Sports / Recreation, San Francisco

20 Reviews

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  • Sports / Recreation
    by wilocrek
  • Sports / Recreation
    by wilocrek
  • Sports / Recreation
    by wilocrek
  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    Biking the Bay: Golden Gate and beyond...

    by wilocrek Written Sep 5, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the best ways to see San Francisco is on a bicycle, not only do you get to enjoy the sun and fresh air, but you get to see the sights at a leisurely pace and everything in between. There are many different places to rent a bike for the day. I rented mine at Bay City Bike for about $30 for the day. The map out popular routes which makes it easy to explore the city. One of the most popular routes is riding along the coastline to the Golden Gate Bridge and then over the bridge and into Sausilito. From there you can catch a ferry back to Fisherman's Wharf. The ride itself is about 3 to 4 hours and is a very easy ride not matter what your expertise is. (All the pictures in this tip are from along this route) Don't miss out on this unique and fun way to see the city and experience the Golden Gate Bridge!

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    Pacific Heights: Alta Plaza Dog Park

    by atufft Updated Feb 24, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Along with Lafayette Park, Alta Plaza park in the Pacific Heights neighborhood provides pet owners a chance to unwind and have a stunning view of the city at the same time. Of the two though, Alta Plaza is the more famous because of Pug Sunday, which is the first Sunday of every month when pug owners around the bay area come to the park to let their pet off leash. Located between Scott and Jackson streets, at Steiner, the park has play equipment for children and a couple of very popularly used tennis courts. The park is also a good starting point for a neighborhood walk of mansions in this part of the Pacific Heights neighborhood. Within a block or two away are Calvary Presbyterian Church and the residential apartment building (shown here) where two 128 pound dogs, owned by attorneys Noel and Knoeller, mauled to death 33 year old Diane Whipple, such that she was rendered unrecognizable by paramedics. Later, the attorneys were found guilty of manslaughter.

    Entrance at Jackson and Steiner Home Near Alta Plaza Park Steiner Street Near Alta Plaza Park Pacific Heights Home Near Alta Plaza Park Crime Scene Apartment Building
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

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  • Lornabug's Profile Photo

    Best secret: Locals' hearts sing in the parks!

    by Lornabug Updated Mar 14, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On our fridge lives the National Parks Conservancy quarterly calendar of free (!) events which are the funnest things to do in a park anywhere in the country, nay the world. San Franciscans fight hard for their parks. In fact, the renegade Presidio went solo, promising the greater parks organization that it could be self-supporting in order to prevent this gorgeous historic area from going to the real estate dogs. Sun or fog, everyone gets out to the parks, which are better described as natural areas, and there are truly too many fun things to do with all the offerings. SF is one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth and people like me are doing their darndest to maintain its native wildlife for all to enjoy. Most of these events are super easy to access and last a few hours so you have plenty of your day left for fun. Here is a short list:

    Load and operate the last 50-ton gun at the Presidio
    A docent historian recounts and points out shipwrecks in the water at Land's End
    Observe and even tag migrating raptors on the Marin Headlands in the fall
    Flashlight moonlit tours of ancient redwood stands
    Listen for coyotes on a moonight hike
    Go pier crabbing under the Golden Gate
    Romantic wildlife walks in the Presidio
    Learn about birds and flowers on Alcatraz
    Get your paws dirty volunteering to transplant native plants at restoration sites
    Banana slug days at Muir Woods

    Most events simply require a reservation or even just showing up. I think this is the best kept secret in the city, and there's no reason tourists can't avoid the kitshy shops at useless Pier 39 by signing up for one of these free events. Download the newsletter/calendar at this site:
    Descriptions, details, and contacts are at the end of the calendar, listed by location.

    Have fun and don't miss a beat in S.F.!

    (I'll have to upload some of our pics off my phone... if I ever figure out how!)

    My favorite newsletter ever
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • mrtourne's Profile Photo

    Take a hike in Fort Miley / Land's End

    by mrtourne Written Feb 9, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The area known as Fort Miley / Land's End has to be one of the best easy hikes around both because of the stunning views (the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Golden Gate and the entrance to the Bay to the East. On a clear day, it's so serene and beautiful it makes you want to stay forever watching the sailboats and the seals below.

