15 Outdoor Activities That Adventurous Travelers Have To Do In San Francisco

September 15, 2015

San Francisco- the city of seven hills! Most people know of all the sights that you have to take in while you’re in the City by the Bay. You have to grab a bowl of chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, walk the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, picnic across from the Painted Ladies, or ride the famous cable cars back down to the wharf! These are wonderful experiences, but don’t miss out on all of the amazing things that San Francisco has to offer! From riding the waves to zipping down the longest slides, here is a list of the best outdoor activities recommended by the city’s favorite things to do when you’re in the 7×7 square miles of the city.

1. Alamere Falls

Image via: Outbound Collective

Image via: Outbound Collective
The Outbound Collective is well-known contributor to 7×7 magazine. They’re dedicated to making the outdoors easy and accessible to everyone! Alamere Falls is the first of four amazing outdoor activities that they recommended to us. This moderate hike offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, local forest, California brush, and exposed dirt trails. Bring along a swimsuit to sneak a quick dip into the crystal waters of Bass Lake!

2. Cataract Falls

Image via: Outbound Collective

Image via: Outbound Collective
This 5 mile hike is dotted with beautiful waterfalls along the entire length of the trail! Luckily for new hikers, this trek is naturally shaded by trees for the entire length of the walk. Be sure to have an energetic but light breakfast – there is a steep uphill climb for the first part of the walk. The stunning views are worth it!

3. Steep Ravines Cabins

Image via: Outbound Collective

Image via: Outbound Collective
The rustic cabins along Steep Ravine Trail is not for the faint at heart! With the lack of running water and a connection of electricity, you could wonder why we would suggest it. The views over the the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean make the lack of amenities worth it! This cozy cabins offer built in sleeping nooks, an eating area, ample counter space, and a wood-burning stove.

4. Mike Davis Steep Ravines

Image via: The Outbound Collective

Image via: The Outbound Collective
By far the easiest of the trails suggested by Outbound Collective  , this 7.5 mile loop offers views of waterfalls, natural forests, the mighty California redwoods, and views of the Pacific Ocean. This hike starts at the Stinson Beach Trail and passes by a historic fire station and a wooden bridge before you find yourself immersed fully in nature. Just be sure to set aside 4 hours so that you can really enjoy the views!

5. Mount Tamalpais

Not only is the Presidio the only National Forest found within the borders of a city, it is also the home to everything that native San Franciscans love. Beneath the towering trees, you can find everything from expansive art projects, large food festivals, a historic pet cemetery, access to multiple trails, and stunning views of the infamous Golden Gate Bridge.

7. The Seward Street Slides

There is one very important lesson that natives to San Francisco know. No matter what you age is, it’s important to unleash your inner wild child! It’s why you’ll find a steady stream of people waiting to go down the Seward Street slides! This outdoor cement park offers a thrilling flight down one of San Francisco’s famous hills. Be sure to bring a piece of cardboard with you!

8. Clarion Alley

There is no shortage of art in San Francisco. The Legion of Honor and the De Young Museum of Modern Art are home to famous works, while the city itself is home to several independent galleries. Yet these homes are not enough to house the outpouring of creative energy in this city! Clarion Alley is home to one of the most famous community art projects in San Francisco. You can find powerful messages from every class in the city!

9. Balmy Alley

Image via: Isabel Perdomo

Image via: Isabel Perdomo
Slightly smaller than the famous Clarion Alley is Balmy Alley. Found in the depths of the Mission District, it’s not unusual to overhear the distant cries of a mariachi band as you stroll through this quiet alley. The heart breaking murals depict the history of the Hispanic community in both San Francisco and in the Americas. I strongly suggest that you book a tour with Precita Eyes, as their tour guides do an amazing job of enveloping you in the history of these community art project.

10. Ride The Ferry To Angel Island

As the west coast version of New York’s Ellis Island, Angel Island was the gateway of immigration from Asia into the city. From its seat in the middle of the Golden Gate, this island offers unmatched views of the Marin Headlands, the entire city of San Francisco, and the neighboring island of Alcatraz. You can easily access the island on the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry.

11. Bay Area Hang Gliding

With seven major hills and multiple smaller hills speckled throughout the city, a walk through San Francisco can leave you winded! Let that work to your advantage by taking to the air. Whether you’re an expert hang glider or a complete novice, the stunning aerial views of the city and surrounding beaches will take your breath away.

12. City Kayaking

When a city is surrounded by the ocean on three sides, you have to find a way out onto that body of water. City natives and visitors to San Francisco have more than enough options. Simply rent a kayak and paddle your way around the city. Not only will you see the city in a whole new way, but you’ll also skip around the congested traffic of the streets and sidewalks!

13. Rock Climbing At Glen Park

San Francisco may be the booming home to the tech industry, but it is also home to some adventurous individuals! Is it little wonder that the citizens of this city have house ways to tackle outdoor rock climbing with the 7×7 square miles! Glen Park is home to beautiful, rocky crags and views of the entire city!

14. Kite Boarding At The Marina District

There is one final adventure along the coast of San Francisco. The waves along the city’s beaches are some of the most famous to surf on. It’s common to see surfers out on those beaches, come rain or shine. If you’re unfamiliar with surfing, you can still experience the thrill of tackling those fierce waves by kite boarding!

15. Golden Gate Park

I know, I know – Golden Gate Park is one of the most recognizable place that you could visit in San Francisco. There is a good reason why both residents and travelers love it – it is a treasure trove of different activities. The park is home to museums, botanical gardens, quiet groves, and various barbecue pits. There is literally something for everyone. The park is so beautiful that it is home to popular music festivals like Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass!

Not visiting the City by the Bay any time soon? Order a San Francisco item on Grabr and have the city hand-delivered to you.

This article was written by Gabriela Barcenas.

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