It’s always amazing to visit San Francisco any time of the year, but springtime in the city is definitely when the city starts to open up and unfold all its delightful layers. Each district seems to bustle with more activity and people enjoying the springtime weather, being outdoors and checking out the local scene or just spending some time outdoors.
Enjoying nature and the outdoors in San Francisco is easily accessible with the many parks, trails and public venues around the city. Golden Gate park offers a multitude well-known attractions like the Conservatory of flowers, the arboretum, Japanese tea garden and local museums including the De Young and California Academy of Sciences. There are many areas within the park for recreation and sporting activities, along with trails and bike paths leading all the way to Ocean beach. As part of the Golden Gate National park system, the area starting from Lands End connects all the way to the Golden Gate bridge with trails, green belts, beaches and a golf course. The public beaches and coves are all connected by well maintained trails including China beach, Baker beach, and Marshall beach (walking directly on the beach along the shoreline leads directly underneath the Golden Gate bridge and Fort Baker). From the Golden Gate, there are more green belts, parks and trails covering the Presidio (another national park and monument) and along the bay front at Crissy fields, the marina district and down to Fisherman’s Wharf. Its amazing in such a condense and packed urban metropolis, San Francisco has successfully save some of it’s best views and public parks and green belt areas for the public to enjoy.
It’s not surprising that springtime along these open areas is bursting with color and abundant plantings of native flora and flowers. Vivid blooms of yellow and blue lupines, native orange poppies and the various blue shades of Ceanothus, a native California lilac fill the coastal areas, dunes and beaches. Careful planting and maintenance with the various conservancy groups and the Golden Gate park system has ensured that these areas are well cared for and they hope to revert the area back to its original landscape prior to development. Along the trail head leading to Baker beach, I bump into a group of local volunteers maintaining the area and diligently planting a new bed with seedlings. Eventually this area will develop into a larger patch of sandy dunes covered with local flowers and ground cover so the dunes are well-preserved and lovingly cared for with these volunteer groups.
It’s so nice to spend some quiet time and visit a part of the city that is still connected to nature. It doesn’t take too far to actually see and enjoy nature in this large and urban metropolis. Open spaces and parks are a natural extension of the California lifestyle outdoors, and recreation and sports activities are a year round activity. But in springtime when the weather is pleasant, taking some time to seeing the natural beauty around San Francisco and its parks and recreation are a nice way to spend the day outdoors outside of the typical tourist attractions available in the city.
To visit the various areas of the Golden Gate Recreation Area, you can visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/goga/index.htm
To visit the various sites around the Presidio at San Francisco, you can visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/prsf/index.htm