    The Coastal trail makes it through this park (the same coastal trail that is just south of the Golden Gate, but beware, we are talking a few miles of walking to get there!)

    Access is fairly easy by car, there's a parking lot just off Point Lobos Ave. on El Camino del Mar (just north of the Cliff House), and a few steps down from there are the trails. The trails are in good condition, although I must warn you there's quite a few steps in some areas to go down to Mile Rock Beach or up towards the Presidio.

    Golden Gate view from Land's End
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel

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    by 100ACRE Updated Jan 24, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bear Valley
    More info: or call 209-753-2301

    More info: or call 209-258-7000

    Alpine Meadows
    More info: or call 530-583-4232

    Sugar Bowl
    More info: or call 530-426-9000

    Diamond Peak
    More info: or call 775-832-1177

    Rossignol - ski equipment
    More info on Rossignol is available at:

    More info:

    More info: or call 1-800-GO-NORTH or

    More info: or call 1800-2-HEAVEN

    Squaw Valley
    More info: or 530-583-6985

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    Hiking in Marin County

    by mediaguy Written Nov 27, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    About 10 miles from Golden Gate bridge is Mt Tam. It is not a big mountain(about 3000 ft), but it has some of the best hiking trails in Marin County. One such trail is called Cataract trail. The trail starts off from a reservoir(at the base of the waterfalls). It is a 4 miles round trip hike. You will be hiking up the mountain along the path of the waterfalls. If you have 4-6 hrs to spare while visiting San Francisco, then this is a must do. The waterfalls are year around, but the best time is after the rains in Feb-March.

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    Behind Pac Bell Park

    by jessicadf Updated Sep 13, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's really nice to just walk around the area where Pacific Bell Park is located. A friend of mine lives a block away and does her daily run down along the water front, past the marina, around Pacific Bell Park and back. Very beautiful. The photo here is taken on the back side of the park, looking towards the Oakland Bay Bridge.

    Cooling in shade on a hot, hot day

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    Go on a motorbike tour!

    by canbalci Updated Aug 27, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are tons of places to go on motorbike tours in and around SF. Probably some of the nicest rides in the US are around SF.This is the website you must check out if you want to go for a ride:

    There is nothing more enjoyable thatn going for a ride with friends on a sunny day... More pics on the travelogues.

    Motorbike fun
    Related to:
    • Motorcycle

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    by 100ACRE Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    -- Weather: National Weather Service: (831) 656-1725, or Purchase a battery-powered weather radio for NOAA broadcasts from Radio Shack or a similar store.

    -- Resorts: Get a readout of resort conditions at, or,8055,1003000000%257C2055,00.html

    -- Highways: CalTrans recorded information, including chain controls: (800) 427-7623, or Don't forget, if high mountain passes are closed, there's plenty of resorts you can reach without crossing a high pass: Mount Shasta, Eagle Mountain, Royal Gorge, Soda Springs, Sugar Bowl, Donner Ski Ranch, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Dodge Ridge, Bear Valley, Sierra Summit and Badger Pass.

    -- Lodging: Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce, (800) 926-4865 or Tahoe Accommodations, (800) 250-8013,; or,;

    Virtual Tahoe (south shore),;

    Lake Tahoe Central Reservations,;

    Lake Tahoe Lodging, (800) 654-5253

    West Ski Sports Museum
    Donner Memorial Museum
    CalNeva Resort

    Sunnyside Resort (also have a good restaurant)
    The Cottage Inn (bungelows)
    Three Buck Inn (good for dogs)
    Rainbow Lodge (also have a good restaurant)

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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    See the SF Giants play for FREE!

    by jzeidman Written Dec 24, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    See the new ball park (PacBell Park) and watch a game for free (during the baseball season) from the pier. Behind the center field wall is a fenced off area where you can watch up to three innings from the outside of the park. Or get a ticket and see the NL Division Champs kick some ass!

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    by 100ACRE Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Four hours drive north of City is the Sierra Nevada and some really great "powder"!

    My recommended ski resorts are:
    Over 4,000 skiable acres spread over six peaks, Squaw Valley takes the cake, beautiful, home of the 1960 Olympics.

    Seven (7!) different terrain parks groomed nightly. Super for families, super snowboarding!


