Outdoor San Francisco

San Francisco Highlights

  • The Golden Gate Recreation Area has scores of good trails. On the San Francisco side, the trail system at the Presidio makes the most of unbeatable natural assets: rugged coastline, surprising views, and interesting historical sites. Marin County's Marin Headlands has got to be one of most magical place in the world. Austere, with far reaching views, it's a place to go for inspiration.
  • For many anglers, San Francisco saltwater fishing means fishing for ocean salmon. Salmon season usually runs from April through October. Dozens of sportfishing outfitters are located at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, Sausalito, Emeryville, and Berkeley.
  • One of the best free activities in San Francisco is an outing to Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Its 55 acres host an incredible variety of plants, from Peruvian lilies to coastal redwoods, all of which can be grown in coastal California gardens. Paths and benches invite visitors to stroll and sit in this serene urban oasis. A 20,000-volume horticulture library is open to professional and home gardeners.
  • San Francisco is the urban wildlife watcher's paradise. Northern Californians practically invented whale watching as a sort of secular religion. Every winter, throngs of people head to the beach to reverently train their binoculars on schools of whales off the coast. The Oceanic Society leads enjoyable boat trips to the waters around Farallon Island National Wildlife Refuge. Not only are you likely to see humpback whales, but the bird-watching is astounding, even to non-birders in the bunch.

By Travel Expert: Ann Marie Brown

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