best hikes, beaches, and other outdoor areas in San Francisco, where Cutline was born. Check it out!
I take great pride in going on bi-weekly hikes in the Bay Area. My favorite hike, hands-down, is Alamere Falls on the Point Reyes peninsula. There are several different terrains -- forest, jungle, canyon, beach, and meadow -- and the round trip is about nine miles. Alamere Falls is one of two waterfalls in California that plunges directly into the Pacific Ocean. The view is worth the rock climbing.
If it’s a beautiful day in the city, one of my favorite activities is soaking up the sun at one of the many beautiful parks in San Francisco. Fun fact: over 98% of the population has walkable park access (within half a mile), so if you’re in the city, chances are there’s a park nearby!
A few of my favorites are:
Alamo Square: In Hayes Valley, this park is famous for the row of victorian houses that line the street, made famous by Full House.
Crissy Field: Located in the Marina District, this is walking distance from my house and right on the water. It’s also near the Golden Gate Bridge, so there are beautiful views everywhere you look. Also a plus: they have grills, so you can have a BBQ!
Dolores Park: This park in the Castro is always a good time, and great for people watching.
Golden Gate Park: This is one of the biggest parks in San Francisco (over 1,000 acres), so there’s always room for kickball games, frisbee, and football. It’s also good for families. The park is even home to wild buffalo, which you can view from John F. Kennedy Drive in the north/west corner of the park.
Muir Beach is a really cool spot in the Bay Area. My husband and I took our dogs with us, stopped for some gourmet sandwiches on the way, and enjoyed a lovely day at the beach. Max & Oatie had a ball visiting with the other pups there, and the scenery was gorgeous.
Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods in Mill Valley is the ultimate destination for those of you who love to explore the woods. It’s easily my favorite place to hike in Northern California. While you can’t pick a ‘bad trail’, I highly recommend the Ocean View route. I’ve hiked this particular trail twice now, and I would do it again tomorrow if I could! You don’t need any fancy gear or heavy camelbacks, just wear your regular workout gear and bring your camera. Entrance to the park is $7.00. Oh, and if you’re lucky, the German Tourist Club will be open. It’s a hidden gem of a cottage in the heart of the woods on top of the mountains that serves beer and has an entire bookshelf of board games for your borrowing.
Pirate’s Cove at Muir Beach. It’s an AWESOME hike that hugs the coastline and is only 30-40 minutes or so north of San Francisco. There are also fun places to post up for a drink or food after you’re done hiking -- Pelican Inn (walking distance) and Bar Bocce (short drive) are two of my favorites!
Washington Square Park in San Francisco has always been a favorite of mine. Nestled in the middle of North Beach and surrounded by cute cafes and the beautiful Saints Peter and Paul Church for grabbing gelato or pizza and hanging out in the sun. Plus, an urban hike to Coit Tower is just around the corner. One of my favorite memories is when the Movie in the Park org showed Midnight in Paris at this park -- I might’ve been freezing, but it was totally worth it.