    Reno & Tahoe Entertainment Listings and Visitor Info:

    Tahoe Online Lodging Reservations:

    Truckee City Guide:

    Lake Tahoe and Truckee Guide:

    Mt. Shasta Visitor's Bureau:

    Weather & Road Conditions
    Automated Road Info: (800) 427-7623

    California Highway Patrol Mountain Road Info:

    National Weather Service Winter Weather

    CSAC Avalanche Center: Current Conditions:

    NWS: Current Advisories:

    Resort Maps and Guides
    Trail Maps:

    Resort Sports Network:

    Lake Tahoe Resort Guide:

    Skiing & Snowboarding Sites

    Snowboard Reviews and News:

    Skiing Equipment Database:

    U.S. Ski Team:

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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    by 100ACRE Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    BIKE RENTAL: Leave from Fisherman's Wharf and cross the Golden Gate Bridge and ride into Sausalito or Tiburon in Marin County. Go to

    Here's a great website to see these routes

    Use the Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals Store at 1095 Columbus@Taylor. (They also have a store at Pier 41 in Fisherman's Wharf, but your best departure point is from the store on Columbus).

    Rentals are $7/hr or $28/day. Last time I checked, you can get a $10 discount at

    If you're going to Sausalito/Tiburon it takes 1.5 to 2 hours, one way. They recommend riding past the city of Sausalito, all the way to Tiburon. From Tiburon you can take a $6 commuter ferry boat back to the City's Pier 41. (There are ferry boats that leave Sausalito, also.)

    Another option, once you're in Marin County, is to bike all the way back to the City.

    At the bike shop, they will give you maps, ferry times, answer all your 'pre-flight' questions.

    Hours: 8am-8pm (7 days a week) Phone:(415) 202-8888.

    On your bike route, when you get to the Marina Greens, take a small detour at Fillmore Street (1) buy sandwiches at Lucca Delicatessan at 2120 Chestnut Street, and (2) continue down Chestnut Street to Baker Street to ride past the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts.

    Related to:
    • Cycling

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    El Corte de Madera.This...

    by blos Updated Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    El Corte de Madera.

    This woodland preserve is a big favourite with local mountain bikers and hikers. I went with my sister and her husband who are both experienced cyclists so i was thrown in at the deep end. The trails were very challenging and i was really tired at the end of the day plus the hangover didn't help either ;). there are loads of trails ( around 18 miles of official trails) to do some of which are quite technical. Be sure and bring loads of water! Not for the faint hearted :)

    further info @ :

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    If you like to play pool,...

    by JERICO Written Aug 25, 2002

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    If you like to play pool, there is a superb, somewhat upscale billiard hall called Chalkers in the Rincon Center downtown (101 Spear Street). Never crowded, a LOT of pro-size tables, good cues, decent appetizers, nice bar, and waiter/waitress service while you play. Call ahead because they sometimes get booked up for private parties, particularly during the year-end holidays.

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    Rent a bike or a car (or take...

    by JERICO Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Rent a bike or a car (or take a *long* walk) and go over the Golden Gate bridge and into Tennessee Valley, a large park (part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area). Great for hiking and biking. If you're in the mood for a hard core hike, buy a map and make the difficult trek to Pirate's Cove, a small beach about 100 yards long which you'll have to climb down a slope of rocks to get to. There are rarely any people there.

    More great hiking can be found in Pacifica, a town south of SF on the coast. The drive there (on Rt. 1) is very picturesque (and you'll recognize the cliff views from the car ads that have been filmed here). Numerous beaches as well as hiking trails (especially around Mt. Montara).

    Sausalito - fun, quaint little town with houseboats, yacht marinas, restaurants, bars and shopping. You can take a ferry here from Fisherman's Wharf.

    Tiburon - an expensive residential neighborhood on the north side of the Bay. Take a ferry from Fisherman's Wharf, have a drink on the water at Sam's Anchor Cafe (always packed when the weather is nice!) and then jump another ferry to Angel Island for some easy hiking and fantastic views of the whole Bay area.

    I took this picture while mountain biking around Tennesee Valley. If you drive North over the Golden Gate Bridge and look up and and to your left when you pass the second upright, you'll see the hill on which I took this picture.

    Useful information about the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is available here.

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