Mission Dolores Park

Between the Mission and Castro districts
San Francisco, CA

Submitted by: Brian Geraghty

A public park known for its views

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Why It Works

A beautiful eight square block park nestled on a hillside with broad sweeping views of the San Francisco downtown and Bay Area skyline to the north east.

What Makes Mission Dolores Park a Great Place?

Located directly in between famous Castro Street in The Castro, and Valencia Street in The Mission, Dolores park is also only a few blocks from the bustling Market street. Accessible by light rail on the F and J lines, Dolores Park is also walking distance from the BART, multiple MUNI and bus lines, and the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. Dolores park is right in the middle of the cultural and social center of San Francisco. Dolores Street, which borders the park to the east is a 4 lane road but it has a nice grassy median with palm trees. It is not heavily trafficked, vehicles go slow and it's easy to cross.

Although the park is quite heavily used on sunny days, the grass is in good shape, and the crowd doesn't feel like a deterrent. There are benches bordering the park and scattered throughout, but most people prefer to sit on the sloped ground which faces the northeast with beautiful far reaching views on the San Francisco downtown skyline and the greater Bay Area beyond.

Besides the great views, the park features a few basketball and tennis courts and a playground. There is loads of open space and it is not uncommon to see young people throwing a frisbee, or dogs chasing balls. The park is happily shared by families and twenty and thirty somethings at all hours of the day. The park is surrounded by some of the best cafes the city has to offer and is an excellent place to bring a cup of coffee and a croissant with the morning paper.

The park generally seems to be heavy on locals but there is no territorial feeling; all comers are welcome. People visit alone or as couples, with groups or with dogs. Everyone is generally friendly and sociable.

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