Top 10 Outdoor Activities to Try in San Francisco Area

San Francisco might seem like a little city with just 49 square miles, but don’t let that fool you. You will never run out of things to do in this city. San Francisco is one of a kind! You might spend months, if not years, exploring San Francisco and yet not seeing everything the city offers. However, to help you start, here we have the top outdoor activities to try in San Francisco area!

1 Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge

You will enjoy the thrilling sensation of walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. There are breathtaking vistas and pleasant wind from the ocean. Looking on the highway might inspire you to take on a California road trip! You can also rent a bike nearby for a cycling challenge! From Chrissy Fields to the top of the bridge area is a short but steep uphill slog. If you find this too difficult, you may always carry your bike up the paved path to the bridge viewing area. Then, ride it from there to the pedestrian bridge and area below.

Golden Gate Bridge.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most popular outdoor activities to try in San Francisco area.

2 Rent a bike in the city

Cycling is one of the most popular outdoor sports in San Francisco, despite the city’s many hills. Renting a bicycle is a great way to get around downtown San Francisco for cheap and in the open air. However, be prepared to pedal up and down many of the city’s steep hills. Taking a guided bike tour is another fantastic option for getting to know the city, and the guides will be able to help you find the least hilly routes possible.

3 Climb up Tank Hill

The locals of Twin Peaks often see the visitors hiking up the neighborhood’s 922ft hills to take pictures of the beautiful San Fran vistas. Tank Hill is a tiny city park that has unobstructed views of the city, the bay, and the bridge from atop a rocky 650-foot protrusion. The hill has two routes since the water tank that was originally on top was moved. Many of the visitors get captivated by the views they get at Tank Hill and choose to move to San Francisco. If you do, too, remember not to underestimate the importance of movers and find the ideal match for you. Luckily, there are many good options in San Francisco!

4 Stroll through Chinatown

Chinatown in San Francisco is a must-see for any traveler since it is the largest and oldest Chinatown in North America. Visit any of the many markets, restaurants, or stores in the area for some genuine Chinese cuisine or trinkets, and take in the bright buildings and paper lanterns that line the main street. There are so many souvenirs to bring home here; you might need a good travel backpack to pack it all! Explore the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, established in 1962, where 20,000 fortune cookies are folded by hand daily for distribution across Chinatown and the rest of the globe.

5 Visit Angel Island

The trip to Angel Island is both an exciting adventure and a relaxing sail, and it has some simple walks in the lake region that you will enjoy immensely. Angel Island used to serve as the Bay Area’s equivalent of Ellis Island, where immigrants from Asia and Latin America were housed and processed before being allowed to move on to the rest of California.

What you’ll see now are the old structures, which have been renovated into museums you can really visit. There are four main routes that span between 3 and 5 miles and are generally flat, graveled paths, perfect for a leisurely trek around the island.

6 Walk along the many San Francisco beaches

There aren’t as many people lounging in the sun at San Francisco’s beaches as there are in Southern California. However, San Francisco’s beaches have their own special appeal and are definitely worth exploring (especially given how close they are to the city). You can get a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life at Baker Beach, Ocean Beach, or Land’s End. These are also all conveniently close to the center of San Francisco.

A family taking a walk at Baker Beach.
Sunsets at San Francisco beaches can get really magical!

7 Enjoy a rope swing with a view

There’s no better outdoor activity for thrill-seekers in San Francisco than the rope swing. The swing, which is suspended from a solitary eucalyptus tree at the top of a steep and rugged slope in Glen Park, offers a breathtaking view of the cityscape. At night, you can see the beauty of the Bay Bridge, lit up by Leo Villareal’s Bay Lights sculpture. During the day, the journey is almost as thrilling as you can see Mount Diablo in the East Bay and American kestrels soaring overhead. Ascend to the park via the hidden Harry Street. Thanks to its winding staircase of roughly 230 mainly wooden stairs shaded by banana trees, leafy vines, and palm fronds, it is a great attraction.

8 Enjoy the peace at the Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park is one of the city’s most tranquil attractions. The oldest Japanese Tea Garden in the United States of America is open every day of the year.

This park is well-known for its impressive entry gate, beautiful high arching drum bridge, a remarkable 5-story pagoda, and adorable dwarf tree collection.

There is a tranquil Zen garden nearby where you may sit or stroll. There you can let your thoughts wander among the many rock and stone formations. You can come to a conclusion to move to San Francisco and once you find the ideal match for what you are looking for among moving professionals, your dream will come true.

In addition to the world-famous teas, you can also find a wide variety of other foods here. We’re talking miso soup, tea sandwiches, edamame, and more!

9 Visit Alcatraz

In the center of San Francisco Bay stands the abandoned maximum-security prison. This imposing fortification in the midst of San Francisco Bay originally used to be a lighthouse. Afterward, it housed some of the earliest 20th century’s most renowned offenders. Only the ferry from Pier 33 at Alcatraz Landing will take you to “The Rock” today. Learn about the 19-month occupation of the site by Native Americans demanding compensation for violated treaties in 1969 on a self-guided audio tour of the cell house, narrated by former inmates and guards.

Alcatraz island.
For history buffs, visiting Alcatraz is among the best outdoor activities to try in San Francisco!

10 Listen to the Wave organ

One of the best travel tips is to visit the hidden gems. And one of these lesser-known places is The Wave Organ in San Francisco. It’s located at the very end of the jetty that encloses the harbor in the Marina District. The 2,700 square foot work is a half-rock garden and part sound sculpture. PVC concrete pipes underwater to record the sea’s unearthly rumbles and whistles. Visit at high tide for the best acoustic experience and sit in the semi-enclosed “stereo booth” to hear sounds reverberating off all three sides of the alcove.

Final words

We hope our guide has helped you plan out outdoor activities to try in San Francisco area. This city really has something for everyone! Hence, it is no surprise more and more people choose this city for their new home location. Will you be one of them too?

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