Ahhh, San Francisco- one of the most beautiful and historic cities in California. This “Paris of the West” is known for many things, such as its cool summers, beautiful architecture and many tourist attractions.
But what you might not have known is that the “city that knows how” is also a great destination for beautiful and scenic runs. Here are our top five places for running in San Francisco:
1. Presidio National Park
The Presidio is a new kind of national park formed in 1994. It offers authentic experiences of nature, history and community, as well as some awesome running trails. Golden Gate Promenade is a particular area of the park that is an absolutely beautiful run that is about 4 miles of mainly gravel trails. On this run, you will be astounded by views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the coastline areas.
If you’re in town for only a couple of days and want a quick but satisfying run, then running along the Embarcadero is perfect. Located on the outskirts of the city, this route is a sidewalk area that runs along the bay from AT&T Park to Fisherman’s Wharf and offers a great view of the city and the bay area. It can be crowded at times, so you might not want to go too fast! This route is great for chilling out and enjoying the views.
3. Lands End Trail
Located in the northwestern section of San Francisco, you can’t beat the views that this trail offers. It offers a break from the hustle and the bustle of the city. The rich amount of history, breathtaking views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge, and the bountiful amount of wildlife will have you taking pictures at every turn so don’t forget your camera!
4. Coit Tower
This tower was built in 1933 in memory of Lillie Hitchcock Coit and has been known for its murals, 360 degree view of San Francisco, and its resident flock of parrots. You could easily pay a few bucks to ride the elevator to the top, but a much more exhilarating experience would be to take the stairs all the way up Telegraph Hill to the tip top of the Tower!
There are two sets of stairs you can choose to take (Filbert Street at Sansome or Greenwich Street), but either way you go, it will be quite the workout. When you reach the top, it is (literally) all down-hill from there, and you get a spectacular view as a reward!
5. Lake Merced Park
Lake Merced is located in the southwestern corner of San Francisco and is the center of a 614-acre park. The 4.5-mile paved trail that encircles the lake makes for a perfect run with a spectacular atmosphere. And if you decide that you don’t particularly want to run that day, there are plenty of other activities. Whether it is golf, fishing, relaxing or running, this park is a great destination for anyone visiting the San Francisco area.
Where are some of YOUR favorite places to run in San Francisco? Before you hit the trails, stop by a local run store to pick up some Swiftwicks!